Cheshire East Council

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DfE looks to expand market for legal services suppliers for Children’s Services Trusts

The Local Authority Interventions Unit at the Department for Education has unveiled plans to increase the current market of due diligence, legal services suppliers and financial and governance advisers for when interventions are escalated into a Children's Services Trust.

Children's Services Trusts are created as an intervention in the event of a service failure, under direction from DfE, “with clear expectations and legal agreements about service scope, ownership and control”, the Department said.

It has seen two 'enforced' Trusts established to date (Doncaster and Slough), with another enforced Trust currently being set up (Sandwell).

The DfE said: “As part of the set up for these kinds of projects, depending on the level of risk and/or cooperation from the local authority, the Department needs to draw on external services such as legal services and due diligence services.

“For existing Children's Services Trusts, expert financial and governance advice has been needed to give the new organisation the financial resilience and appropriate governance structures to perform well.”

It is anticipated that the DfE’s market engagement exercise will incorporate a supplier engagement event for interested parties during September 2017.

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