North East Regional Update June 2019

Regional Priorities

DCSs have agreed five regional priorities with two cross-cutting themes which will be the focus of activity over the next 12 months. The priorities are:

• Workforce sufficiency

• Quality of practice

• Inclusive education


• Commissioning.

The cross-cutting themes are system leadership and outcomes for children and young people. Improvement plans are being developed for each priority and will be taken forward by lead directors and regional networks.

Applied Research Collaboration (ARC)

Last year NE ADCS was approached by Newcastle University to support a bid for the North East and North Cumbria to become an Applied Research Collaboration (ARC), a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded partnership between universities and organisations in the health and care system, which focuses on improving health and care outcomes via high quality research and evaluation. Work is underway to plan for a future ARC and we hope to hear the outcome of the bid shortly. If successful, funding of nine million pounds will be awarded for five years, with match funding from HEI and care system partners and the work of the ARC beginning in October 2019.

Regional ‘Narrative’ and ‘Deep Dive’ Activity

North East DCSs are often asked why rates of statutory involvement in children’s services in our region are high in comparison with other regions. We are working on a regional narrative to set out what we currently know in relation to this and wider outcomes for children in our region, and the areas where we think further research and analysis may be useful.

We are also carrying out some detailed work to explore the data around the recent increase in LAC rates in the region.

Ministerial Meetings

DCSs in the region will be participating in a short video conference call in June with Nadhim Zahawi to update the Minister on the work of our RIIA, Tyneside Alliance PiP and other areas of good practice from within the region.

Learning from Inspection

We are planning to hold a regional learning event before the summer to share learning from recent inspection activity and focused visits in the region with a particular focus on SEND and ILACS.

DCS Changes

There will be some changes in the region with Margaret Whellans, DCS in Durham and Barbara Shaw, DCS in Redcar and Cleveland having announced their intention to retire later this year. John Pearce, the current DCS/DASS in South Tyneside, will become the new DCS in Durham.

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