In response to the inadequate judgments in Doncaster Metropolitan borough council's 2008 annual performance assessment, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) commissioned a comprehensive diagnostic review of the council's children's services. The diagnostic review confirmed the seriousness of inadequate performance in Doncaster and, in response, the Secretary of State issued a direction under section 497A of the Education Act 1996, to the effect that the council was directed to secure a new senior leadership team for children's services, to prepare an Improvement Plan, and to appoint an Improvement Board with an independent Chair, Tony Elson, to oversee improvements. On 1 April, the council appointed Gareth Williams, Director of Children's Services (DCS) for Leicestershire county council, as interim DCS for Doncaster on a six month secondment. The council has prepared an Improvement Plan, which is being implemented. DCSF is supporting the council to secure a new senior leadership team for children's services for the longer term.