South West Regional Update - December 2019

The South West Regional Update

Regional Leadership Development Programme

The Staff College is delivering, with partners, a Leadership Development Programme for aspirant assistant directors in the South West region. The aim of the programme is to improve the strategic leadership skills of up to fifty managers who are the direct reports to assistant directors in each of the region’s fifteen local authorities. The first cohort of 21 commenced in October 2019. The programme will also include a coaching offer to participants.

Self-Assessment Peer Challenge

The date for the self-assessment peer challenge for 2019 will be Friday 6 December. The self-assessment framework has been reviewed with an additional self-assessment on ‘risk factors’ included. All local authorities are participating.

Strategic Children’s Sector-Led Improvement Group – RIIA Board

The Strategic Group, which has representation from the region’s chief executives, lead members, directors of children’s services and the LGA, has now become the Regional Improvement and Innovation Alliance board.

A leadership summit bringing together the chief executives, lead members and directors of children’s services from all of the region’s local authorities is planned for 12 March 2020. The leadership summit will review progress of the alliance and agree plans for 2021 and beyond.

Thematic Peer Challenge Programme for 2019/20

The programme for the coming year gives local authorities the option to choose the focus for their challenge from the themes that Ofsted use for focussed visits and JTAIs. There was a peer challenge workshop on 7 November in Taunton to assist local authorities in their preparation. Partners and themes are being confirmed, the programme is due to start early in the New Year and finish by July 2020.

Upcoming Regional Events

The following events have been planned:

• A regional SEND conference on 4 and 5 December

• An LGA run finance workshop on 5 December

• A regional Research in Practice event to explore practice in complex safeguarding to be held in Exeter on 5 February 2020.

Further regional workshops in the New Year include ‘Developing a more effective response to risk in adolescents’ and ‘Trauma informed practice’. A regional event to recognise ‘World social work day’ in March to be hosted in Bristol is also being planned.

Commissioning Group Project

The regional commissioning group has developed a project, led by Bath and North East Somerset, to gather intelligence through a ‘market position statement’ on the sufficiency of in-house fostering placements in all of the South West local authorities. The project has gained some external funding from the LGA. A draft report has been produced and it is planned that the ‘market position’ will be presented to representatives from all local authorities at a regional meeting in the New Year.


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