Lead Councillor for Children


(1)      To be the Lead Councillor for all Children’s services under Section 19(1) of the Children Act 2004; to be accountable for their delivery, including when this is delivered by Brighter Futures for Children; and to exercise political responsibility for the effectiveness, availability, and value for money of all of the Council’s children’s services.


          [N.B. – the Children Act 2004 specifies that these functions are also the responsibility of the Director of Children’s Services]


          a)  Education services – the authority’s functions in its capacity as a local education authority, except those excluded under Section 18(3) of the Act (namely certain functions relating to further education, higher education, and adult education)


          b)  Social Services – the authority’s social services functions within the meaning of the Local Authorities Social Services Act 1970, insofar as they relate to children, and the local authority’s functions for children and young people leaving care


          c)  Health Services – any health-related functions exercised on behalf of an NHS body under Section 31 of the Health Act 1999, insofar as they relate to children


          d)  Inter-agency Co-operation – the new functions of the Children’s Services Authority set out in the Children Act, in particular building and leading the arrangements for inter-agency cooperation.


          e)  The functions conferred on Children’s Services Authorities under the Children Act 2004.


          f)   The role of the Lead Member for Children’s Services is set out in detail in Statutory Guidance  on the roles and responsibilities of the Director of Children’s Services and the Lead Member for Children’s Services (see: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/271429/directors_of_child_services_-_stat_guidance.pdf).


Brighter Futures for Children


(2)      To work with the Executive Director for Children’s Services and the Chair of Brighter Futures for Children and be accountable for the Company’s delivery of the Children’s Services functions of the authority covered by the service contract.


(3)      To ensure the effective commissioning and clienting of the contract with Brighter Futures for Children for the delivery of the following functions of the Council as Children’s Services Authority covered by the service contract:

·       Children’s Safeguarding

·       Early Help andPartnerships

·       Special EducationalNeeds

·       Quality Assurance andImprovement


(4)      In conjunction with Brighter Futures for Children:


(a)      To develop the local vision and drive improvements for local people, including integrated children’s services, with children, young people and their families placed at the centre of their policies and activities and to communicate this vision for children to councillors, and to the boards and partnerships on which they are either present or represented.


(b)      To provide a particular focus, with the Executive Director for Children’s Services and Chair of Brighter Futures for Children, on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children across all agencies. The responsibilities of the Chief Executive of the Company, the Director and Lead Councillor extend to all children receiving services in their area, irrespective of the type of school they attend, or their home local authority area.


(c)      To develop, promote and implement policies, strategies, and procedural arrangements to champion children’s interests both across functional boundaries within the local authority and across local partnerships to ensure that the needs of all children and young people, including the most disadvantaged and vulnerable, and their families and carers, are addressed, with a particular focus on promoting early identification and prevention.


(d)      To oversee the development and implementation of the Council’s Corporate Plan, Children and Young People’s Plan and related strategies and policies.


(e)      To be satisfied that the discharge of the authority’s statutory children’s services’ functions by Brighter Futures for Children is effective.


(5)      To ensure the provision of the following children’s services:


·       Commissioning Children’s Public Health 0-19 services, including health visiting and school nursing

·       Adoption – through Adopt Thames Valley – and post-adoption support

·       Youth Services provision (including where funded through the Housing Revenue Account)


(6)      To be consulted on, and oversee and monitor the responses from Brighter Futures for Children to inspections and consultation undertaken by external bodies (e.g. Ofsted and Care Quality Commission) on children’s services provision in Reading, and on developments outside Reading affecting residents in Reading.


Corporate Parenting


(7)      To contribute to, and be satisfied that the local authority demonstrates, high standards of corporate parenting, in particular by encouraging Members to promote the educational achievement and health and wellbeing of looked after children and children leaving care.

Post is held by