South West Region Update - September 2017

Regional Summit – ‘Getting the South West to Good – Building a Culture of Regional Learning’

The annual South West regional summit will focus on sharing good practice, both regionally and nationally, and exploring effective leadership strategies to sustain service improvement. The summit will feature inspiring inputs from local authorities, partner organisations and guest speakers and will give an opportunity for delegates to shape a regional self – improving system. All local authorities will be sending four delegates to the summit.

Self-Assessment Peer Challenge

In anticipation of the new Ofsted inspection arrangements the director group has introduced a new self-assessment framework for the South West. The framework provides a structure for self-assessment across the whole of children’s services activity with a ‘challenge’ event from peer local authorities. The timescale for completion of the self-assessment is in September 2017 with the challenge event taking place on the 1st December 2017. All the region’s 16 local authorities are planning to participate.

Regional Data Benchmarking

A South West data benchmarking system has now been established sharing both annual data and quarterly ‘in-year’ data. The regional benchmarking reports have been compiled as an additional resource for local authorities to use comparator data sources to improve understanding of performance trends in children’s services. The regional data will also form the foundation for the South West to develop a self-improving system where concerning trends in performance can be identified early and supportive actions put in place. The reports have been distributed to the performance leads in each local authority and are now available for local analysis.

Thematic Priorities

• Preventing and Tackling Neglect – All local authorities are planning to undertake the Neglect Peer Challenge before July 2018. The first pairing of local authorities is taking the challenge in September and October with the whole programme due to be confirmed in September 2017

• Improving Outcomes for Looked after Children – A regional conference for designated teachers is taking place in October; the theme is ‘resilience’.

Workforce Development

The Recruitment and Retention working group is collating data on the impact of the implementation of the ‘Memorandum of Co-operation’ which was agreed in July 2016. The ‘MoC’ introduced a regionally agreed pay cap for agency social workers and introduced a regional employer reference protocol. A presentation to directors is planned for September 2017 and further actions on regional workforce development will be agreed.


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