£300,000 For Departing Head of Wandsworth Children's Services

Dawn Warwick took redundancy after department rated 'inadequate' by OFSTED

The former head of children's services at Wandsworth Council has received a substantial pay off despite being made redundant after the department received a poor assessment from OFSTED.

In a recent post on Twitter, the leader of the Labour group, Simon Hogg said that a former member of staff had been paid £300,000.

When we asked the local Labour party for further details they told this website, 'We won't be commenting further' however we can confirm that the payment was made to Dawn Warwick after she took voluntary redundancy. 

Dawn Warwick

In a report prepared by Chief Executive Paul Martin this June it is stated, 'After due consultation with the post holders in the proposed ringfence, the current Director of Children’s Services has agreed to leave the Council through voluntary redundancy, and the Deputy Director has agreed to assume the role of statutory Director of Children’s Services, combining his current line management responsibilities for the three Assistant Directors with all other aspects of the Director post.'

The redundancy package is laid out in the paper. It states that the costs of redundancy for the Director will be - Estimated severance £151,000 plus Capital costs associated with the unreduced pension: £154,000. The Council believes that there will be long term savings with the paper stating the 'estimated savings of £115,000 in 2018/19 and £197,000 in 2019/20 and thereafter will be generated from the reduction in one senior management post'.

A spokesperson for the council responded to a request for more information, "All decisions reached by the council are fully transparent, published openly and subject to detailed public and democratic scrutiny. As in all similar situations, the council implements its contractual severance scheme arrangements on the basis of length of service and salary level. These severance terms are exactly the same for all employees and cover only contractual obligations.”

The OFSTED inspectors found that overall services in Wandsworth for children in need of help and protection, and services for looked-after children, were 'inadequate' in a reported released in February 2016 after they inspected the borough in November and December 2015. The report stated that 'the standard of social work practice for children and young people and the quality of leadership, management and governance have declined since children's services in Wandsworth were last inspected in 2012'.

Dawn Warwick said at the time, "We accept the report has found unacceptable shortcomings which we are now addressing from top to bottom."

In a more recent report by OFSTED published this year, Wandsworth Council's Children's Services was acknowledged as 'Improving'. John Johnson former Deputy of Children's Services has taken on the role of Head of the department.

New department head John Johnson

The department will be reviewed next by OFSTED in three years and in this period should be implementing the series of recommendations laid out by the inspectors to help the council achieve a good rating for its next full inspection.

August 24, 2018