East Midlands Region Update December 2018

Sector-Led Improvement Activity

The East Midlands RIA plan is now becoming well-established as the vehicle to hold and describe the joint work priorities of the nine LAs in the region. The EM DCS group provides regular, strong leadership for the work, providing the executive steer, whilst the second-tier groups for social care/safeguarding and schools/learning provide the extra detail and mobilise the plans.

The activities within the current RIA plan are well-underway and on-track, and the new cycle of challenge and review for the next year has now started. The calendar for this cycle runs as follows:

  • Nov – Dec: All LAs complete their regional self-evaluation
  • Jan – Feb: Triad challenge conversations between senior LA teams
  • March: Updated draft plan developed in response to emerging issues, expressions of need and offers of help
  • Mid-March: Workshop session with DCSs and lead members to confirm priorities
  • April onwards: Implementation of new activity.

Some of the main recent activity within the RIA plan includes:

  • The process is enshrined within and underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding signed by DCS, LM and CEO
  • The recently appointed RIA Project Manager (0.4fte) is strengthening the strategic elements of the process
  • The regional online data facilities continue to create a strong foundation for comparative analysis.

Self-Evaluation and Challenge Conversations

The regional template was updated this year and is currently being completed. It adopts a ‘chapter’ sectional approach that enables different colleagues, from different areas of service, to contribute and utilise pre-existing SEFs much more. These completed self-evaluations are shared between the three LAs in each triad challenge conversation over the Christmas period prior to the challenge conversations taking place in January.

Regional Case Audit Moderation

An inaugural seminar was held in October with Ofsted which looked at the characteristics of a good audit process. In preparation, the region had reviewed and evaluated each other’s audit tools/processes and provided cases for moderation. As a result, a regular on going programme of regional moderation will now be held.

School Inclusion Dashboard

A prototype for a regional inclusion dashboard has now been developed and populated with one LA’s school data. The DCS group has committed to the submission of live quarterly data into the tool, a process which should come into operation during 2019.

Think Tank with Ofsted in November on CLA Education Achievement

A seminar has been held with AD colleagues from education and social care, plus heads of service for LAC and virtual school heads, with Ofsted. This covered the analysis of data and underlying issues, it shared emerging good practice and committed to on going work to develop and share practice across the region.

Reducing Parental Conflict

The regional groups, ‘Troubled Families Leads’ and ‘Workforce Leads’, recently met with the DWP to find out more about this new investment and training resource. Subsequently the DCS group has agreed to support a collaborative approach that will enable the region to obtain better value from the funds.

Reducing Exploitation of Vulnerable Young People

The region’s CSE leads are currently peer reviewing each other’s toolkits for tackling CSE and other forms of exploitation. This work is underpinned by a set of regional standards. A conference is being held in December to bring colleagues and partners together to disseminate and reinforce the most effective practice.

Reflective Supervision and Outcomes-based (SMART) Care Planning

Seminars are being arranged for the spring that tackle these two priority themes in this year’s RIA plan.

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