Gove agrees to council’s plans for children’s services in Doncaster

Ros Jones.  Picture: Andrew Roe

Ros Jones. Picture: Andrew Roe

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Education secretary Michael Gove has agreed to Doncaster Council’s proposals for how it will change the way children’s services are delivered in the borough.

Mr Gove had made it clear to Doncaster Council that a ‘genuinely independent organisation’ was required to improve services for children.

However, following a meeting with Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones, he has written to her to say he is ‘now content to agree in principle to the establishment of the Doncaster Children’s Trust, without the requirement to remove Doncaster’s children’s services functions entirely’.

The Children’s Trust will therefore be designed and commissioned by the council working with its partners and the new Children’s Commissioner, Alan Wood.

Mayor Jones said: “I am pleased the Secretary of State has rephrased his initial views and supports how we would wish to progress his original ‘arm’s length trust’ proposal.

“Supported by our partners, we put forward a compelling and well thought out case as to why this was the correct approach for transforming how children’s services are delivered across the borough.

“We look forward to working closely with the government to finalise details of the trust and set about bringing the rapid and sustained improvement of children’s services we are all determined to achieve.”

The trust will be established for a ten-year period, with a review after five years.

A timetable and implementation plan will be worked up in the coming weeks.