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New director flies the flag for raising children’s aspirations


Jul 17, 2017 #Government], #Grimsby

North Yorkshire’s new director of children’s services, Stuart Carlton, is determined to drive forward the county council’s ambitious new plan to improve life chances for children and young people.

Stuart Carlton has been getting out and about across the county, meeting children and young people and new staff in preparation for taking over the job when Pete Dwyer, who has been director for the past 4 years, retires at the end of last week (Friday 28th).

“Raising the aspirations of all children is really important to me” said Mr Carlton.  “Getting them to look up, to see that they can do more and providing them all with the opportunities to do more is what drives me from day to day.”

Mr Carlton, who is from Grimsby, joins North Yorkshire from Lincolnshire county council where he was assistant director for children’s services. He began his career in social services in 1988 and is qualified in both social work and social care management.

“All my family worked in local trades and I was the first person to go to university, so I know what aspiration is all about”, he said. “My dad was the son of a poor trawler man, one of eight, and though he passed his exams to go to grammar school, his family could not afford to send him and he left school at 14.  So removing barriers and creating opportunities so that all children can be the best that they can be is a fundamental priority for me.”

Mr Carlton joins a service which has gained a national recognition for best practice at a time when children’s services nationally are struggling under enormous pressure.   The Department for Education has made North Yorkshire one of only seven councils nationally to be a Partner in Practice to share innovation in children’s services with other authorities.

Richard Flinton, chief executive of the county council said: “Stuart is exactly the can-do sort of person we need to lead our children’s services.  Lincolnshire, like North Yorkshire, is a Partner in Practice for the Government and Stuart has an impressive reputation for delivering excellence.

“He will build on the great work already delivered by Pete Dwyer and through strong innovative leadership ensure continued improvement despite the continuing challenging budget climate and a more autonomous education system.”

“We are delighted that Stuart is now in post” said County Councillor Janet Sanderson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children’s Services.  “He comes to us with a great track record and his priorities fit hand in glove with our new children’s plan Young and Yorkshire 2 that children and young people should lead healthy, happy and achieving lives .”

The plan, which was adopted by the council this week calls to action a wide range of partners – schools, families, communities, business, statutory agencies and voluntary groups – to be even more ambitious in tackling some of the more difficult challenges that can limit children’s life chances, be it the school they go to, the place they grow up in or the circumstances of individual young people and their families.

“More of our children go to good or outstanding schools and we have reduced our care population by 20 per cent,” said Cllr Sanderson.  “But we want to broaden our reach.  To make change happen we need collective action across all parts of the system and Stuart Carlton is well placed to be a lead on this.

“Like the whole council, he believes that we need to be a county that succeeds for all and delivers a generation better equipped for not only great work but for life. “

By Emily