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New director of children and family services appointed

Published: Tuesday, 1st February 2022

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has appointed a new permanent director of children and family services, as positive progress continues to be made for the children of Stoke-on-Trent.

Lisa Lyons, who was previously interim children’s services director for Sefton Metropolitan Council, will be taking up the role as director of children and family services at the end of March.

Lisa has over 25 years’ experience in children’s and adults safeguarding, statutory social care, youth offending, early help, Special Education Needs (SEND), education and inclusion services. She has been Chief Executive of Slough Children’s Service Trust as well as Director of Children’s Services Wokingham Borough Council.  Most recently she was appointed to lead Sefton Metropolitan Council’s improvement journey under a Department for Education improvement notice for social care and continuous improvement in education, particularly in challenges around SEND, school’s budget constraints and school improvement.

Councillor Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “We had a good, strong field of candidates apply for the role – people want to be part of shaping Stoke’s future. We are delighted that Lisa will be joining us shortly. Work on our improvement journey within children’s services continues to our number one priority and we know with Lisa’s proven track record, she is well equipped to help continue the strong progress we have already made.”

Lisa said: “I’m really pleased to be joining Stoke-on-Trent at such an exciting time as director for children and family services where real progress and improvement is being made. There is a real sense of team spirit that has come through during the interviews and it sets the local authority apart from others.  I’m very much looking forward to working with councillors, staff and our partners building on the good work that’s already well underway.”

This appointment comes as a monitoring visit carried out by Ofsted inspectors in December 2021, revealed an “improvement in the quality of practice for children and families in receipt of services”. The city council is due another visit in the Spring.

Councillor Dave Evans, cabinet member for children and young people said: “It was hugely encouraging to have a strong field of candidates who applied to come to join Stoke-on-Trent and we believe that we’ve got the very best with Lisa. We’re looking forward to working together to achieve all that we possibly can for the children and young people of this city.”