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Kara Swift
Kara Swift
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New Children's Commissioner announced

Date:7 OCT 2009

The Children's Secretary, Ed Balls has announced that has nominated Dr Maggie Atkinson to be the next Children's Commissioner when Sir Al Aynsley-Green comes to the end of his five year appointment on 28 February 2010.

The Schools and Families Select Committee is expected to formally approve Dr Atkinson's appointment on Monday.

Dr Atkinson has been Director of Children's Services in Gateshead since 2003. She was President of the Association of Directors of Children's Services until March 2008, and is currently chair of the National Expert Group on the Children's Workforce and national chair for the new Centre of Excellence in Outcomes.

The children's charity Barnardo's has welcomed Dr Atkinson's appointment having worked closely together in her current role in Gateshead to deliver services for children and families in the area.

"I am delighted that Maggie is to take up this role. I have been hugely impressed with her work both in the north east and when recently leading the Association of Directors of Children's Services. I look forward to our working together to improve the lives of children and young people," said Barnardo's Chief Executive, Martin Narey.

The Children's Commissioner for England was established through the Children's Act 2004 and its purpose is to raise the profile of the issues that affect children in England. Sir Al Aynsley-Green was appointed to be the first Children's Commissioner for England on 1 March 2005.

Dr Atkinson will take over at the end of February 2010, although she will shadow Sir Al Aynsley-Green for a month from the end of January.