Doncaster appoints new director of children’s services

Doncaster Council has appointed a new director of children’s services after the government ordered a fresh senior management team to be installed at the service.

Gareth Williams, director of children’s services at Leicestershire Council, has been seconded to Doncaster on a temporary basis, during which time he will maintain his position at Leicestershire.

Last month, children’s secretary Ed Balls announced the establishment of an improvement board to oversee children’s services at Doncaster, headed by Tony Elson, a former director of social services.

A Department for Children, Schools and Families “diagnostic review” found urgent improvements were required at the council. In its 2008 annual performance assessment, Ofsted graded the council as ‘inadequate’ overall and for safeguarding.

Williams will replace Dr Paul Gray, who has spent the last year as interim director of children’s services at the south Yorkshire authority.

Doncaster Council’s managing director, Paul Hart, said: “Paul has worked tremendously hard to stabilise a service that had major problems when he arrived a year ago and has made significant improvements to the service.”

Williams said: “I am very impressed by the desire of everyone to make rapid improvements and work very hard to that end for the people of Doncaster.”

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