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Sandwell MBC suspends director

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Sandwell MBC has suspended Helen Smith, its service director for children and families, LGC understands.

The council has recently been inspected by Ofsted, which is due to publish a report about its children’s services on 9 April.

Sandwell is seen as a potential model for the improvement of children’s services across the country, having appointed the consultancy firm Impower to set up a partnership scheme to turn around its troubled services.

LGC understands the Ofsted report will be critical. However, the authority’s chief executive Jan Britton said: “Suspension is a neutral act which does not imply wrongdoing.”

Mr Britton confirmed that a council director had been suspended but said he could not comment further.

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