WillisPalmer is continuing to provide our expert social work and psychological services during lockdown. We are utilising technology alongside safe working practices in line with government guidance to enable us to continue supporting vulnerable children and families.

Call 01206 878178 to discuss your requirements.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Education secretary names preferred candidate for next children’s commissioner role

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has set out his preferred candidate to be the next children’s commissioner for England when Anne Longfield steps down in February 2021.
Mr Williamson has named Dame Rachel de Souza as his preferred candidate to be the next children’s commissioner for England, following approval by the prime minister. Dame Rachel de Souza will now go on to attend a pre-appointment hearing before the Education Select Committee, on a date to be confirmed by the committee.

The education secretary said: “I look forward to finalising the appointment of Dame Rachel de Souza as the next children’s commissioner, where she will bring her considerable experience of raising outcomes for every child to this essential role.”

Currently the Chief Executive of the Inspiration Trust – a multi-academy trust of 14 academies based in Norfolk and north Suffolk, which aims to turnaround poorly performing schools - Dame Rachel de Souza was appointed a Dame in the New Year’s Honours in 2014 for her services to Education.

The Education Select Committee will conduct the pre- appointment hearing and then publish their recommendations, which the Education Secretary will consider before deciding whether to finalise the appointment.

Mr Williamson also appointed Annie Hudson as the new Chair of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, a key oversight role in children’s social care. The independent panel of experts was established in July 2018 to review serious child safeguarding incidents, when children have died or suffered serious harm, or where abuse or neglect is suspected. Ms Hudson will take over from Interim Chair Karen Manners QPM, whose appointment ends on 24 December.

Formerly the chief executive of The College of Social Work, Ms Hudson is also a former director of children’s services at both Lambeth Borough Council in London and Bristol City Council. She also comes with a wealth of experience on several national boards, including as a member of the What Works Centre for Children Social Care advisory board and as a trustee at The Social Care Institute for Excellence and Oxfam GB.

Annie Hudson, said: “I feel immensely privileged and excited to have been appointed to the role of Chair of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel. I want to do all that I can to make sure that the Panel’s work has a very clear and positive impact on safeguarding practice and, most crucially, on the lives of children, young people, and their families.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “It is more important than ever before to have experienced and dedicated colleagues working with us in a shared ambition to protect and defend the most vulnerable children.

“Annie Hudson’s impressive and proven leadership in children’s services makes her best placed to drive the important work of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel.

“I am grateful to Anne Longfield and Karen Manners for their service, acting as a champion for the children in this country who need the most support,” he added.

The children’s commissioner serves a six-year term and current commissioner Anne Longfield OBE will continue in her role until 28 February 2021.

Make an enquiry

A multi-disciplinary organisation providing independent, high quality social work and psychological services. Contact us with your requirements and speak to a member of our team who will help you today.
Make an Enquiry

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

CQC rates Gender Identity Services at Tavistock and Portman inadequate


The Gender Identity Development Services at Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust’s London and Leeds clinics have been rated inadequate by The Care Commission and told to improve their services and waiting times significantly.

Inspectors carried out an announced, focused inspection at the trust in October and November due to concerns raised by healthcare professionals and [...]

Read Full Story

Attendance rates during lockdown are placing schools under ‘tremendous pressure’


Schools have been placed under ‘tremendous pressure’ as a result of attendance rates being much higher in the current national lockdown than in the first lockdown in March 2020.

Department for Education statistics reveal that:

- Attendance rates were 21% in state-funded primary schools on 13 January in comparison to 4% between March and May 2020.

- In [...]

Read Full Story

Unidentified child abuse is pervasive - it affects every aspect of your life


Clare Jerrom talks to Dr Anna Preston about leaving the NHS after 16 years, joining WillisPalmer as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, taking a lead on the quality assurance of all psychological reports and why it is imperative that vulnerable children experiencing neglect or abuse are identified immediately and sign-posted for help.

When Dr Anna Preston [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram