“Last chance saloon” for Cumbria’s Children services says leading Tory

Cumbria Conservative Group Leader, James Airey supports the Children’s Services Directions Notice from the Minister and says this is Children’s Services last chance saloon to improve

Following the publication of the damning Ofsted report on the inspection of Children’s Services resulting in an ‘inadequate” outcome in May 2015, the Minister of State for Children and Families at the Department for Education, Edward Timpson has made his decision regarding the level of intervention for Cumbria. According to the Minister’s decision, Cumbria County Council’s Children’s Services should be subject to a Directions Notice, potentially issued in the next 10 days.

Councillor James Airey, the Leader of the Cumbria County Council Conservative Group has welcomed the Minister’s decision, and agrees that it is what is needed for the children of Cumbria at this time. “Children’s Services have six months to improve by way of the Directions Notice from the Minister, and the Conservative Group will be playing an active role in ensuring that the Labour-Lib Dem run Children’s Services picks up the pace in its improvement efforts. We will be heavily scrutinising the work of the Children’s Services department and Councillor Duncan Fairbairn, Chair of the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Board will be taking up a position on the Council’s Children’s Improvement Board to oversee what improvements are being made, monitor this and drive forward change.”

He added “This is the last chance saloon for Children’s Services to improve, and Conservative County Councillors expect the Children’s Improvement Board to keep the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Board well informed of progress. We will be working closely with the LGA to ensure that the Labour-Lib Dem run Children’s Services is making improvements. For the sake of Cumbria’s children, it is now time for efforts to be stepped up, to pick up the pace and see changes happen.”

The Head of the Intervention Unit at the DfE, Jocelyn Shaw has also emphasised the necessity to demonstrate progress and impact over the next six months, and there will be a DfE review in January 2016.

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