New Executive Director of Children’s Services appointed

Ann James has been appointed to the role of Executive Director of Children’s Services at Gloucestershire County Council and will take over the role in 2023.

Chris Spencer, the current Executive Director of Children’s Services, will leave his post with Ann set to takeover from the start of April.

Ann joined the council as Director for Safeguarding and Care at the end of January 2022. Since then, she has been part of delivering improvements designed to take Children’s Services from an OFSTED rating of ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’.

The new role will oversee all aspects of Children’s Services, including education and safeguarding to ensure the delivery of consistently good services for all children and families, particularly the most vulnerable.

Ann joined the county council having worked successfully in senior positions in Bristol’s Children’s Services and Community Safety. She has extensive knowledge and experience of safeguarding, as well as improving the quality and performance of services.

Throughout her 30-year career in Children’s Services, Ann has a proven record of delivering family focused, cost effective, integrated services that improve outcomes for children and young people.

This has been achieved by taking a collaborative approach that brings partners together to deliver for children and young people. Taking a collaborative, integrated and early interventionist approach is critical at a time when our families and public sector services are facing the significant challenges brought about by COVID-19 and the rising cost of living.

Ann James said: “I am thrilled to be able to lead our improvement journey as the Executive Director of Children’s Services.

“We know that investing in children today, pays dividends in the future. My commitment in taking this post will be to build a county that works for all children.

“I am looking forward to continuing to work with the incredible team we have in Children’s Services as I take on this new role in 2023.

“I can’t think of anyone whose role in the council or amongst partners doesn’t in some way contribute to delivering great outcomes for children and young people, to building resilient families and communities in which children can thrive and go on to live remarkable lives”.

Cllr Stephen Davies, cabinet member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years, said: “I am delighted that Ann has been appointed to this new role.

“I would like to thank Chris Spencer for his hard work in the role, including his leadership in taking the service out of an ‘Inadequate’ OFSTED rating, and looking forward to working further with him until April.

“Ann was the outstanding candidate for the role and I am looking forward to her leading the service’s further improvement.”

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