Councillor Gordon Watson

Councillor Gordon Watson

Deputy Leader of the Council and Advisory Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services,
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Gordon is Deputy Leader of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services and Neighbourhood Working. He was elected to the Council in May 2012 and became Deputy Leader in March 2015 after the publication of the Casey Report. Before being a councillor he was a Chemistry teacher for 36 years, spending much of that time as Head of Science in schools in deprived areas of Sheffield, Nottingham and Rotherham.  He still marks GCSE and A Level Chemistry papers. Gordon lives in a multigenerational household in the south of Rotherham, enjoying walking and football when time permits.

  • Transforming from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ features in inspections by providing ‘wrap around’ support to children and families through a centre which integrates all the services and experts needed to deal with exploitation in a ‘one stop shop’
  • Sharing the ‘systematic and rigorous approach’ to improvement in Rotherham for instance through the ‘Reach Out Rotherham Service’ a multi-disciplinary team providing advice to schools and communities on tackling CSE through a ‘Reach Out’ tour van
  • Highlighting how the Council provide an ‘effective multi-agency response’ to child protection according to Ofsted, for instance through collaborating with the local safeguarding board on the Multi-Agency Continuum of Need guidance which offers support on 4 levels: Universal, vulnerable, complex and acute
  • Exploring ‘outstanding’ services such as using mapping approaches where agencies reviewed networks of abuse in child sexual exploitation and applied it to chronic neglect, providing a clear view for future prevention


Councillor Watson will be joined by partner agencies such as local healthcare providers, and police, who together will discuss the need for, and practicalities of, collaborative efforts to improve services across a local authority, to both prevent and respond to CSE.