BRADFORD Council has announced its new Strategic Director of Children’s Services

Mark Douglas will take over the role from Gladys Rhodes White, who has been acting as Interim Strategic Director since November 2018, when she departs at the end of May.

Previous director Michael Jameson left the Council shortly after the Children's Services was given an "inadequate" rating by Ofsted last year.

Mr Douglas is currently the Director of Children's Social Care at Doncaster Children's Services Trust.

That trust has overseen the transformation of Children’s Services from an Inadequate Ofsted rating in 2014 to a Good rating in 2017 with all of the regulatory services, including fostering and adoption now rated as Outstanding.

Prior to his role Director of Children's Social Care, Mr Douglas was the Assistant Director in Northumberland and helped them to become one of the few local authorities to achieve an overall judgement of Outstanding in the previous Ofsted inspection framework.

Mr Douglas is a qualified social worker, has worked his whole career in the area of statutory social work and has had responsibility for developing new and innovative services, including education services for looked after children, that have supported vulnerable children and families.

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He said: "I am absolutely thrilled to have secured the role of Strategic Director of Children's Services in Bradford and I am looking forward to working with the staff, members and partners to develop good and outstanding services for the city and district.

"I have been impressed with the warmth of the welcome I have received during the recruitment process and with the very strong and clear commitment from everyone I have met to get things right for the children of Bradford.”

Kersten England, Chief Executive of Bradford Council, said: “We’re delighted that Mark will be joining Team Bradford this summer.

"Mark has first-hand experience of driving improvement in an authority and joins us at an important moment in our improvement journey. Bradford is the UK’s youngest city and we are committed to working with our staff and partners to improve our services for the benefit of all our young people.

"Mark will be key to us achieving this so we put the voice and needs of our young people at the heart of all we do."

“I want to thank Gladys Rhodes White, who joined the Council on an interim basis, for her hard work and dedication in making sure the foundations to our improvement journey have been put in place.”