I joined Caldecott last year after spending 25 years with local
authorities, latterly at Buckinghamshire Council, where I was head
of social care for children and families. Before that I was an
NSPCC inspector. I have also worked for Lincolnshire Council.
Caldecott runs residential homes, a primary and secondary school,
and an assessment centre for 60 children.
Caldecott is a much smaller organisation than a local authority. I
have daily involvement with my staff of 200 and the foundation’s
trustees and also deal with HR and financial issues, and meet
supporters and suppliers.
The environment is different too. Our main offices are in a
rambling Victorian mansion in the countryside, somewhat better than
my old office on the ninth floor of a block overlooking Aylesbury.
And the perks aren’t the same: no more free car and health
The new challenges I face are daunting, being ultimately
responsible for children receiving the right care and
Some of them have challenging behavioural patterns but, when you
understand what they have gone through, it is hardly surprising.
Some of the staff have a terrific sense of humour, and that can
help us all when things are difficult.
Just about the only things I don’t enjoy in my job is handling the
plethora of regulatory paperwork and the current bane of my life,
the IT system. But I’ll get it cracked.
On the other hand, I get terrific pleasure working with my team on
individual cases, and seeing kids progress. Some of them were
consistently excluded from schools and had been through lots of
foster placements before they came to us.
I felt choked last Christmas when one lad, from precisely that
background, turned out to be a star performer in the annual school
show. He’d made his own costume, learned his lines perfectly and,
when everyone applauded, the expression on his face just said it
My goals are simple. I want to get this organisation to a new level
of excellence and achieve all-round improvement for our children
and their referring agencies.