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New team at the top: Council’s Children’s Services welcomes ‘outstanding’ new colleagues

3:23 pm, Thursday, 21st December 2023 - 5 months ago

Children and families

North East Lincolnshire Council has appointed a number of senior managers to lead it’s Children’s Services, all with recent experience of running Ofsted-rated ‘outstanding’ services.

Incoming Director of Children’s Services at North East Lincolnshire Council, Ann-Marie Matson, and her team will take over, continuing the Council’s work to offer the best support at the right time for vulnerable children, young people and their families.

Ann-Marie has taken up the reigns from Interim Director, Janice Spencer OBE, who led has led the service since September 2022. Janice worked closely with Lincolnshire County Council, Ofsted and the Department for Education to improve the Council’s Children’s Services.

At a recent event with staff, Janice thanked staff for their hard work and support over the past 13-months:

“The sooner you intervene to support a struggling family, the better the outcome that is achieved.

“In North East Lincolnshire I’ve seen that partnership working is much stronger than it ever was before, and that has been critical in making the improvements that we’ve achieved so far.

“I’ve been here for 13-months, and can say that North East Lincolnshire gets under your skin. It’s a great place, and it now has some strong foundations to build a really great support mechanism for children and families.”

Speaking ahead of her first day, Ann-Marie Matson said:

“I’m really looking forward to continuing the hard work – building upon the foundations that have been put in place.

“I’m really excited to be joining the team here. There are lots of great people doing incredible work every day to safeguard vulnerable children and keep families safe and happy.

“This work is without a doubt one of the biggest responsibilities that a Council has, and it’s important that we are able to provide safe and effective support to families at the right time, and only where absolutely necessary.

“I can’t wait to hit the ground running.”

Ann-Marie joins North East Lincolnshire Council from North Lincolnshire, where she has over 25 years experience of working with Children and Families.

Joining Ann-Marie’s team are Charlene Sykes, Service Director Safeguarding and Early Help, and Paul Cowling, Service Director Regulated Services.

Speaking following the new appointments, North East Lincolnshire Council’s portfolio holder for children and education, Cllr Margaret Cracknell, said:

“I’m thrilled that we have been able to appoint a permanent team to lead our children’s services going forward.

“Janice and her team have done a brilliant job of helping us to really recover from a difficult place, putting in the building blocks for a great future.

“Although only an interim appointment, Janice brought a tremendous amount of experience, support and tenacity to the role, and has helped us to get to a really strong position.

“I know that Ann-Marie will continue that work. It’s fantastic to have a permanent team at the top with a really strong and experienced leadership. I’m optimistic for the future of our children’s services.”

Ann-Marie and her team joined North East Lincolnshire Council in December 2023.

As part of the transformation, the Council is hiring new social workers at all stages of their careers. Visit the jobs section at to find out more. We’re also hiring to new key roles to support the strategic development of our Children’s Services team.

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