Commissioners are appointed where Ofsted find persistent or systemic failure by a council to deliver children’s services to an acceptable quality.
Persistent failure is defined as a council being rated inadequate more than once within a five year period. Systemic failure is defined as a council being rated inadequate across the board on all key Ofsted judgements.
Commissioners are appointed to direct the improvement of children’s social care services; the Council’s leadership and management of them; and, increasingly, to review whether these services should be removed from council control in order to secure more rapid and sustainable improvement.
Since January 2015 the Secretary of State has appointed five Children’s Services Commissioners.