Comissioner appointed to review Wakefield Council’s ability to improve

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A review will be undertaken into whether Wakefield Council can make the much-needed improvements to its children’s services.

A commissioner has now been appointed to see if the authority can make the necessary improvements at pace.

The council was heavily criticised by Ofsted in a report published in June when it said children were being put at risk.

Peter Dwyer, the former director of children’s services at North Yorkshire County Council, has been appointed by the Department for Education as the commissioner to make a thorough report into the council and to consider the next steps.

Merran McRae, chief executive of Wakefield Council, said: “We welcome the appointment of the commissioner and we will co-operate fully with Mr Dwyer throughout the process.

“Our priority is to ensure that services are brought up to the standard our children and families need and deserve and we are determined to deliver this.

“Changes are already underway to strengthen our services. We’re recruiting more family support and social workers to make sure help is available to children, young people and families who need it.

“We have already strengthened the senior team and continue to recruit to key positions, both on the management team and frontline.”

The commissioner’s report will run in tandem with the council’s plans to make improvements recommended by Ofsted.

The review will last for the next three months.