Assistant director in Norfolk County Council’s children’s services department to leave for academy trust job

Don Evans, who is to leave his job as assistant director in Norfolk County Council's children's services department. Pic: Archant Library.

Don Evans, who is to leave his job as assistant director in Norfolk County Council's children's services department. Pic: Archant Library.

Norfolk’s children’s services department is set to lose another of its assistant directors.

Don Evans, assistant director with specific responsibility for performance and challenge, will leave the authority at the end of the year.

He has been at County Hall since 2013, but is leaving to take up a role with the Norwich-based Right For Success academy trust, whose schools include Sewell Park Academy and Eaton Hall Specialist Academy.

Matt Dunkley, interim director of children’s services, said: “Don Evans will be leaving us at the end of December to take up a new opportunity as director of operations at the Right for Success multi-Academy Trust.

“Although Don will not be leaving us for a while, I would like to take this opportunity to thank him personally for his support and hard work and for being a great team player and colleague.”

His impending departure follows the resignation of Cathy Mouser, who was assistant director of social work in the department, which has twice been rated as inadequate by Ofsted inspectors.

Fiona Fitzpatrick has been acting as interim director of social care in the meantime.

Mr Dunkley is also due to leave at the end of this month, when Sara Tough will become the sixth person to head up the department since 2013.

Mr Dunkley said all decisions on the future shape of the leadership team will be made by the incoming director.

Inspectors from Ofsted are due to return for a full inspection of the county council’s children’s services department.

After two inadequate ratings, inspectors have made regular monitoring visits to the council.

Last November, department head Michael Rosen left the council just days after a monitoring report was critical of the pace of change.

A letter following a monitoring visit in July highlighted that improvements had been made. They said there was a “much greater sense of urgency” and praised Mr Dunkley’s leadership team for driving change.

Performance management, previously criticised as not being good enough, had improved and the views of children listened to, the report said.

But there was still criticism, including of the service for care leavers.

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