Lambeth Council’s former Executive Director of Children and Young People’s Services has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List.
Phyllis Dunipace OBE, who retired from Lambeth in summer 2010 after 23 years, received the award for services to families.
For the past seven years Phyllis led the borough’s Children and Young People’s Service which is responsible for the borough’s schools, children’s social care, children looked after, the Building Schools for the Future programme, children’s centres, special educational needs and much more. This included being responsible for the education, wellbeing and safeguarding of all the borough’s 67,000 children, a responsibility she took very seriously.
She served Lambeth in numerous roles, including as a teacher, advisor, and inspector. Whilst at the Government Office for London she led on the guidance for Looked After Children. She has substantial experience as a senior officer with strong insight into the impact of poverty and social exclusion on children, young people and their families. She always asked the question of any new policy, ‘How will this make children’s lives better?’
Cllr Steve Reed, leader of Lambeth Council, said: “Phyllis dedicated her working life to public service and improving the lives of children and families, particularly the vulnerable, and she truly is an inspiration. We are enormously proud of all she and her team achieved.
“She made a huge contribution to the lives of young people in Lambeth over many years. At a time of great challenge for public services, this award is a welcome reminder of the difference dedicated public servants like Phyllis can make to the lives of individuals and families.”
Under Phyllis’s guidance, Lambeth’s Children and Young People’s Services was judged by the Joint Area Review as ‘good across all areas’.
GCSE results rose from 28% A-C passes in 1998 to 71% A*-C passes this year – four per cent above the national average; results for eleven year olds are also above national averages and the progress children made between the age of seven and the age of eleven was faster in Lambeth than anywhere else in the country in 2010.
Three quarters of Lambeth schools are judged ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and there are no schools causing Ofsted concern in the borough.
Before 2005, the borough had a one-star Social Services department. Lambeth’s recent unannounced inspection rated safeguarding as ‘good’ with no priority areas for action.