Lambeth Council has welcomed its newly appointed Executive Director of Children and Young People’s Service, Debbie Jones, this week.
Debbie brings a wealth of experience to the role and has worked in local government and with children and young people services for many years. Having arrived from Luton Council from her previous role as Corporate Director of Children and Learning, Debbie describes the move to Lambeth as ‘returning to my local roots’ after beginning her career as a social worker in Southwark.
Debbie has a varied and impressive track record, having climbed the career ladder in a number of Local Authorities, in the Social Care field as well as a spell in further Education. In addition, she has worked with Central Government on a number of key policy initiatives. In recent years she has occupied senior positions in Slough, Durham, Stoke on Trent as well as Luton which includes two positions as Director of Children’s Services.
Her ambition is to build on the impressive achievements of her predecessor, Phyllis Dunipace, who for seven years led Lambeth’s Children and Young People’s Service. Her key achievements include: A Joint Area Review which judged Lambeth Children’s Services as ‘good’ across all areas, GCSE pass rates improving from 28 per cent five A-C pass rate to 71 per cent 2009, the Youth Offending Team has moved from a failing service in 2005 to a ‘good service’ that is reducing youth crime, and successfully attracting £300m Building Schools for the Future funds which has seen four new schools opened – three of which have won national awards.
Debbie, said: “To do this job in Lambeth will be a privilege and I am delighted to have been selected. Lambeth ticks all the boxes for me. It’s successful, richly diverse, rapidly improving and hugely ambitious for its communities and most particularly for children and young people. This is also about me getting back to my South London roots as I started my career as a social worker in the London Borough of Southwark.
“My ambition is to build on the impressive achievements of my predecessor, Phyllis Dunipace, and to take Lambeth’s Children and Young People’s Service to the next level. This will not be an easy ride, given the current public sector climate, public expectations and increasing demand, but then I have no illusions and I relish a tough challenge. I am looking forward to working in Lambeth and to continue to make a difference for all the children, young people and families in Lambeth.”
Councillor Steve Reed, Lambeth Council Leader, said: “We are delighted to welcome Debbie to Lambeth. Her track record speaks for itself and although her predecessor, Phyllis Dunipace, will be a tough act to follow, in Debbie we believe we have found the right successor.”