Children's Services boss stands down

Norfolk County Council has announced that Lisa Christensen, Director of Children’s Services, has decided to stand down from her role and will retire from the Authority in July.

Reaction to under-fire children's boss resignation

After nine MPs had called for her to resign over her part in the county's under-fire child protection service and failing schools, Norfolk's Director of Children's Services has announced that she's standing down.

But Lisa Christensen insists she wasn't pushed. Only yesterday the county council's support of schools was heavily criticised by education watchdog, Ofsted, and earlier this year a damning report branded its safeguarding service "inconsistent and patchy".

Kate Prout reports on today's developments...

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'It's been a privilege' says retiring boss

Lisa Christensen has worked at Norfolk County Council since October 2002, first as Director of Social Services and then, in 2005, of Children’s Services. Her career in public service spans 34 years – in local government, the voluntary sector and the NHS.

She said it had been a privilege to have worked in Norfolk for nearly 11 years through a period marked by fundamental and continuing policy changes and increasing financial stringency for the public sector.

I have been proud, and lucky, to have worked alongside colleagues in the County Council and throughout the public and voluntary sectors in Norfolk, and nationally, whose dedication to achieving better outcomes for children and young people is evident every day.

– Lisa Christensen

Decision follows 'inadequate' performace

The announcement follows increasing pressure on Ms Christensen after a string of poor performances by Norfolk's Children's Services.

An Ofsted report into the authority's safeguarding of children in February rated the service as inadequate across the board and branded it "inconsistent and patchy".

And ongoing poor performances at the county's schools led to the first ever local education authority inspection by the watchdog earlier this month to find out what had gone wrong.

Decision follows resignation calls from MPs

Lisa Christensen
Lisa Christensen has stepped down as head of Children's Services in Norfolk. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The decision follows a call from all nine of the county's MPs to resign after a damning inspection by the schools watchdog, Ofsted.

Norfolk County Council says Ms Christensen is taking early retirement and will receive only her contractual entitlement. She will receive two months’ gross salary in lieu of notice - £23,248.

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