AN email sent to Wirral's most senior education officials by the council's child protection chief Julia Hassall following her resignation today has been leaked to the Globe.

Ms Hassall, director of children's services from 2012, says she "is fine" and "incredibly proud" of her record.

She stood down as reporting restrictions were lifted on a shocking court case in which two brothers were jailed for 40 years for a catalogue of child sex crimes.

The perverted pair groomed vulnerable girls, mostly aged between 14 and 16, as they visited shops in the borough owned by Ilvarasan Rajenthiram, 25, and Vinothan Rajenthiram, 27.

The brothers from Birkenhead gained friendship of the girls by giving them free sweets, crisps and drinks, including alcohol, at their stores between 2010 and 2016.

There has been no official acknowledgement that Ms Hassall's resignation and the court case are in any way related.

Town hall chief executive Eric Robinson today told the Globe: "She has worked tirelessly to protect and support Wirral’s children.

"She leaves with our thanks for all of her efforts and our best wishes for the future."

The departing director was in charge of child safeguarding last September when a devastating inspection by Ofsted found "wide-spread failings" and scored the department as being "inadequte" - their lowest possible rating.

Ms Hassall's email says...

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to make sure you are aware that I have sadly decided to resign from the council.

I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved together, and I am grateful to you all for your dedication and hard work.

It has been challenging, demanding work and I know we have made progress, particularly since September last year as part of the improvement journey.

We are clearly on the road to delivering the improvements which are required and this has been recognised by colleagues at Ofsted and the DfE.

I feel that now the new senior team is in place and there is a clear vision for the future that now is the right time for me to seek new challenges elsewhere.

As you know I have been dedicated to improving outcomes for Wirral’s children, young people and families and I know you will continue this work.

To ensure stability, Deborah Gornik will be recommended this week to assume the role of Director of Children's Services on an interim basis, in advance of a recruitment process to arrange a permanent replacement for me.

I appreciate this news will have come as a shock to you.

I want to assure you that I am fine, and I will continue to work this week to ensure a proper handover.

I am confident that the changes you are making will be the right ones to secure the best outcomes for children now and in the future.



The Labour-run council's cabinet member for children's services Cllr Tony Smith was fired by leader Cllr Phil Davies on Sunday.