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 the challenges that are currently facing local authorities.
This booklet records the progress that has been made over the last 2 years and describes the current offer in each of the regions. The range and variety of activity is impressive, as are the comments by many of the participants about the value of what they have experienced. The Succession Planning Grant finishes in April 2013, which leaves the sector with a big challenge. Should the programme be maintained, even though the funding provided by the DfE will no longer be available? How important is it to continue the programme of leadership development for senior and middle leaders? All of the regions are being asked to develop sustainability strategies over the coming months, and the information in this booklet provides a background to the debate that needs to accompany this work.