South West Region Update - November 2017

Self-Assessment Peer Challenge

All local authorities in the region are taking part in a self-assessment Peer Challenge on 1 December 2017. Most local authorities have completed the agreed regional self-assessment framework and are currently doing the analysis of the self-assessment of their allocated peer challenge partner. At the challenge event the local authority teams will be working in groups of three to conduct the peer challenge process. The outcomes and feedback from the self-assessment process will be themed to generate the region’s future priorities for improvement.

Regional Data Benchmarking

A regional data benchmarking report has now been established for the South West. The reporting system includes comparative quarterly ‘in-year’ data and all local authorities are participating. The reports are tailored to each local authority by detailing comparisons with statistical neighbours. A specification for the delivery of the project has been agreed with Bournemouth and the LGA is supporting the work through a regional grant. The report currently includes comparative regional data on an agreed indicator set and will also include a six-monthly narrative regional performance report.

Regional Summit 2017

The theme for the annual regional summit 2017 is ‘Getting the South West to good – Building a culture of regional learning’. The summit took place on Thursday 16 November 2017 and all local authorities sent delegate teams which equated to over 60 participants. Eleanor Schooling’s key note presentation was followed by workshops led by three directors exploring their local authority leadership strategies for improvement. The Spring Consortium supported the summit with presentations and workshops on the role of innovation in a self-improving system. The conference ended with workshops on developing a self-improving system for the South West.

Memorandum of Understanding on the Management of Children’s Social Workers

A review of the impact of the first year of the memorandum has now been undertaken. Detailed analysis of the agency workforce has shown that the MoU has, with very few exceptions, been upheld effectively. A project officer has now been appointed to further develop regional collaboration.

Thematic Priorities:

  • Preventing and tackling neglect - A thematic peer challenge programme is now well underway with three peer challenges taking place in the last three months. All local authorities have committed to undertake a ‘Neglect Peer Challenge’ by July 2018. Other activity has included the creation of a practice guide on neglect for social workers. The guide has details of the national picture, research and toolkits. Evaluation of neglect public awareness campaigns in the region have been circulated to foster regional learning and the sharing of good practice.
  • Improving outcomes for Children Looked After - A regional conference for designated teachers took place in October on the theme of ‘resilience’. Planning has started for a peer challenge framework for this thematic priority from September 2018.

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