Interim children’s chief for failing council balances two jobs

The interim director of children's services appointed to failing city council Peterborough will be juggling two jobs while trying to turn safeguarding services around.

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The interim director of children’s services appointed to failing city council Peterborough will be juggling two jobs while trying to turn safeguarding services around.

Peterborough city council appointed Adrian Loades as interim director following the resignation of John Richards from the post in response to a damning Ofsted report.

Loades is currently DCS of Cambridgeshire, where he will continue to work for two days a week during his three months at Peterborough.

Loades said he would be able to maintain a balance in filling both positions.

“I’m confident that Cambridgeshire will continue to run effectively in my absence,” he told Community Care. “I’ve got a good team in Cambridgeshire and we’ve allocated a number of my responsibilities for the next three months across that team. There will be the odd late night, but it’s manageable.”

In Peterborough, Loades will be heading up a sector-led improvement scheme. A number of local authorities are meeting on Monday to determine the steps the department needs to take.

Loades said his first priority for turning the council around is to reform the contact, referral and assessment process that was so harshly criticised by Ofsted. The department will also conduct an audit of case files “to get a sense of what practice is really like”, Loades said. There will also be intense scrutiny of performance management arrangements and workforce development.

Loades said the workforce needed more than just additional training.

“Training will be an element of workforce development, but what we really need to do is discuss with staff the issues going on in Peterborough,” he said. “We’ve got very demanding demographics and changes going on in the city and we need to talk to staff about how we should respond to that.”

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