ADCS DCS Update 2018
Commenting on the DCS Update 2018 report Rachael Wardell, Chair of the ADCS Workforce Development Policy Committee, said:
“Although our membership data shows there were a total of 65 changes in DCS post holders in 2017/18, the highest number of annual changes since 2007, little can be deduced from this. Due to the statutory nature of the role, there must always be a serving DCS in post – almost half of these changes took place due to interim arrangements pending a permanent appointment. On closer inspection, the data shows the average tenure of a permanent DCS has steadily increased since 2012/13 and is now 37 months. Taken together with the total number of DCSs, this suggests we can expect roughly 50 changes per year and the year on year variation reflects this, with an average over this period of 47.4 changes.
“By breaking down the data we can see that a great deal of expertise remains within the sector. Many changes are accounted for by DCSs moving from one local authority to another; former DCSs filling interim positions or returning to the role; and multi-local authority arrangements, which involve a DCS holding statutory responsibility in more than one local authority. In 2017/18, we saw the second highest number of new DCS appointments in a reporting year. The overwhelming majority were assistant directors stepping up to the DCS role. A large amount of succession from assistant director level ensures that leadership positions are held by experienced and knowledgeable individuals and their expertise is not being lost from the sector.
“On the subject of ‘twin hat’ directors, since 2007, around two thirds of local authorities have at some point had a combined children and adult services directorate. Although in the past year more local authorities have moved away from these combined arrangements than have adopted them, there are still examples of new combined roles being established, so it would be too soon to suggest that these roles have had their day. It is up to local authorities how they design their local systems for the benefit of local communities. We will continue to see roles flex in response to local needs.
“We recognise that stability of leadership in any organisation is important, and in the complex domain of children’s services this is vital. We continue to press for encouragement of and investment in children’s services leadership to ensure there are enough high quality, capable leaders going on to lead systems in these increasingly challenging times.”
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