About us

Wirral's Children's Services are on a determined journey to improve. Find out more about our service, our people and our priorities here.

What we're aiming for

It's our ambition that all Wirral children have the best start in life and are ready for school; that vulnerable children reach their full potential and that young people develop well through their childhood and become ready for work and adulthood .

Read our strategy for children, young people and families.

Meet our senior team


Paul Boyce

Director for Children

Paul joined the council in December 2017 after leading the improvement in Children’s Services at Knowsley, Cheshire West & Chester and Halton Councils.

Paul acknowledges that Wirral's Children’s Services have been through a difficult time knows there is the opportunity to support rapid improvements, without underestimating the challenges ahead.

Throughout his career he has been able to improve services, improve social work practice and motivate staff to deliver what Children's Services are all here for: keeping children safe.

Deborah Gornik

Head of Targeted Services

With a career spanning 38 years in local government Deborah has held a number of senior positions, which have often needed her to take a radical approach to transforming services.

Deborah is passionate and enthusiastic in her determination to improve outcomes and to continue to make the necessary changes Wirral still needs, to get things right for children.

Deborah firmly believes that the needs of children and families should be met early, wherever it is possible and safe to do so. Achievements can only truly be accomplished, and outcomes only holistically improved, when all partners work together and where children and their families are central to their own plans.

Simone White

Deputy Director, Children's Care Services

Since returning to the authority in May 2017, Simone has been passionate about driving improvements that will deliver services with children at the heart.

Having spent over a decade in the inspectorate, Simone knows what good practice looks like and how to lead improvement. She started her social work career in Wirral many years ago and understands the challenges faced by local families.

Simone is clear that change is not about an inspection grade, it is about getting it right for children. Wirral's ambition is much broader than just doing the basics well, it’s about ensuring children reach their full potential and break the repeating patterns and cycles that have historically held them back.

Carly Brown

Head of Quality

Heading up the Quality, Performance and Improvement Service, Carly joined Wirral in April 2017.

Designed to support the entire Children and Young People’s Department and its partnerships, Carly's area leads the transformation and improvement needed to make sure services are efficient, effective and enable children, young people and their families to experience only the best.

Carly believes that by working together and sharing accountability and responsibilities, long term positive changes can be made to the lives of local children and families.

Sue Talbot

Lead Commissioner - Schools

Having spent many years as a primary headteacher, Sue originally worked at the council as a school improvement officer for primary schools, developing leadership among middle and senior leaders before school improvement in secondary schools was added to her role at a later date.

More recently Sue has been working with headteachers and the lead school improvement officer to develop school-to-school support and her focus at the moment is reducing the number of secondary pupils who are permanently excluded

Sue's work is looking at how high quality, alternative education can keep young people engaged and on a clear career pathway, when the demands of the curriculum are switching them off.

About Wirral Council

Wirral Council, with its partners, set an ambitious plan to achieve 20 priorities for the borough and its residents by 2020.

Covering three main themes of people, environment and business, you can find out more about our goals in the video opposite.

You can also read the Wirral Plan here.

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