Rob Morrison, Chairman
Rob has wide ranging senior leadership experience having worked in a number of local authorities, including nearly ten years as Chief Executive Officer of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.
Following his retirement in 2011, he re-located to Wolverhampton and was appointed Chair of Engaging Communities Staffordshire (ECS) in 2012 a community interest company whose major role was to provide Healthwatch services in Staffordshire initially, but following its success, it expanded and now provides Healthwatch for 9 local authorities across the country as well as advocacy services in 3 local authorities.
He was appointed as Chair of Worcestershire Children First by the Secretary of State for Education, through a collaborative process with Worcestershire County Council, and is funded by the Department for Education.
Rob commented on his appointment as being an exciting opportunity to use his knowledge and experience to provide the Board Leadership required to continue the improvement journey and improve the outcomes for all children and young people.
Tina Russell, Chief Executive (Interim)
Tina began her career working with vulnerable children as a nursery nurse and then as a residential support worker before qualifying as a social worker in 1992. Post-qualifying, Tina worked across seven different local authorities for over 20 years building up a depth of experience in a wide range of social work roles before moving to her first Assistant Director post in 2014. Tina joined Worcestershire in October 2016. In December 2020 Tina said “Working as the director of Social Care & Safeguarding and leading the improvement journey has been the most rewarding time of my professional career. Seeing what we have achieved and experiencing the support, growth and commitment I have seen in my leadership team and the workforce makes me so very proud”
Appointed as Interim Chief Executive for Worcestershire Children First in February 2021 Tina says: “I will use my experience, my influence and my authority to realise our ambition and vision as a company and I will ensure our staff across the company have all the things they need to deliver high quality services that make a difference to the lives of children and young people”.
In addition to her role as Interim Chief Executive of Worcestershire Children First she will fulfil Worcestershire County Council’s statutory Director of Children’s Services role on an interim basis.
Sarah Wilkins, Director Education and Early Help
Sarah has over 25 years’ experience working in the public sector, primarily in children’s services, including roles in education, social care and early help. She joined Worcestershire County Council in December 2016 having previously worked at Shropshire Council since 2001. Sarah is a values’ driven and committed Local Authority Senior Officer with over 10 years' experience of senior management and system leadership including both service delivery and commissioning.
Phil Rook, Director of Resources
Phil has wide ranging senior financial leadership experience having worked in all areas of local government finance including four years as Finance Director of Tricuro, a Local Authority Trading Company wholly owned by Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth Councils. This included leading implementation from Council to a stable company. Prior to Tricuro, Phil worked for Dorset County Council in numerous senior finance role at both regional and national capacity.
Councillor Karen May, Non-Executive Director (WCC)
Karen has been a councillor at Worcestershire County Council since 2017 and is the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Transformation and Commissioning. In 2019 she was appointed the Leader of Bromsgrove District Council, which she has served since 2015. Karen has a strong interest in supporting and working with the community having been a member of Bournheath Parish Council for the last 14 years.
Councillor Marcus Hart, Non-Executive Director (WCC)
Marcus has been a councillor at Worcestershire County Council since 2005 and is the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Education and Skills. He has served as a district councillor in Wyre Forest since 2002, during which time he was Deputy Leader for 10 years and Leader for 5 years. Marcus is also a Parish Councillor on Wolverley and Cookley Parish Council where he lives. He was a school governor of a primary school from 2002-2015, a secondary school from 2006-2017 and a special school from 2009-2014. Marcus has been a solicitor since 2003 and specialises in mental health law and criminal law and works for Morgan Cullen and Ball in Birmingham.
Andrew Spice, Non-Executive Director (WCC)
Andrew joined Worcestershire County Council in April 2018 as their Director of Commercial and Commissioning. He has a broad range of experience having spent most of his early career at Royal Mail Group before undertaking a number of senior roles in public service organisations including the NHS. Prior to joining Worcestershire, Andrew was at Essex County Council for four and a half years undertaking a number of roles including Commercial Director. Andrew has extensive Non – Executive Director experience in the public and private sectors.
Claire Burgess, Non-Executive Director (Independent)
Claire has 30 years’ experience working in a variety of roles in the children’s sector. Her professional background is in social work having worked as a social worker and manager in Worcestershire for 13 years. More recently she has worked as a social care adviser to the Department for Education and a Children’s Improvement Adviser for the Local Government Association in the South West and West Midlands regions.
Gareth Moss, Non-Executive Director (Independent)
Gareth is a qualified accountant (CIPFA) and former Director of Resources in local government having previously won LGC Finance Director of the Year. He is also non-executive chairman of the John Taylor Multi Academy Trust, a mixed Trust based in Staffordshire and advises the Regional Schools Commissioner and Academies Minister on running successful multi-academy trusts.
Sally Taylor, Non-Executive Director (Independent)
Sally is an education professional whose career includes positions as Director of Education and Commissioning for Birmingham City Council and Assistant Director for Children’s Services for Oxfordshire County Council. Most recently as a consultant she was the interim Chief Executive of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership and then Interim Assistant Director for Education for Warwickshire County Council.