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A Stitch in Time: Realising the value of futures and foresight

The events of 2020 have demonstrated the value of foresight in policy. But also how hard it is to predict the future. Above all, it shown us how complex and fast-moving our world is. If ever there was a need for innovation in policymaking it is now. (Professor Chris Fox, Director of PERU and colead of MetroPolis at Manchester Metropolitan University) Please download below the PDF ‘A Stitch in Time: Realising the value of futures and foresight’.

“We need to rock the boat” – Sherry Malik

The author of this post is Sherry Malik, who is passionate about social justice and social care. She has over 30 years experience of leading and managing a diverse portfolio in public services. She is currently a NED @Dimensions UK and a former DCS @NSPCC, exec roles @MyCafcass, @LBofHounslow and GSCC. I told myself that talking about what I experienced in the context of my gender and my race would somehow label me, that it would stop others from seeing me as a credible senior manager…. The airwaves continue to resound with the issues raised by Black Lives Matter campaign. While I am really pleased that everyone is engaged and there is permission to talk right now, for me personally,…

CULTURAL COMPETENCE. PROMOTING LEADERSHIP & ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE – Includes Toolkit

By Meera Spillett, Associate, The Staff College. Following on from the previous Think Piece, this paper suggests that there exists a uniting concept, that when effectively applied, can become a powerful tool for whole organisational and individual change, potentially creating the context for increased equity in the workplace and ultimately leading to improved service provision for diverse communities. Underpinned by the concept of Cultural Competence, organisations can create the conditions to receive and support more Black leaders, helping Black staff and leaders to survive and thrive within their roles and address the barriers that sadly still exist for Black staff in achieving primary leadership roles. In addition using this approach can make their commissioning and service delivery more suitable for…

Community Collaboration. A councillor’s guide

Engaging people in the decisions that affect their lives is an essential feature of local democracy. This goes far beyond town hall meetings and opinion surveys: we must recognise that communities often hold the answers to their own problems and allow them an equal voice at the table. For the purposes of this report, we call this concept ‘Community Collaboration’.>In partnership with Local Trust, LGiU has undertaken a year-long project to define and promote Community Collaboration and uncover the best examples of it in practice. We have been asking how councillors can actively support communities to lead their own projects by facilitating conversations, using their network and influence, and advocating within their local authority. This report showcases the best examples…

Leadership in Practice Guide 3

The third in a suite of briefing papers from the VSC about the impact of succession planning in the regions with a specific focus on developing systems leaders.

‘Developing leaders’: Succession planning for children’s services

The work on succession planning was commissioned shortly after the DCS leadership programme was announced in December 2008 because of fears that the turnover of senior leaders in children’s services was becoming a cause for concern. Action was needed not just to address the immediate challenge of finding replacements for about 40 DCSs every year, but to develop the next generation of senior leaders, those who might be stepping up to the role in 5 or 10 years’ time. This report looks the context in which the work was undertaken, what actually happened, the impact of the work, what specifically made a positive difference and finally what should happen next. To read the full report please click on the link…

Leading in a self improving system

The VSC has published a report from one of its latest events, ‘Leading in a self-improving system’: the report draws heavily on views expressed at a 24 hour residential workshop for alumni of the Aspirant DCS programme and reflects upon the role of the regulator in sector-led improvement. Self Improving System Think Piece

VSC Leadership and Performance Analysis Summary Report

This is the summary report of the data analytics work that has been undertaken to help understand the impact of leadership development in children’s services. To support the VSCs strategic planning process and to understand the nature of the impact the programmes are having, Deloitte as the Strategic Partner has used an approach to analysing available data on children’s services performance along with programme activity and engagement data. The approach allows a focus on understanding the behaviour and activity that drive a particular measure or indicator. In a context of complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity it promotes greater confidence in strategic and forward planning. The summary report includes information relating to six themes: Regional variation in engagement; Overall engagement with the…

Succession Planning in the Regions

The Succession Planning initiative, launched in 2010 as part of the DCS provision which transferred to the Virtual Staff College in 2011, is now entering in its third year. Over 1,000 senior and middle leaders in Children’s Services have participated in the core regional programmes and many more have attended ‘masterclasses’ or ‘learning events’. As the regional programmes have become established, they have also become more experimental. All of the regions are offering training as coaches or mentors and some are now providing opportunities to develop the skills needed for peer challenge or action learning sets. The Succession Planning Grant (SPG) is also supporting a programme of transformation projects, which offer a chance for aspiring leaders to tackle some of…

Extended Leadership Roles: How can we make the whole more than the sum of its parts?

A report following the Applied Leadership Seminar Extended roles and systems leadership, Nottingham, 4th – 5th December 2012 This 24 hour seminar was held in response to a specific demand from the children’s services  sector to spend some time considering the implications of the extended roles that a  significant number of Directors of Children’s Services now have; typically also taking  on responsibilities for adult social services although a variety of models is emerging. This was the first opportunity provided by the Virtual Staff College to focus on the changing  structures within, and increasing diversity between, local authorities. With a third of DCSs now taking on extended or dual roles, it was considered timely to reflect on whether it is the configuration of departments…