THE chief of children’s services in Hampshire is to become responsible for child protection and education on the neighbouring Isle of Wight.

The county council has announced that John Coughlan is to be appointed director of children’s services for both councils.

The joint appointment comes after Isle of Wight Council was rated “inadequate” for child protection arrangements and its deputy director for children’s safeguarding and social care resigned.

Under the proposed partnership, which has to be formally approved by the Isle of Wight Council on March 20, both local authorities share the senior leadership and management of the Isle of Wight’s children’s services over the next three to five years.

Isle of Wight Council leader John Pugh said: “By sharing a director of children’s services with a neighbouring local authority, which has considerable expertise in this area, we would have the opportunity to achieve the step-change in performance, which the Isle of Wight urgently needs.

“Under the proposal, John Coughlan and his team will provide strong senior management to both children’s social care and education.”

Cllr Pugh said the model of joint working in children’s services was already working well in other local authorities.