A new beginning for Bradford District with Children at its heart

Bradford is seeking to recruit an ambitious, dynamic and experienced leadership team for the new Children and Families Trust for Bradford District and a new Strategic Director of Children’s Services.

The Children and Families Trust for Bradford District will be an independent Trust whose sole focus will be on improving the lives of vulnerable children across the district and providing a step change in the quality and delivery of those services.

The Trust is being set up jointly by Bradford Council and the Department for Education with support from PwC. It follows the report from Children’s Commissioner, Steve Walker, to the Secretary of State in January this year on how best to drive improvement across Children’s Services.

The new leadership team, along with the new Strategic Director of Children’s Services, will bring fresh impetus to drive that improvement and make a real difference to children’s lives across our district. The Trust’s leadership team will work closely with the Strategic Director of Children’s Services, who will play a crucial role linking both the Trust and the Council’s services.

The Strategic Director will need to have a whole systems approach to delivering high-quality services for our young people – from pre-birth to young adults. An experienced leader with a detailed grasp of the Council’s statutory duties will work closely with partners across the district to lead in the development of an innovative, efficient, and effective long-term vision for children and young people’s services.

The team will be in at the start of the Trust’s journey and will have a key say and opportunity to shape its formation. It represents a unique opportunity for the right people to make their mark in Bradford and deliver transformational change.

Critical to the Trust’s future success is how it builds partnerships with the key partner agencies who support it, along with the voluntary sector, schools, and other partners.

But the most important factor will be listening to our children, so their needs are put first and we can transform services into ones that really deliver the best services possible for them.

We are the fifth biggest Metropolitan District in the country and the UK’s youngest city, with more than 140,000 children aged under 18.

Our district is alive with energy, enterprise, and potential and is home to some of the finest cultural assets and landscapes in the country. It is a great place to live and work. Bradford offers a unique blend of opportunity, challenge, and exceptional quality of life to outstanding and ambitious leaders.

Our overarching mission is to secure an inclusive and sustainable district where everyone can reach their potential. We are looking for motivated, innovative professionals who are committed to helping us achieve that goal and the new Children and Families Trust for Bradford District will have an important role to play in that agenda.

Like every big city, we face challenges. We must improve educational attainment, strengthen productivity and skills, tackle inequalities in income, opportunity, and health, and secure the infrastructure investments that will unlock our growth potential and deliver better services for vulnerable children.

We want people who think big, set high standards, and lead high-performing teams; people who can work effectively in partnership across organizations, systems, and communities to harness the district’s assets and resources and unlock its full potential; people with the will to succeed and deliver the transformational change needed to improve and sustain outcomes.

If this sounds like you and you want to lead or be part of a high-performing team in one of the country’s biggest, most diverse, vibrant, and enterprising cities then we’d love to hear from you.

Eileen Milner, Chair of the new Children and Families Trust for Bradford District, said:

These are totemic appointments for Bradford. We want the best, with the right values and the right behaviours. We know this is a challenge, and the successful candidates will need to demonstrate experience in transformation, working in partnership, and working in a new entity. But the new Children and Families Trust for Bradford District presents a fantastic opportunity for the new management team to make a real difference and be there at the start of what will be an amazing journey for the children of Bradford.

Kersten England, Chief Executive of Bradford Council, said:

Bradford is a district that is bursting with opportunity. We are the number one leveling-up opportunity in the country and our young, vibrant and dynamic population makes our district a very special place. Our new Children and Families Trust for Bradford District, along with the Strategic Director of Children’s Services role, will be at the heart of how we transform children’s social care for vulnerable children in our district. The new Chief Executive and their senior team will need to live and breathe social work and have a deep understanding of what outstanding leadership and practice look like. It will be challenging, but these roles present a great opportunity for ambitious leaders with the right skill set to make a real mark.

Councilor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said:

Bradford is a phenomenal city and district with huge potential. The fact that we are City of Culture 2025 shows our ambition, and nothing is more important than our children. Our district is complex and varied and candidates will need to demonstrate how they can work strategically to build partnerships that deliver the best outcomes for children. This is a unique opportunity and we want experienced leaders who put children at the heart of every decision and who can drive the positive change that will make a real difference to their lives.