Hiba Mahamadi 26 March 2019

Commissioner appointed to oversee Blackpool's children's services

An Essex CC director has been drafted in as a commissioner to oversee Blackpool Council’s children’s services after an Ofsted report last year found it was ‘inadequate’.

The Department for Education has announced Essex and its the director of children, families and education at Essex CC, Helen Lincoln, will work with the council to get it up to standard.

Ofsted’s inspection was conducted between November and December last year. The main finding was that children are often living in chronic neglect, progress on improving the service has been very slow, and that the service has not been given the priority it needs.

The council was told it had not grasped the severity of the situation.

The report said: ‘By the time a new director of children’s services was appointed 17 months ago, standards of practice had seriously deteriorated. Although there has been a focus on improvement since then, it has not led to the level of improvement required to ensure safe and effective services for all children.

‘Senior leaders have not sufficiently understood the extent of widespread and serious failings when children need help and protection.’

No date has yet been provided for the length of the commissioner’s term.

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