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'Intensive peer support' plan for Croydon's children services approved

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The education secretary has approved a proposal for Croydon LBC to receive “intensive peer support” from Camden LBC in a bid to improve its children’s social care services.

A revised direction issued today on behalf of education secretary Damian Hinds says Croydon’s children’s services commissioner Eleanor Brazil has deemed Croydon’s proposal “fit for purpose” and it will now be implemented.

The government ordered Croydon to develop the arrangement with Camden in January.

This followed an Ofsted report last year which found serious and widespread failures in Croydon that left children at risk of significant harm.

Former education secretary Justine Greening appointed Ms Brazil as commissioner to conduct a three-month assessment of services following the inspection, which also found weak management oversight “at all levels”.

Today’s direction states Mr Hinds “remains satisfied that the council is still failing to perform to an adequate standard”.

The direction adds Camden will report on the peer support to Croydon’s independently chaired improvement board every month.

Planned work and progress on improvement will be reviewed at quarterly meetings attended by Camden, Croydon, the improvement board chair and the Department for Education, with formal reviews on the overall programme every six months.

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