Media Statement - Leadership in the Children’s Trust: Change and Continuity (26 May 2023)
Read our media statement - Leadership in the Children’s Trust: Change and Continuity (updated 26 May 2023).
Media statement - updated 26 May 2023
Birmingham Children’s Trust was established in 2018 by the City Council. Our job was to build a new organisation that would establish the conditions that enabled good social work to thrive in the city, after many years of ‘Inadequate’ Ofsted judgements.
In building the Trust and in leading its work since, its Chair, Andrew Christie, and Chief Executive, Andy Couldrick, were clear about what needed to be achieved: a ‘Good’ rating by Ofsted, the removal by Government of the Improvement Direction as a result, and a new contract with the Council, reflecting their confidence in the Trust as the vehicle they want to continue to deliver their children’s social care services.
All three targets have now been hit. In March the Council approved a new 10-year contract with the Trust. In April Ofsted published the report of its inspection of all Trust services, all rated ‘Good’, and today (26 May) the Government confirmed they have lifted the Improvement Direction on the Council after over ten years.
These achievements are as a result of extraordinary hard work and commitment from everyone in the Trust, superbly led by its directors and assistant directors, and of some real support and commitment from partners in public and voluntary services right across the city, starting of course with Birmingham City Council, our owner, commissioner and key strategic partner. We recognise that there is always more to do!
Having reached this important milestone, Andrew and Andy now plan to move on from their current positions. They are seeking to do this in a way that minimises disruption and maximises continuity for the Trust. Andrew Christie intends to retire as Chair. Andy Couldrick intends to resign as Chief Executive, and has been asked by the Council and the Trust Board to become the next Chair of the Trust. This means he will stay heavily involved, supported by the Trust Board, liaising with the Council and supporting the new Chief Executive. A new Chief Executive will be recruited. Andrew and Andy will continue in their roles until a new Chief Executive is appointed and has started work.
Andrew Christie said: "I have greatly enjoyed my time as Chair of the Trust Board. I am lucky to have been supported by great Non-Executive and Executive Directors, and a strong team right across the Children’s Trust. Our partners in the Council have supported us very well, and the recent Ofsted report is a testament to the great work the Trust has done over the last five years.
"I am delighted to be handing the reins to Andy Couldrick, knowing that his knowledge and understanding of the Trust will not be lost. I wish him, and everyone in Birmingham Children’s Trust, every continued success and will watch on with pride as we go from strength to strength."
Andy Couldrick said: "It has been the privilege of my professional career to come to Birmingham, to assemble and then to lead the Children’s Trust through its first five years. We have made great progress, thanks to the commitment and excellence of the leaders, managers and staff right across the Trust, the support and challenge we have received from our Board, and the commitment of our partners to ‘get it right’ for the city’s most vulnerable children, young people and families.
"I am excited about our next steps and I look forward to becoming the Chair, and working with a new Chief Executive, with new ideas and fresh perspectives, who will help us kick on, from Good to Great! I hope I can provide some continuity and stability through this period of change, and look forward to continuing to work with the Trust’s brilliant people."
Councillor Karen McCarthy, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "The removal of the government's Improvement Direction after 10 years is a significant milestone and testament to the hard work of everyone across the Trust and Council along with our partners. We know there is more to do but we are providing much better outcomes for our children and families and these improvements are ongoing and sustained.
"I'd like to thank Andy Couldrick and Andrew Christie for their fantastic work over the last few years and wish them well. Working with them and their colleagues has been a very positive experience."
26 May 2023