Chief Executive of Achieving for Children receives CBE in New Year Honours

Release Date: 30 December 2017

Nick Whitfield, former Director of Children’s Services for Richmond and Kingston councils, and Chief Executive of the award-winning council-owned company Achieving for Children, has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Nick has received the award for services to children and children’s services. 

Nick became director of Education and Children’s Services at Richmond Council in 2008 and took up a joint position in Kingston in 2012. This joint role enabled him to lead the work establishing Achieving for Children (AfC).

AfC is a not-for-profit community interest company established in 2014 and jointly-owned by three councils. It is commissioned to deliver social, educational and community services for children across the boroughs. It also supports struggling councils across the country to improve their services.

The company has continued to deliver services for both Councils since it launched – and in a recent Ofsted inspection of Richmond services, inspectors praised the company for its high standard of service. This followed the turnaround in Kingston in 2015, when services improved from an Ofsted rating of ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’.

Whilst Nick has now stepped down from his role as Director of Children’s Services at both councils, his role as Chief Executive at AfC has gone from strength to strength.

Since 2015 he has been a Commissioner for Children’s Services at Sunderland Council, helping them improve their services and work towards a sustainable future. He also has similar responsibilities with the local authority in Reading, whilst also acting as an improvement partner for Wandsworth Council.

Earlier this year, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead joined the company, another example of how AfC is the UK’s leading company for the delivery of children’s services.

Responding to this honour, Nick said:

“It is a great honour to receive this award. However, I believe that this accolade really recognises the hard work and the huge team effort of all my colleagues at Achieving for Children.  In difficult financial circumstances and rising demand for services, they work tirelessly every day to improve and protect the lives of children in many boroughs across the country. 

“From social workers to the teachers in our excellent schools, I would like to thank everyone that I have worked with since 2008. AfC makes a difference to so many children’s lives every day. This is thanks to you.”

Leader of Richmond Council, Cllr Paul Hodgins, said:

“This award reflects Nick’s impeccable record in children’s services. He has been dedicated to making a real difference to people’s lives and this CBE is a fantastic achievement.

“I have enjoyed working with Nick over many years and this accolade is greatly deserved.”

Leader of Kingston Council, Cllr Kevin Davis, added:

“Nick and his team have had a hugely positive impact in improving the services Kingston provides for our children, schools and families. I am delighted that his achievements have been recognised in this way.”

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P598/17

Updated: 30 December 2017