Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence in Leadership Development: The Staff College Anniversary

This year, The Staff College reaches a significant milestone – our 25th anniversary. Since our foundation in 1999, we have been at the forefront of developing leadership and management capacity within local authorities and children’s services. It’s a journey that has seen us evolve from a small team with a big vision to a leading voice in the sector, championing the cause of effective leadership across the UK.

Reflecting on this journey, Jane Parfrement, Chief Executive of The Staff College, shared, “Celebrating 25 years is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and passion that have been the hallmark of The Staff College since its inception. We have been committed to empowering leaders who make a real difference in the lives of children, young people, and families. Our anniversary is not just a milestone; it’s a reaffirmation of our commitment to excellence in leadership development.”

Over the years, The Staff College has been instrumental in introducing groundbreaking leadership initiatives. Our Black and Asian Leadership Initiative and the Women in Leadership Programme have been pivotal in promoting diversity within children’s services leadership. These programmes reflect our belief in the power of inclusive leadership to drive positive change.

Jane Parfrement further emphasised, “Our success lies not just in the programmes we offer but in the impact these leaders make in their communities. Leadership is about making a difference, and every individual we’ve trained is a testament to what committed and informed leadership can achieve.”

As we celebrate this landmark anniversary, The Staff College is more dedicated than ever to our mission. We remain committed to supporting and developing the current and future leaders within children’s services. This year, we will mark our anniversary with a series of events and initiatives designed to celebrate our past achievements and inspire the future of leadership in the public sector.

Our journey so far has been remarkable, but we believe the best is yet to come. We look forward to continuing our work, developing leaders who not only excel in their roles but also contribute to creating a better society for children, young people, and families across the UK.

Here’s to celebrating our past, embracing the present, and inspiring the future of leadership together.

Happy 25th Anniversary to The Staff College – here’s to many more years of excellence and impact.

Related Articles


Just Home: Leading in Colour

We are proud to announce the release of our latest publication, “Just Home”. This briefing is powerfully centred around global majority children in care, their lives, their traumas, their needs, and their life-chances. The stark realities are alarming: black children are over-represented in the care system, wait longer for adoption than white children, and are least likely to achieve the lifetime stability and permanency of a loving family through adoption. “Just Home” serves to challenge these bleak statistics and seeks to inspire enduring policy and practice changes for children. Through our partnership with Adoption East Midlands and its partner local authorities, we have been able to challenge these sobering facts and seek solutions. “Just Home” is our shared story –…


A study of place-based school partnerships At The Staff College, we have been committed to championing excellence through equity in education since our inception in 1999. We believe that addressing the needs of those who find learning and socialisation most difficult benefits the entire school community. This belief, combined with our fundamental belief that children and young people learn best when they feel valued, respected and included, has guided our school improvement work. However, recent policy changes in England towards market forces and school autonomy have the potential to further disadvantage learners from economically poorer backgrounds and other vulnerable, isolated and marginalised groups. To address this challenge, we commissioned a study by researchers at the University of Manchester. The resulting…

Podcast Rosemary Campbell-Stephens on Decolonising Narratives around Race in Educational Leadership

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Leading for Longer: New report issues call to action on high turnover of leadership roles in children’s services

A call for action has been issued by The Staff College after a number of concerns have been raised about the high turnover of leadership roles within children’s services.  With tenures of DCSs averaging around three years, it is feared this is having a direct impact on the ability to improve children’s services. At present, the DCS role remains one of the hardest chief officer roles to fill and retain, yet is a critical leadership role responsible for supporting and protecting vulnerable children across the United Kingdom.  Some of the key reasons cited for the high level of position churn include increased workloads, along with a lack of a coherent policy focus on children. In addition, an ‘overload’ of external…

Systems Leadership – Exceptional Leadership for Exceptional Times

Download the Story of BALI

Three people designed the Black and Asian Leadership Initiative (BALI): Patrick Scott who worked for the predecessor organisation that is now The Staff College; Rosemary Campbell-Stephens MBE who is now a freelance international consultant and coach on leadership, following her role as Principal for the National College for Educational Leadership in the Ministry of Education, Jamaica and me (Meera). Rosemary was an associate with the National College for School Leadership in the UK and I had, due to long term health issues, retired from my role as Director of Children’s Services. I have over 35 years experience in local government and was an HMI in the London region.