David Haley was taken on as the director of children’s services at Euclid Street to improve the department after its critical Ofsted report.

Since then, and particularly in the last 12 months he’s come in for praise, not only from council bosses but from Ofsted and even senior civil servants in Whitehall.

In February Swindon’s troubled families work was praised by Kirby Swales the deputy director of the troubled families team at the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government in London.

He named Mr Haley personally when commending the work in Swindon: “We have been really pleased to see the significant improvement in Swindon’s performance over the past year and would particularly like to thank David Haley for his leadership and commitment to early help and whole family working.”

Mr Haley’s name wasn’t mentioned in the recent ‘Good’ Ofsted report into children’s services, but he was: “The determined and well-focused leadership of the director of children’s services

supported by corporate managers and elected members, has delivered

significant improvement in children’s services in Swindon.

"The DCS and his leadership team have taken swift and decisive action to improve services for children and young people in Swindon.”

This praise has been backed by the council’s cabinet member for children’s services Mary Martin.

She said: “David, and the layers of management teams below him have a real commitment to quality work.

He has set a very good plan, which Ofsted has recognised, and has a real focus on quality of work across the whole team.”