THE HEAD of Slough’s struggling children’s services has quit partway through her contract.

Chief executive of Slough Children’s Services Trust (SCST), Nicola Clemo, 62, has announced that she will retire at the end of April. Ms Clemo has been the only chief of the trust since it was launched in October 2015. The beleaguered service was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted in 2014, under Slough Borough Council, then in 2016 under SCST. The Observer understands that she was originally contracted to work six years.

The service has shown signs of improvement in recent Ofsted monitoring inspections, where SCST was praised for the commitment of the leadership and the increasing numbers of permanent staff. But Ofsted said for some children the quality of care was still ‘below standard’.

Ms Clemo said: “This has been incredibly hard, but I have made the decision to retire. I shall feel very sad to leave such a fantastic workforce but after almost three years at an unbelievable pace, I have decided that I need to slow down and spend more time with my family.”

Cllr James Swindlehurst, leader of Slough Borough Council, said: “Nicola has made a real difference to the children of Slough, and leaves behind an excellent board and strong leadership team who will take this work forward.

“The council and the Trust will continue to work together to ensure that children’s social care services in Slough continue to improve.”

Board chairman of SCST, Robert Tapsfield, said: “We have a strong leadership team in place and we will look to recruit an interim before Nicola goes. “We will take our time to recruit a permanent replacement.”