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South West Region Update September 2016

Update from the South West region for the ADCS Council of Reference

The last few months have seen more change in the region with some new faces joining the Director ‘team’ and also a promotion for Ashley Ayres, who is now Chief Executive of Bath and North East Somerset Council. Ashley has been a longstanding DCS and will be much missed by all of us for his expertise and wisdom and also for his wit and repartee! Interestingly whilst we were previously a region dominated by ‘twin-hatters’, that has rebalanced somewhat with a number of LAs reverting to separate DCS/ DASS roles e.g. Devon and Swindon.

The region has responded to the requests to participate in the national transfer programme for UASC, a rota is already in place and LAs have begun to take unaccompanied children. This will be a significant issue for the South West because a number of LAs have traditionally had low numbers of UASC. This also provides a challenge in terms of expertise and local support mechanisms which we are actively discussing together.

Sara Tough, DCS Dorset, is now the lead DCS for SLI and is putting a new plan in place focussed on two priority areas – neglect and looked-after children. Plans for a performance summit in November are well advanced and we have completed a round of ‘Ofsted case tracking training’.

Fran Havard who has been coordinating improvement work is now moving on and we are pleased that we have been able to appoint Steve Fish as our new SLI Programme Manager. We are expecting this to make a real difference in terms of engaging LAs across the large region and implementing the SLI plan. Steve is starting in November, well timed for our summit.


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