Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
Ian Thomas is Chief Executive of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. The
council is the first to have been granted ‘Royal’ status and serves an increasingly diverse
population of around 180,000 people.
Ian was Chief Executive of Lewisham, and prior to this, he was the Strategic Director of
Rotherham Borough Council’s Children and Young People’s Services (DCS). He has well
over 30 years’ experience in the public, voluntary and private sectors.
Under Ian’s leadership, Children’s Services in Rotherham was transformed, improving
from a rating of ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ features, within three years.
As lead commissioner for adult victims and survivors of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE),
Ian put in place a range of community-based services to support around 1,100 survivors
Prior to this role at Rotherham, Ian was DCS and Deputy Chief Executive at Derbyshire
County Council, where he led a service which became one of only a few to be rated
‘Good’ across all areas, under Ofsted’s tougher Single Inspection Framework. Inspectors
were impressed by the quality of the work delivered by his service and the learning
culture which was developed over time, resulting in sustainable improvement and
consistently good outcomes for children, young people and their families.
In 2014 Ian was named by Innovation Charity NESTA and The Observer as one of
‘Britain’s New Radicals’ for his creative ideas in raising aspirations for children in care.
He holds a Masters Degree in ‘Developing Professional Practice’ (incorporating change
management) and is a Masters level qualified Executive Coach and Mentor.
His efforts have led to him being recognised in the New Year’s Honours list 2019 when
he was made a Commander of the British Empire.