Rose Durban

Hello, I’m Rose, I’ve been learning and working with The Staff College for a number of years both as a serving DCS and as an associate. It’s provided me with some of my very best learning through the DCS leadership programme (I’ve still got my certificate!): supporting me, stretching me, giving me a safe space to reflect, challenge and network, learn with and from others, and offering me tools and approaches to be a better leader and a better partner on behalf of colleagues, children and communities.

I’ve gained hugely. The Staff College has also given me opportunities to give back: facilitating and leading programmes, such as Women in Leadership (WiL), contributing to research and becoming an Executive Coach, chances to mentor, support leadership, help people and places improve and much more. The College is where, way back when, I met Meera and Rosemary and our lockdown learning was co-writing ‘Leading in Colour – the fierce urgency of NOW’, an urgent call to action to white leaders to be and stay racially just, leading fairer workplaces and actively contributing to fairer communities. It’s personal, disruptive and emotional work but so vital and so non-negotiable. The Leading in Colour approach now includes ‘Just Fair’: 6 ‘if only’ challenges, conversations and commitments to tackling racial disparities before children get close to the youth justice system and ‘Just Heart, Just Hope, Just Home’ which shares partnership learning about achieving permanence for global majority children.

So what led me to here?

I started my career as a SENCo in London and then worked in school improvement in various London Boroughs and Kent, became DCS/DASS in Medway and Walsall and then worked as an interim DCS in Somerset and Surrey to help them improve and also as a DfE intervention adviser. Much of my focus has been to help LAs which are struggling become better together for children, in a system partnership. I was a NED on 2 CCGs and currently contribute as an expert adviser to the NICE centre for guidelines. I’m a chair of Governors, the Independent person for my local council, a trustee of a national charity supporting research and innovation on behalf of vulnerable children, and volunteer as a Samaritan. What runs through it all is wanting to make a difference for those I work alongside, support and serve so they can flourish and thrive.

A bit about me:

We live next to the sea and I love swimming (fab but freezing and usually just me and the seal…and s/he is a much better swimmer than me!), walking, tennis in our local park, running (albeit very slowly…) and reading and writing.

Why The Staff College?

I like working for the College as its values and moral purpose resonate strongly with me. What matters to me is contributing to sector led improvement – I’ve gained so much from the ‘dating agency’ of people, networks and ideas that The Staff College nurture and facilitate that it’s important to give back, however I best can, to help DCS, their teams and partners to champion children, believe in them, and work together so that their rights are realised, their views shape decisions made about their lives and they respect the rights of others. What counts is that children and families can say:

  • I tell their story once
  • Support and services join up around us
  • People do what they say
  • I feel safe, helped and cared about

So thank you The Staff College and fellow associates – I’m proud to be in your tribe!