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High profile appointment for Gateshead Safeguarding Boards

Posted on Monday 31 October 2016

Gateshead Council has made a high profile appointment to its safeguarding boards for children and adults.

Former government advisor Sir Paul Ennals has been appointed as the new Independent Chair of both the Gateshead Local Safeguarding Children Board and the Safeguarding Adults Board. He takes up the positions this week.

Sir Paul brings a wealth of national experience and knowledge of the safeguarding agenda.  This includes a previous appointment as Chief Executive of the National Children's Bureau, Chair of the Children's Workforce Development Council and he is currently both the Chair of Haringey LSCB since May 2014 and of South Tyneside LSCB since September 2015.

Previous roles include Director of Education and Employment for the RNIB, vice-chairman of the government's National Advisory Group on Special Educational Needs (SEN), Chair of the Council for Disabled Children and founder Chair of the Special Educational Consortium.

He has worked closely with previous governments on developing national policy for children and for vulnerable adults, served on the Department of Health Strategy Group for the Children's National Service Framework, and chaired the group which produced the core standards. 

He currently chairs the Voluntary Organisations Network North East (VONNE), Fareshare North East, and the Fulfilling Lives Strategic Board. 

He was awarded a CBE for services to children with Special Educational Needs in January 2002 and was knighted for services to children in June 2009. He currently lives on the North East coast, in Whitley Bay

Says Sir Paul: “I am delighted and honoured to take up this position. Gateshead has a strong track record of partnership working and I am looking forward to building on that tradition.”

Councillor Angela Douglas, Gateshead Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, which includes Safeguarding and Family Support, says: “We are delighted that we have managed to appoint Sir Paul with his vast experience and standing.

“He has a huge knowledge of working with children and vulnerable adults and also has a great familiarity with and awareness of, disability issues. He is a highly experienced multi-agency Chair and public speaker with an excellent reputation at national level.”

She added: “His skills and the sheer range of relevant experience and understanding that he will bring to the role will be invaluable to Gateshead. His appointment is a real coup for us.”

Despite Sir Paul being appointed to act as Independent Chair to both Boards, there is still a clear plan to maintain two separate partnerships. However the appointment of a single chair, particularly one with such significant experience, will allow for closer working between both Safeguarding Boards as well as more effective practice and efficiency in the long term.