North West Region Update December 2018

Launch of the NWADCS Directory of Support

As part of the North West’s development of a Regional Improvement Alliance and our commitment to a strong sector-led improvement offer a ‘Directory of Support’ has been developed. This is based on the principle that all local authorities have something to offer, regardless of their current circumstances.

To ensure the directory operates in a proportionate and impactful way, directors of children’s services have agreed that all local authorities will be offered the opportunity to categorise their offer of support. This will enable effective brokering and a more co-ordinated approach to providing and accessing improvement support within the region. The categories are:

  • Sharing key documentation – strategies, action plans, datasets, policies and similar that can be shared widely or made available to share on request
  • Structured practice sharing – dedicated agenda item through relevant sub-group; carousel at NWADCS; one-off session delivered locally to all LAs; input to ‘Better for Children’ Seminar - Working Together to Improve’
  • On-site peer challenge – willingness to match areas of good practice with requests for on-site peer challenge, leading or being part of teams for thematic challenges
  • Peer-to-peer – a more in depth, ‘matched’ offer to LAs in particular need of support e.g. coaching/mentoring; detailed discussion and sharing of plans between teams; ‘critical friend’ review of plans, policies and action plans or similar; external ‘desktop’ audit activity.

Improving Outcomes for Disadvantaged Pupils: Lessons We Can All Learn

Improving outcomes for children from disadvantaged groups is one of the biggest priorities in the North West region. To address this, the partners on the Regional School Improvement Board were keen to understand the lessons learned from schools and trusts succeeding with these groups of pupils.

The Ofsted Regional Director and his team helped to identify a range of schools demonstrating outstanding practice in improving outcomes for these groups of children. This was checked out with the Regional Schools Commissioner for London and West Yorkshire and the relevant local authorities. The schools were then invited to share their practice at a session in Manchester in summer term 2018:

  • Schools provided their context in advance of the session, to ensure the focus of their presentation was on action and impact. The context summary for each school is provided in this report for background information
  • The presenters were asked to address three key questions, to provide a consistent framework to the input
  • The inputs were in the form of table top sharing of practice, rather than showcase power point presentations
  • NLEs acted as scribes to capture the headlines from the carousels of input and questions.

The feedback from the sharing exercise was extremely positive. Partners on the board were determined that the lessons learned should be shared more widely. A written report, based on the response to the three questions, was agreed. In addition, partners requested video footage to capture the heart of the messages from the outstanding leaders to be shared with schools in all 23 LA areas. This is in the final stage of editing.

If you would like access to the good practice document or video clips, please contact Zelda Massey at

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