Yorkshire & Humber Update April 2017

Peer challenge

27 LA/ LSCB children’s services peer challenges have been completed (as at 20 March 2017). Internal and external evaluation has provided evidence of a process which makes a difference and is constantly being refined. Round 2 peer challenge has been launched, with several already having been undertaken and several further requests (11 in total).

New business processes for peer challenge are being piloted, focussing particularly on a single topic and multiple peer challenge activity in a short period of time (as an example – readiness for JTAI peer challenge in West Yorkshire). We are also exploring a concentrated business process for SEND peer challenges, so that a large number can be conducted in a short period of time

The peer challenge training programme is a shortened version of the LGA Peer Review training programme. A further programme in February 2017 increased number of trained and available peer challengers to 70, providing a valuable resource for the region.


The business process for self-assessment is strongly embedded and has been refined for 2016 to include a shortened self-assessment document and the opportunity for LAs to track their respective strengths and areas for development over a 3-year period. (Feedback on these developments has been very positive).

Self-Assessment submissions were made in November, a Challenge event in January enabled the validation of submissions and a summit event in March has helped us reflect on next steps for regional collaboration informed by self-assessment outcomes.

Regional data analysis

A regional dataset is maintained by Sheffield City Council, which brings together information from education and social care datasets and has produced customised data for the region on the achievement of children in care. This informs annual self-assessment processes.

Leadership development

The region runs a well-established Senior Leaders Programme (SLP), now being delivered to Cohort 8, and has also recruiting to Cohort 5 of the Aspirant Leaders Programme (ALP). These programmes are designed and delivered in-region, but take account of the leadership constructs and ideas shared on previous and current national programmes. Senior managers are utilised as tutors and the programmes are directed by the SLI coordinator. Demand has now stabilised for these programmes (after a spike in 2016). There are approximately 25 participants on the SLP and 45 on the ALP including colleagues from Adult Services. Participants access an online 360, which has been updated for 2017 and is provided under licence by the Staff College

A systems thinking programme was commissioned in 2014/15, repeated in 2015/16 and is running again in 2017. Four LAs are engaged in this, addressing locally identified systems issues. This programme is led by the Staff College and has received highly positive evaluation.


Strong links have been established with NHS England around the children’s mental health agenda, with the regional children’s services SLI Coordinator also a member of the regional children’s mental health team (0.2 WTE).

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