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North East November 2015 Update

Staff turnover

The region continues to see a number of changes at director and assistant director level. Suzanne Joyner (DASS, Milton Keynes) joins Darlington as the DCS/DASS at the beginning of December. Steve Walker (AD, Leeds) has joined Sunderland as the Interim DCS with Neil Revely reverting to his DASS role. Five out of twelve of the DCS roles within the region have changed hands in the past six months (Hartlepool, South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Darlington and Sunderland).

Single Inspection Framework

An inspection under the Single Inspection Framework has commenced in Gateshead since the last report. It is the fourth inspection under the SIF within the region (following Hartlepool, Sunderland and Darlington) and the region expects a number to commence in the up and coming notification dates.


The region has produced a list of up and coming masterclasses/events which has been published on the ADCS website. These include sessions on neglect, teaching partnerships, social impact bonds, young carers and ‘Improving health through the home’.

Workforce development

The North East Aspirant Director Programme has begun in partnership with the Virtual Staff College. Participants include assistant directors and service managers from the 12 LAs.

Frontline launched its expansion into the region in late October 2015. 40 participants will be based with eight LAs in the region from September 2016. This adds to the regional offer of pre-qualifying training which now also includes Step Up to Social Work (to commence in January 2016) and Think Ahead (from September 2016). The region also continues to work with its local universities around the future of training in light of the Teaching Partnerships work from the DfE and would be keen to learn from other regions on ways they are approaching this work.

An Expression of Interest advertisement for a Return to Social Work programme will be released in December 2015, to be jointly designed and delivered by the 12 LAs if there is sufficient interest.

Tackling sexual exploitation of children and vulnerable adults

The first meeting of the North East Tackling Exploitation Board met in November. This includes chief executive, DCS, police and health representation to explore what joint regional work is possible on a multi-agency level to tackle and prevent the sexual exploitation of children and vulnerable adults. The first piece of work will look at strengthening the notification process between LAs, health and the police around children placed out of area and an assessment of the risk around the child including police intelligence about the location of the proposed placement.

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