Sixteen children’s services workers dismissed or ‘asked to leave’ by Norfolk County Council

County Hall, Norwich.Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

County Hall, Norwich.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Sixteen children's services workers were dismissed or asked to leave Norfolk County Council in the last two years.

The authority, which employs 1,791 children's services staff with 915 of them in frontline roles, on a mixture of full and part-time contracts, was rated as inadequate in a 2013 Ofsted report.

It has since been criticised by foster carers over claims it wrongly removed children.

Troubleshooter Mark Gurrey was brought in last month to help improve the county council's troubled children's services department, and said there was 'no magic wand' to turn it around.

The authority has also brought back Ian Parker, the former chief executive of Middlesbrough Council, to lead an independent review looking at allegations that foster carers were unfairly treated in the past.

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Now figures have emerged which show that Norfolk County Council dismissed seven directly employed members of children's services staff and 'specifically asked' for seven agency staff to leave since 2012-13.

The seven dismissals were from a group of 19 staff who were initially suspended.

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Of the 12 who were suspended but not dismissed, there was disciplinary action in six cases, including compulsory retraining or a loss of seniority; no further action in five cases; one case is still being investigated.

With regard to the agency staff, two out of a total of 189 that started with the authority were asked to leave in 2013, and seven out of 108 that started with the authority were asked to leave in 2014.

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