New director of children’s services at beleaguered County Council


Lisa Lyons said: “I am joining a council that is determined to make a positive difference to children and young people”

A new director of children’s services has been appointed at beleaguered Oxfordshire County Council – where a damning Ofsted report on the special education needs and disabilities (SEND) provision led to the collapse of the ruling alliance between Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens.

Lisa Lyons will start work at the Council in February, joining from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, where she is director of children and family services.

Lisa has nearly 30 years’ experience in children’s and adults’ safeguarding, statutory social care, youth offending, early help, SEND, education and inclusion services.

Lisa said: “I am truly privileged to be able to join Oxfordshire County Council as the director of children’s services. I am joining a council that is determined to make a positive difference to children and young people. The enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism of those I’ve already met shines through. They recognise that we have improvements to make for children and young people with SEND, and everyone is working hard, developing a plan that will deliver the necessary changes.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with councillors, staff and our partners, building on the good work that’s already underway.”

In July Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission released a highly critical report on the Council’s SEND service saying that not enough young people were getting access to the education they needed.   It also criticized the quality of health care plans, said families felt they were not being listened to and noted outcomes were very dependent on who dealt with a case.

Councillor John Howson, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Young People’s Services, said: “Lisa has extensive experience across many organisations in children’s services, including SEND and service transformation at a senior level.

“Most recently in Stoke-on-Trent, Lisa leaves a service that has had its first Ofsted ‘good’ judgment for children in care and care leavers, is judged ‘good’ across the board for adult and community learning, and just this week, Ofsted have found that more children in the city are achieving security and stability in permanent homes.

“In Oxfordshire, work on our improvement journey for children and young people with SEND continues and is an absolute priority. I’m confident with Lisa’s proven track record, she is well equipped to lead the way, ensuring every child and young person in Oxfordshire gets the very best start in life.”

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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