Kath O'Dwyer Profile
Kath joined Cheshire East Council in September 2015 as Executive Director of Children’s Services and Deputy Chief Executive. Nine months later, her role was converted to Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of People, which included overseeing Children’s Services, Adult’s Services, Communities and Public Health. Since April 2017 Kath has been Acting Chief Executive.
Before joining Cheshire East Council, Kath held the role of National Director for Social Care in Ofsted. This role saw the introduction of an improvement role for Ofsted in relation to failing children’s services departments and the development and introduction of new inspection frameworks across the width and breath of children’s services activity.
Prior to this Kath worked at Warrington Borough Council, and during her time there took on the roles of Director of Children’s Services and Executive Director of People (Children’s services, Adult services, and Public Health.
During her recent career, Kath has worked in several other north west authorities including Halton Borough Council, Knowsley Borough Council, Rochdale Borough Council, Lancashire County Council and St Helens Council, as well as a senior role in Children’s Social Care for Serco, based in Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
Kath’s key achievements came during her time in Children’s Services at Halton Borough Council, Stoke-on-Trent and Warrington councils where she successfully led the authority out of government intervention and delivered improved inspection outcomes ensuring better services and experiences for vulnerable children and young people.
Kath chose to join Cheshire East Council as she found it to be one of the biggest councils in the north west, and enjoys a mix of urban and rural areas, deprivation and affluence, and welcomed the opportunity to work in a large and ambitious borough and the opportunity to combine the role of Executive Director of Children’s Services and the role of Deputy Chief Executive.
Upon joining the council, Kath’s key objectives for Children’s Services were to:
- Provide effective and robust challenge to the implementation, monitoring and review of the Ofsted improvement plan and ensure and support the delivery of effective children’s social care services
- Ensure and support the implementation of redesign and change programmes to our approach to ensuring high standards in all schools, with sufficient schools places and effective support for those children not in school
- Ensure and support the implementation of a comprehensive prevention and family support services (including emotional health and wellbeing) across the borough
- Ensure and support the further development of targeted, coordinated and effective arrangements for SEND (Special Education Needs and Disability) and preparations for any inspection.