The person in charge of improving the lives of kids in Merton will be leaving this week.

Yvette Stanley has been Merton Council's director of children, schools and families for nearly 10 years, but will be stepping aside after accepting a job as the national director of social care at Ofsted.

Filling the open role will be Rachael Wardell, who will start on May 14.

Ms Wardell's career to date includes eight years in local government starting as assistant director in Wokingham Borough Council children’s services and early intervention. Prior to that she spent seven years at Ofsted, where she was responsible for children’s policy projects in early years and social care and an earlier seven years at the Legal Aid Board.

Ms Wardell said she was looking forward to the new challenge.

“I am very pleased to be joining Merton and working with members, partners, colleagues and staff," she said.

"The borough is very respected in terms of their education record and children’s social care and I look forward to continuing to deliver key services to our children, schools and families across the borough.”

At its most recent Ofsted rating, council's children’s services were rated as good with outstanding features.

The cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Katy Neep, had full confidence in the new hire.

“We are committed to making Merton the best place for young people to grow up and the job of director of children’s services is key to this," she said.

"Rachael impressed us with her commitment to partnership working and passion for enabling all our young people to be the best they can be.

"We look forward to working with her to build on the fantastic legacy achieved by Yvette to ensure Merton continues to be a great place for young people to learn, live and have fun.”