Press release

Cafcass board members appointed

Five appointments have been made to the board of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass).

Education Secretary Michael Gove has appointed John Lakin, Mary MacLeod, Francis Plowden, Fay Selvan and Stuart Smith as members of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) Board.

Cafcass looks after the interests of children involved in care and family proceedings. They work with children, families and social workers to advise the courts on what is best for the child.

All of the appointments are to start on 1 April 2012.

Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said:

I am pleased to welcome these new board members to Cafcass. This is an important year for Cafcass. The Government set out radical reforms in our response to the Family Justice Review and Cafcass has a key role to play, working in partnership with others, to help deliver that vision. I look forward to seeing the new board members driving Cafcass’s work forward.

John Lakin

John Lakin previously worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (1988-2011) where he was the Partner responsible for Education and Children’s Services Consulting and also Head of Public Sector Policy, Research and Economics.

Prior to that he worked for the Inner London Education Authority (1985-1988) where he was the Head of the Leader’s Office and the Education Programme Manager for Hackney Inner City Partnership. He also had roles as Assistant Programme Controller for Economic Development and as Policy Researcher, European Affairs for the Greater London Council (1981-1985), and as a Finance Officer for Hillingdon Area Health Authority (1981).

Mary MacLeod

Mary MacLeod is currently the Chair of the Clinical Governance Committee at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She is also currently on the board of the Internet Watch Foundation, the Chair of Gingerbread, the Chair of the Advisory Group of Safe Network as well as a Non-executive Director of the Video Standards Council. Additionally, since 2009, she has variously been a Family policy advisor and consultant for DCSF, Vodafone, Participle and Family Action. She is currently a Board member of CAFCASS.

Previously, she was a member of the Executive Board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (2008-2012); she was the Chief Executive of the Family and Parenting Institute (1999-2009); Director of Policy, Research and Development and Deputy Chief Executive, ChildLine (1995-1999; Deputy Chief Executive 1999); Director of HQ Counselling Services, ChildLine (1995); Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Polytechnic of North London (1982-1991).

Mary was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to children and to families.

Francis Plowden

Francis Plowden is currently the Chairman of CEOP, the national centre for the protection of children from sexual abuse and exploitation (since 2010). He is a Board Member of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (since 2009), where he is the Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee, and an external member of the Audit Committee of the British Museum (since 2009). He is also an Assistant Boundary Commissioner for the Boundary Commission for England (2011)

Previously, he was a Commissioner with the Judicial Appointments Commission (2006-2012); Chairman of the Greenwich Foundation (2003-2011); a Board Member of Hedra PLC (2007-2008); Chairman of the National Council for Palliative Care (2001-2008) and has carried out advisory work for both the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. He was a partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers where he was Head of Government Sector (1998- 2001) and at the then Coopers and Lybrand, as Managing Partner International Affairs (1995-1998) and Head of UK Government Consulting (1987-1995).

Fay Selvan

Fay Selvan has been the CEO of the Big Life group since 1991 which has grown from a community organisation with a turnover of £17,000 p.a into one of the largest social enterprises in the UK with a turnover of circa £8m and 300 staff. She is also currently the Chair of Trafford Healthcare Trust (since 2006) which has a turnover of circa £80m and 2000 staff.

She was previously the Chair of Trafford Primary Care Trust (2001-2006); Executive Sponsor of Manchester, Salford and Trafford Health Action Zone (1999-2002); Tenant Liaison Officer, Manchester City Council (1986-1989) and Administrator/Project Officer at Great Manchester Low Pay Unit (1985-1986). She was also a Department of Health Social Enterprise Mentor between 2010-2011 and a Commissioner with the Street Weapons Commission in 2009.

Stuart Smith

Stuart Smith recently became the Director of Children Services for Calderdale Council where he has been particularly appointed to lead the council’s strategy to meet the requirements of the DfE Improvement Notice for Children’s Social Care. Stuart is also reviewing the council approach to school improvement and early intervention services.

Previously Stuart was employed as Director of Education, Skills and Communities at Wigan Borough Council where he led on the new relationships with schools and the redesign of the school improvement service, also the Executive Director of Children, Adult and Family Services at Liverpool City Council (2001-2011) where he was responsible for budgets in excess of £800m and oversaw a large increase in school attainment at all levels.

In previous roles he has been Assistant Director, Students and Communities at Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council (1999-2001); Head of Behaviour Support Services, Kent County Council (1995-1999); Deputy Principal Youth Officer, Wirral LEA (1992-1995); Training and Development Officer, Wirral LEA (1990-1992) and Community Development Officer, Dudley MBC (1987-1990). He has also held various teaching and youth worker roles.

Notes to editors

  1. The appointments were agreed in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) and were made on merit; political activity played no part in the decision making process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations and the code of practice, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) and other information, to be made public.

  2. Cafcass is not able to recruit judges to its Board as this would be inconsistent with the first of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, which states that “it is the duty of all governmental and other institutions to respect and observe the independence of the judiciary”. However, Cafcass does ensure it has a strong working relationship with the judiciary through its Judicial Liaison Committee.

Cafcass Board Member appointments

Name Term of office and length of appointment Political activity declared Remuneration  Other public appointments
John Lakin First term for three years None £286.82 per day based on 35 days per year None
Mary MacLeod Third term for three years None £286.82 per day based on 35 days per year None
Francis Plowden First term for three years Canvassed on behalf of a party or helped at elections (distributed leaflets at a local council election for a friend)Canvassed on behalf of a party or helped at elections (distributed leaflets at a local council election for a friend) £286.82 per day based on 35 days per year

Serious Organised Crime Agency  - Board Member  until September 2012

CEOP - Chair until September 2012
Fay Selvan First term for two years None £286.82 per day based on 35 days per year Trafford Healthcare Trust - Chair
Stuart Smith First term for two years None £286.82 per day based on 35 days per year None

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