Norfolk council chief Wendy Thomson leads children’s services improvement bid

Dr Wendy Thomson, managing director of Norfolk County Council, has an academic background in social

Dr Wendy Thomson, managing director of Norfolk County Council, has an academic background in social care. Picture by SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Norfolk County Council's top officer has taken a leading role in trying to improve children's services in the region.

The council's children's services department, which has been rated as 'inadequate' by Ofsted twice since 2013, has been the focus of an investigation by this newspaper as part of our Fighting For Their Futures campaign.

The council's managing director, Wendy Thomson, is now chairing a children's services 'improvement board', which met for the first time at the end of January and has met on one other occasion since.

It is tasked with bringing groups together to make sure children's services are up to scratch.

Dr Thomson, who has an academic background in social work, has been the council's managing director since 2014.

Board members include the representatives from the police, NHS, Department for Education (DfE), as well as politicians and managers from the council's children's services department and human resources.

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The county councillors invited on to the board are Roger Smith, chairman of the children's services committee, Alison Thomas, deputy leader of the council who was cabinet member for children's services under the last Conservative administration, and Labour councillor Emma Corlett.

Norfolk's improvement partners, Essex County Council, are also on the board and a new improvement plan is being developed.

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A spokesman for the council said the board's job was to ensure 'oversight and support' of everyone involved in the new improvement plan.

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