Brent’s Strategic Director for Children and Young People, Gail Tolley, has announced her retirement after 42 years of public service with 18 years of local government service, including eight years at Brent.
Gail began her career in teaching and was a secondary school Head Teacher before moving into local government in 2004.
Following senior roles at Camden Council and Milton Keynes Council, where she was Director of Children’s Services, Gail joined the London Borough of Brent in 2014.
Under Gail’s leadership, Brent’s children’s social care services received a rating of ‘Good’ with outstanding features from Ofsted for the first time, whilst Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) services and Youth Offending Services also received positive inspection results.
Throughout her tenure Gail has placed a strong focus on partnership working and local schools have gone from strength to strength. The percentage of Brent schools graded ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted has increased to over 95%.
Carolyn Downs, Chief Executive of Brent Council, said: “Gail puts children and young people at the centre of everything she does. Under her leadership, the council has helped improve outcomes for the children of this borough. I would like to thank her for her years of dedicated service, and especially for her relentless advocacy for and with the young people of Brent. As we search for our next Strategic Director for Children and Young People, we will be looking for someone to build upon Gail’s legacy as we strive to give every child in Brent the best start in life.”
Gail said: “I have dedicated my career to supporting children and young people and empowering them to succeed. During my time at Brent, I am particularly proud of the significant improvements we have made to the outcomes for children in our care. This progress was recognised by Ofsted who judged Brent’s children’s social care to be good with outstanding features for the first time ever. I am also proud of the partnership working with local school leaders to drive up educational standards with 95% of local state schools now judged to be good or outstanding and consistently strong exam results. I would like to thank the dedicated staff who continue to support children and young people in Brent for their outstanding work and wish my successor well as the work continues to give every young person in Brent the very best opportunity to succeed.”
Gail is set to leave Brent in the autumn with a successor due to be in place later in the year.