South West Region Update December 2018

Self-Assessment Peer Challenge

The self-assessment peer challenge for 2018 will take place on 7 December 2018. The day will be attended by management teams from all the region’s local authorities who will work in triads on their self-assessment position. The self-assessments have now been completed and distributed to allow the necessary preparation for the event. The challenge day will identify regional priorities for sector-led improvement for 2019.

Leadership Summit – 9 January 2019

A leadership summit, to launch the South West Regional Improvement Alliance, will take place in January 2019 for all the region’s local authority chief executives, lead members and directors of children’s services. A Memorandum of Understanding has been circulated with the plan that all local authorities will confirm their agreement by December 2018.

Regional Data Benchmarking

The annual benchmarking report 2017/18 and quarter one report for 2018/19 were released in August 2018 and have been sent to the regional performance leads, directors of children’s services and chief executives in each local authority. A set of presentation slides which provide some analysis of the regional data set for quarter one has been circulated to performance leads in each local authority.

A workshop event, ‘Knowing how well your children’s services are doing’, for lead members and the chairs of scrutiny panels took place on 18 October 2018. The event was well attended and briefed members on the format of the regional report prior to its regular distribution to lead members after quarter two.

The quarter two benchmarking report was released in mid-November 2018. On 27 November 2018 the Assistant Director Network examined the report and provided some narrative analysis of regional performance. This analysis will be available for the self-assessment challenge in December.

Strategic Children’s Sector-Led Improvement Group

The strategic group, which has representation from the region’s chief executives, lead members, directors of children’s services and the LGA, have agreed their terms of reference. The group is now developing a working protocol for the Regional Improvement Alliance which will be subject to agreement by all local authorities at the ‘Regional Leadership Summit’ to be held on 9 January 2019.

Regional Learning Event – Quality Assurance Workshop - 9 November 2018

All local authorities sent representatives to a QA workshop led by Essex as a Partner in Practice event. 50 people were in attendance and the workshop enabled participants to share good practice and resources in QA processes.

Thematic Peer Challenge Programme 2017/18

Eight thematic peer challenges have been held in the 2017/18. A workshop to evaluate learning from the most recent challenge, which focussed on neglect, took place on 13 September 2018. A draft evaluation report has been produced and was presented to the regional sector-led improvement group on 22 November 2018 for approval.

Thematic Peer Challenge Programme for 2018/19

A framework has been agreed for the thematic peer challenge programme for 2018/19. The theme will be focused on improving outcomes for children in need of help and protection. As in previous years, local authorities will be able to work in pairs or threes to undertake the hosting and challenging roles. Each local authority is aiming to take part in the challenge before July 2019. The programme will be organised through the Principal Social Worker Network and Regional Co-ordinator.

Regional Partnership with Research in Practice

Arrangements for the regional ‘Tailored Support’ offer are now in development. After consultation with the RIP Link Officers’ Network, a regional conference is being organised by RIP to take place on 5 December 2018. The conference will be hosted by Devon County Council in Exeter and will focus on ‘getting to good’; involving children, young people and families in the co-production of appropriate provision. In addition, there will be up to four regional workshops open to all local authorities, one of the themes for which will be ‘Identifying and responding to sexual harm of children and young people’.

Strategic Improvement Plan for Sector-Led Improvement 2018- 2021

A RAG rated plan which will demonstrate progress on regional priorities has now been discussed at the regional Sector-Led improvement Group.

Workforce Development

A regional partnership to introduce a South West Frontline programme has been provisionally agreed. Individual local authorities are in the process of formalising the agreement with Frontline. It is intended that the South West programme will commence in September 2019 creating placements for approximately 50 students.

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