Chair's Blog

Hello, I am Mark Peel and I have taken on the role of Independent Chair of the LSCP.

I have a long standing relationship with Leeds, having undertaken a range of research projects here over the past few years, all around child protection, taking an independent view from my perspective as an academic of University of Leicester, where I am a Senior Lecturer on the MA social work programme.

One thing I was asked at the interview was, “why Leeds and why now?”
I can give a simple answer, I wouldn’t have applied for this role anywhere else! The brilliant work done in Leeds, with the emphasis on restorative practice and the Think Family Work Family approach fit exactly with my views and values, and I guess the best answer to the question therefore would have been, knowing what I do about Leeds, why would I work anywhere else?

I’m very lucky to come to Leeds and follow the good work and commitment that has already taken place. Thank you to those who have helped Leeds achieve a positive OFSTED report and progress the vision of making Leeds a Child Friendly City. I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all of them.

Safeguarding children and young people relies on commitment and hard work from all of us. It certainly requires strong local political consensus and clear and consistent management, and more than anything else, it reflects the quality of the direct work we offer by front line practitioners with children, young people and their families.

Leeds is on a journey of improvement and a perhaps understandable temptation would be to relax and rest on our laurels. I’m sure you’ll agree however, that this is not the time to “throttle back” but rather to refresh, renew and re-invigorate. Even so, please be assured I don’t come to Leeds with an “everything must change” agenda and my view is certainly “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but I’ll need your help and support over the next 3 years and very much look forward to working with you in taking further steps forward.

Mark Peel