New director starts
Suffolk County Council has welcomed its new director of children and young people’s services, Sue Cook.
She joined the authority on February 11 at an important time, with educational attainment high on the agenda.
Talking about starting at Suffolk County Council, Ms Cook said: “I am delighted to be here and am looking forward to working with my colleagues on the challenges that lie ahead.
“I am excited about getting out and visiting people; meeting headteachers, governors and families.
“The leadership at the council has made it clear that improving education in Suffolk is a key priority, and I’m keen to drive up standards.
“Suffolk is on the up. There is that ambition and tenacity of not giving up.
“The potential is in everyone; it’s in the leadership and it’s in the council- we are going to make a real difference.”
Ms Cook, who was interim corporate director of children and learning at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council since February 2011, is a qualified social worker and between 2006 and 2011, was head of children’s specialist services at the authority.
Her past experience spans both adults and children’s services and Sue worked at Essex County Council for 15 years in senior roles including the head of service for looked after children – a post she held until 2006. Prior to this, Sue worked within the voluntary sector for 10 years leading the development of innovative services for children and families.
As Southend’s corporate director of children and learning, Sue made a significant contribution to the authority being named 2012 Council of the Year and led the department to being declared ‘good with many outstanding features’ in a July 2012 Ofsted inspection.
Southend is one of only four authorities in the country to be awarded an ‘outstanding’ grade for ensuring children are, and feel, safe.
Ms Cook also headed up the department when Southend schools achieved their best ever exam results for two consecutive years.
Councillor Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education and young people, said: “Sue has a wealth of experience in helping schools to achieve better results and protecting the most vulnerable young people in society.
“Her skills will be a valuable asset to Suffolk.
“The county council has made it absolutely clear that improving educational attainment at all ages is our number one priority and I’m confident that Sue will be able to play a significant role in that.
“I look forward to working with Sue as we continue to move forward the department and the services it provides.”
For all the latest news see today’s (Thursday, February 28) Echo.
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