National Children’s Centres Team Supremo Appointed

Liz Railton, director of children’s services in Essex, has been announced as the programme director for the new national children’s centres support programme being led by the Together for Children partnership. Liz has over 30 years experience in local government delivering social care and children’s services. Liz was director of social services in Cambridgeshire before moving to Essex in 2003, initially to take up the combined role of chief education officer and director of social services.

This role predated the statutory requirement for authorities to bring shildren’s services together.

Liz said: “I am delighted to be joining the children’s centres programme as such as an exciting time in its development. I want the TfC partnership to bring real value to the task of supporting local authorities in the challenge of delivering this programme. The partnership offers a significant opportunity for private and voluntary sector partners to draw on their expertise and capacity and use it to complement and supplement the skills and commitment that is already in place in local authorities.

“Essex was an early adopter of integrated children’s services, well before Every Child Matters, so I recognise that children’s centres are a
key part of the overall ECM programme.  I am greatly looking forward to directing a programme that has so much potential to achieve better
outcomes for children. It is vital that the programme helps to deliver on that potential.”

Elaine Simpson, from TfC lead partner, Serco said: “Our programme is unusual in that it is a private sector and voluntary sector partnership supporting the public sector.  We are thrilled that Liz has agreed to join us and are confident that her extensive skills and experience will bring significant value to all our stakeholders.”

Liz will join the programme full time in January 2007.