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THE education secretary and chief social worker has praised council employees.

Education secretary Damian Hinds and chief social worker Isabelle Trowler visited Hampshire County Council.

They saw the initiative Partners in Practice, which is hoping to make social workers more agile and flexible in their work.

Hampshire County Council’s children’s services have been rated good with outstanding features by Ofsted.

Mr Hinds said: ‘Social workers are the heroes, often unsung, of our society. We want every child to have a happy and safe childhood and social workers play a vital role in transforming the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children.

‘I was pleased to see the innovative work being done in Hampshire to improve support for families in need of additional help.

‘Through initiatives like Partners in Practice we want to help councils like Hampshire develop new and effective ways of making a real difference to children’s lives.’