17 December 2015
The Department for Education has today (17 December 2015) appointed Andrew Christie as the new Commissioner for Children’s Social Care in Birmingham. He replaces Lord Warner who has stepped down.
With a population of well over a million, Birmingham is Britain’s biggest city council but the scale of the task is unlikely to faze Christie; since 2011 he has overseen children’s services in the three west London boroughs of Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea, an area with over 150 schools and a combined budget of more than £400 million.
Throughout his period as Executive Director of Children’s Services, all three councils have recorded consistently strong performances in education and children’s services.
Prior to leading children services for the three boroughs, which also share a range of other services, Andrew Christie was director of children's services for Hammersmith & Fulham, a role he held since 2006. He has more than 40 years’ of front line social work experience.
In the first instance, Andrew will be doing the commissioner’s job for two to three days a month with the three boroughs being compensated for the loss of his services. However Andrew retires in April 2016 and will then be able to devote more of his time to Birmingham.
“Always courteous, and always wise, Andrew Christie has been a very reassuring presence in this most important and difficult area of council business,” said Cllr Elizabeth Campbell, Kensington and Chelsea’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families. “So plainly and simply put, his retirement is a big blow to us.
"But it is good news that his skills and experience are not to be lost and that others will now benefit from his steady hand and good sense.”
“Andrew has shown an enormous amount of dedication and drive to improve the lives of children and young people across London during a career that spans over 40 years,” added Councillor Danny Chalkley, Westminster City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People.
“I know he shares my commitment to championing children’s rights and safeguarding their interests - particularly the most vulnerable. I have absolutely no doubt that his impeccable track record in children and young people’s services and the passion he has demonstrated throughout will make a real difference to the lives of children in Birmingham, and I wish him all the best.”