On the 1 April 2018 Torbay and Plymouth’s Children’s Services will commence the formal contractual arrangement for the delivery of Children’s Services in Torbay.

The opportunity to create this new arrangement arose following the Department for Education’s (DfE) appointed Commissioner John Coughlan’s recommendation that Plymouth be the preferred partner to help lead improvement in Torbay’s Children’s Services. John Coughlan will continue in his role as Commissioner.

The new joint Director of Children’s Services, Alison Botham, was appointed in March 2018 to head up the two services. Alison brings to the post over 30 years’ experience in delivery, management and leadership of public services.

The new joint Director of Children’s Services will work closely with the current Director of Children’s Services in Torbay, who will lead the service through reinspection which is anticipated shortly.

Councillor Julien Parrott, Executive Lead for Adults and Children from Torbay Council said: “This arrangement with Plymouth is an exciting new era for both us and Plymouth. It is a great example of sector led improvement with two authorities working together to improve outcomes for our children and young people.”

Chief Executive of Plymouth City Council, Tracey Lee, said: “I’m extremely proud that Plymouth will be supporting our colleagues in Torbay. I know that we are in a strong position to provide management leadership on the next stage of Torbay’s improvement in Children’s Services, as we have faced similar challenges ourselves in the past.”

Alison Botham, joint Director of Children’s Services said: “I am looking forward to taking on the joint responsibilities as Director of Children’s Services and will work collaboratively to build on the successes and strengths in the Torbay education system.

“At the same time I will work closely with staff and partners to maintain the rigour and focus that will be needed to achieve sustained improvements in outcomes for Torbay’s most vulnerable children and young people, including those in need of protection and those in care.

“I do not underestimate some of the challenges ahead, but know what can be achieved when everyone is working effectively together, and sharing the same commitment to improve outcomes for children and young people.”

Staff employed in Plymouth will continue to work with the city’s children, young people and families and those employed by Torbay will work with Torbay children, young people and families.

The joint director will report to both Torbay and Plymouth Councils’ Chief Executives and politicians.

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