The day after our update on children’s services A Reality Check For Children’s Services which followed a meeting of the Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee , Wirral Council issued a press release to announce the appointment of Paul Boyce as the new director of children’s services rather than do so at the aforementioned meeting.
Welcoming the news of Mr Boyce’s appointment, Cllr Bernie Mooney, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Paul is an excellent appointment.We said we wanted an outstanding candidate and that is exactly what we have.
Everywhere he has worked he has driven major improvements…….
Getting someone of Paul’s calibre – he has a national reputation as a leader in this field – to come to Wirral and help us improve even further is a real coup for us.
I know he will hit the ground running and very quickly deliver the excellent children’s services we all want for our young people and families.”
As you can read in full HERE Boyce Appointment the Wirral Council press release reveals that Paul Boyce is the current executive director for children at Knowsley Council . It also states that :
“he led improvement in children’s services at Knowsley, Cheshire West and Chester and Halton councils improving the services and Ofsted rating in each area cementing his position as one of the most sought after leaders in the UK within children’s services”.
Needless to say our curious readers wanted to know more about the appointment and the claims made about Boyce. Consequently it has been discovered that Boyce left Halton Council in 2009 for Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) and acquired the responsibility for a wide range of children’s services from July 2009 to September 2011. As you can see here CW&C Ofsted Ofsted judged the services as inadequate in 2010 under 9 categories including safeguarding children. Subsequently from September 2011 to March 2013 Boyce moved into a new post of Head of Strategy and Commissioning whilst the overall responsibility for children’s services was transferred to Gerald Meehan (now CWaC CEO ) and Sandra Campbell who were brought in to oversee the Ofsted improvement plan which followed the inadequate judgement. Mr Boyce left CWaC when that post was removed under a reorganisation in March 2013 with a rumoured six figure redundancy payment.
The following month Boyce was appointed as interim director of children’s and adult services in Knowsley and at a later date he was permanently appointed to the post. Lucky for some , eh?
April 2014 Ofsted judged the overall effectiveness of Knowsley’s children who need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers as inadequate – this after Mr Boyce had been in post for exactly a year. Whilst a subsequent Ofsted inspection published earlier this year identified that there had been significant improvements in children’s services and they were no longer rated inadequate, the report identified that improvements were still required in some key areas , specifically , children who need help and protection and children looked after and achieving permanence Knowsley Ofsted
It remains to be seen whether future improvements in Wirral’s children’s services bear testimony to the stellar reputation that Paul Boyce is claiming for himself and repeated by Wirral councillors desperate for someone to remedy the current inadequate status of children’s services. But then with things as they currently stand the only way is up for a highflyer like Mr Boyce.