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Head of Bradford's Children's Services steps down

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Published by Lizzy McEllan with contributions by Local Democracy Reporter By Local Democracy Reporter, Chris Young at 4:09pm 12th November 2018. (Updated at 4:17pm 12th November 2018)

The head of Bradford’s Children’s Services department has announced he will be leaving the role, saying it is “best for me and for Bradford.”

Michael Jameson has been in the role since 2014, moving to Bradford from his position as executive director at Oldham Council.

The announcement of his departure comes just weeks after Bradford Council’s Children’s Services department was judged “inadequate” by Ofsted, and Mr Jameson said efforts to improve the department should be left to someone “who can commit to that journey.”

In a statement announcing his departure, Mr Jameson said:

“After some reflection I have decided it is best for me and for Bradford that I now move on.
“I have for some time been considering retiring or seeking a new challenge, and the next 18 months post Ofsted recovery will benefit from somebody who can commit to that journey.

“I feel very privileged and proud to have worked for Bradford and to have had the pleasure of leading and being involved in the many fantastic projects that are happening, both in Children’s Services as well as across the district.

“I do believe that Bradford is a dynamic young city on the up.

“Investing in its greatest asset – its young people – is arguably the greatest challenge at times of austerity. I do want to thank all the frontline staff and my talented colleagues for their continued commitment to Bradford’s children.”

Kersten England, Chief Executive of Bradford Council, said:

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank Michael for his achievements since he joined the Council in 2014. During that time we have seen improved outcomes in education and skills, as well as greater engagement through the Education Covenant, and welcome funding investment in social care and the Opportunity Area.

“We will be working at pace to fill the gap Michael leaves on an interim basis and will also be looking to recruit a new director of Children’s Services.”

The Council said it would not be releasing any further statement at this time.

The role, which is a statutory requirement for local councils, is responsible for the leadership, strategic direction and effectiveness of the Council’s children’s services.

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