Radical Reformers ep.5: Lesley Hagger, Executive Director of Children's Services, Sandwell
On this episode I speak to Lesley Hagger, the Executive Director of Childrens Services at Sandwell Council.
Lesley and her team have been on the front line during the pandemic and we get a remarkable glimpse into what a struggle it has been over the past nine months. Social workers have had to adapt (e.g. meeting in gardens and finding ways to engage with children and families whilst kitted out in PPE) and have found new ways to work with schools and other partners.
We discuss the award winning innovation Sandwell have put in place to support new arrival children into the school system, which involves preparing children for mainstream schooling in a specialist setting.
Sandwell was fortunate enough to have a strong voluntary and community sector in existence pre-pandemic and we discuss the importance of that in helping them respond quickly to the crisis.
Lesley also emphasises that whilst national and regional politicians have been slugging it out on television (my description not Lesley’s), national and local public servants have been working together to try to do what’s best for children and families.
I hope you enjoy it.