‘Relentless’ Dorset council boss named as new Norfolk director of children’s services

Sara Tough. Photo: Norfolk County Council

Sara Tough. Photo: Norfolk County Council - Credit: Norfolk County Council

Sara Tough has today been named as executive director of Norfolk's troubled children's services department.

Ms Tough is currently director of children's services at Dorset County Council and will take over from Norfolk's interim director Matt Dunkley at the end of October.

She promised a 'relentless'

The council's managing director Wendy Thomson said: 'I'm delighted that we have recruited Sara. She is a first-class children's services director, with an impressive track record, who will take forward the improvements that are well underway in Norfolk.

'Our ambition is to move up in the Ofsted rating from inadequate to requires improvement at the next inspection, which is expected later this year or early next year. We are committed to providing quality services for Norfolk's children and their families.'


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Ms Tough will be the sixth head of children's services in Norfolk since 2013.

Dr Thomson said: 'I would like to take the opportunity to thank Matt for his excellent work over the last six months and for his advice and support in recruiting our new executive director.

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'At the last monitoring visit, Ofsted noted that we are making sustained progress, there is good morale in the service and we are developing plans to address the issues identified by inspectors.'

Penny Carpenter, chairman of the children's services committee, said: 'Sara impressed us with her experience and vision and I look forward to working with her, to achieve our aspirations of having good children's services in Norfolk.'

Ms Tough said: 'I am delighted to be joining Norfolk County Council at this time - I have been inspired by the ambition of the council and its determination to get stronger.

'I want to share the great work already happening and to celebrate the successes. I will bring a relentless focus on outcomes, strong core services and partnership working, so that we continue to improve and make a difference for children and young people in Norfolk.'

She said she planned to make a number of visits to the council, to assist the handover process, before starting in post later this year.

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