12:42PM, Tuesday 13 February 2018
Nicola Clemo, the chief executive of the Slough Children’s Services Trust (SCST), has announced that she is to retire at the end of April.
The 62-year-old has been with the trust since July 2015, ahead of its official launch in October 2015.
In 2016, she was awarded an OBE for her contribution to children’s services.
She said: “This has been an incredibly hard decision for me.
“I have been thinking seriously about it for a while and I will be leaving at the end of April.
“I shall feel very sad to leave such a fantastic workforce but after almost three years at an unbelievable pace, I have decided that I need to slow down and spend more time with my family.”
Despite having signed a six year contract, a trust spokeswoman said that Ms Clemo had said from the beginning that she intended to stay for three years, having delayed her retirement to take on the role.
She hoped to oversee the trust’s first full Ofsted inspection, which she expected to be this summer, but additional monitoring visits from the Government watchdog have delayed this.
“She thought long and hard about it. She feels she can go now as the trust is in as strong a position as it’s ever been in,” said a trust spokeswoman.
“She feels it’s strong enough that she can let go,” she added.
SCST board chair Robert Tapsfield said: “Nicola’s dedication and hard work has put the trust on the path to success.
“We are all very sorry to see her go but she has worked tirelessly to get the trust to where it is now and all of us are very grateful to her for her passion, commitment and energy.
“The timing of Nicola’s decision to retire now is to fit in with family commitments and is not related to the publication of the latest Ofsted monitoring visit."
He added: “We have a strong leadership team in place and we will look to recruit an interim before Nicola goes. She has been a very dynamic and strong leader and will leave hard shoes to fill, so we will take our time to recruit a permanent replacement.”
Slough’s children’s services were rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted in 2014 while it was still run by Slough Borough Council.
They received the same rating in February 2016, not long after the trust too over, following a monitoring visit examining all aspects of the service.
The trust argues that it had a very low starting point to begin with and has made promising progress.
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