New director of children's services
Published on 29 January 2018
LEICESTER City Council has appointed Gerard Jones, currently deputy director of safeguarding and early help with Central Bedfordshire Council, as its new director of children’s services. He will take over from Frances Craven, who is leaving the authority to take up a new post as chief executive of the Sandwell Children’s Trust.
Mr Jones will start at Leicester in April. At Bedfordshire he has led on an ambitious, four-year transformation programme of children’s services, and has managed the educational psychology and special educational needs service. This year he led children's services to receive a 'good' rating by ofsted and to win recognition as 'Social Work Employer of the Year' in a national award scheme.
Before joining Bedfordshire Gerard was an assistant director at Birmingham City Council where his responsibilities included the management of 25 front-line social work teams, the youth service, and children’s participation service.
Andy Keeling, Leicester City Council’s chief operations officer said: “We look forward to welcoming Gerard to Leicester. He has valuable experience gained in a number of roles that will be very useful to the city.
“It was important for us that we found the right person to take over from Frances Craven, who has laid firm foundations for the continued good leadership of children’s services. She has set the department on the right path for continued improvement and we wish her all the best.”
Frances Craven joined Leicester City Council in October 2014 shortly before children’s services was rated inadequate. Earlier this year Ofsted moved it to ‘requiring improvement’, with leadership and management rated as good.
Gerard Jones said: “I am very honoured to be offered this key post to lead Leicester’s children’s services. This will be a challenge and an opportunity to build more effective services that will meet the needs of children and support families.
“I am very much looking forward to that challenge and the opportunity of working closely with colleagues and partners in schools and the community to build on the great progress already made and recently recognised by Ofsted.”