Doncaster children’s services may be privatised

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The management of child protection services in Doncaster could soon be privatised as two ‘troubleshooters’ launch a new review of the troubled department.

Education Secretary Michael Gove today announced the problem, highlighted by the Edlington torture case scandal, requires ‘significant action’ and two experts from London are being drafted in to sort out the failing management of children’s services.

Mr Gove has asked Prof Julian Le Grand, professor of social policy at the London School of Economics, and Alan Wood, director of children’s services in Hackney, to review the structure and governance of children’s social care in Doncaster.

He wants them to decide the approach most likely to bring about long-term improvement, following a critical Ofsted report last November.

They are also being asked to consider whether the services should be delivered by an organisation independent of the council.

Mr Gove has told Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies: “Until any actions can be put in place following Prof Le Grand’s review however, I see a need to put in place immediate improvement measures.

“I therefore also expect the council to contract immediately with an external delivery partner to provide the capability and capacity to improve the standard of child protection practice.

“I believe these steps are the ones required to establish the best possible chance of the very significant and sustainable changes required in Doncaster.”