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Wed, 14 Nov 18 10:00

East Midlands Regional Update June 2018

Sector-Led Improvement Pilot

In relation to the RIA common core of activities, within the East Midlands we have completed the following:

1. Annually, each LA within a RIA completes a self-evaluation using its RIA’s template, identifying strengths and areas for development. (All self-evaluations completed Nov-Dec 2017)

2. Each self-evaluation is peer scrutinised (Completed Jan – March 2018)

3. Each LA then produces a development plan, identifying strengths and areas for development. (Completed Jan – March 2018)

4. Each LA development plan is peer challenged. (Completed Jan – March 2018)

5. Drawing from each LA’s self- evaluation and development plan, the RIA produces a ‘menu’ of support offers. There may be other sources of intelligence used to augment the ‘menu’ e.g. outcomes of Ofsted focussed visits to LAs; JTAI outcomes; intelligence from individual LA’s ‘annual conversation’ with Ofsted. (Completed April 2018)

6. Each RIA produces a high level regional development plan, focussed on key shared challenges. The RIA plan is currently in development and will be completed during June. It contains:

A regional section that identifies the common priorities that have emerged through the process and suggest a collective response. These responses include regional seminars, collaborative project work, thematic hosted visits and ‘task and finish’ pieces of work that are commissioned through existing or new regional groups.

The overarching themes for this joint activity being planned for the year ahead include:

• Developing reflective and restorative supervision

• Placement sufficiency planning

• Improvement plans and assessing/evidencing impact

• SMART care planning and regional panels for audit moderation

• Consistent models for practice methodology

• Reducing exploitation of vulnerable young people.

A section for each Local Authority in which the brokered solutions for all their identified areas of need are described. These include solutions that are created by:

• Another single LAs offering support, based on their comparative strength in the topic in question

• Small groups of LAs working jointly on a piece of practice development

• Deep dive thematic peer challenge visits

• Practice-sharing visits.

This section of the plan also includes the response/uptake from other LAs to the offers of support they have made through the process above.

Grow our own social workers

One of the region’s LAs is collaborating with a university to deliver a regional programme of social work training, leading to qualification within 2 years. Most of the region’s LAs are participating and taking a few places.

Regional Adoption Agency

There is continuing strong co-operation and a shared will to achieve the aims of the Regional Adoption Agency Project Governance Board. The region’s authorities maintain an absolute and unwavering commitment shared between them to:

• Improving outcomes for children for whom permanence through adoption is in their best interests

• Providing the best possible experience and support to adopters

• Delivering the above in the most cost efficient and organisationally/structurally effective manner

• A great amount of progress is being made within the region, working in two sub-regional groupings.


A third East Midlands Regional Workforce Development Conference was held on 20 April 2018. This year’s conference theme was ‘Investing cost effectively in Early Interventions: Developing the children’s workforce’. Over 90 participants representing; LAs, voluntary sector and universities attended the event. The conference was hosted by Lesley Hagger, DCS Northamptonshire and the programme included; keynote input by Julie Longworth, Head of Service, Early Help, Leeds, and practical advice on qualifications and apprenticeship provided by colleagues from Derbyshire. The overall feedback was extremely positive, with 100% participants either agreeing or strongly agreeing that the conference served its stated purpose. The materials from this conference can be accessed here.


Work is ongoing to develop the business case for regional collaboration on the commissioning and procurement of specialist SEND placements. This work reports during the summer period.


The data development agenda is still busy in the region, with the regional networks collating and analysing a growing range of live indicators on a quarterly basis.

Other workstreams

The other main ongoing regional workstreams with activity in this period include:

• SEND Peer Challenge

• Regional CPD programme for IROs, IRO Managers and Child Protection Conference Chairs

• QSW MoU – agency social work market management.

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