Tribute to Patrick Scott

We are so sad about the death of Patrick Scott. Patrick had a huge influence over the offers we have now, particularly the Black and Asian Leadership Initiative and Aspiring and New Directors programmes.  As we and our partners remember and celebrate Patrick’s legacy, warmth and integrity, Anton Florek has written this tribute.


As a recently retired Director of Children’s Services, Patrick was invited by Steve Munby, the then Chief Executive of the National College of School Leadership to join our advisory team for the Directors of Children’s Services Leadership Provision, which was commissioned in November 2008 by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Patrick brought a wealth of experience to the advisory team having served as a teacher further education lecturer, Director of Education and a wave 1 DCS in those formative years following The Children Act 2004.

I particularly recall spending a morning with him in early February 2009 as we started with a blank sheet and sketched out the first design for the DCS Leadership Programme on a small whiteboard which was subsequently handed over to the Deloitte team and became the moral compass for the final design of the first and subsequent iterations of the programmes.

Patrick was passionate, caring, witty and funny in equal measure and this unique combination kept us going during February, March and April of that year as Patrick, Roger Bushell and I spent many long design days working on the building blocks for a brand new leadership programme specifically aimed at DCSs and those close to stepping up to the role.

Once the DCS programme started we quickly realised that we needed to create a culture of leadership development in children’s services which provided continuity in professional development and fed into the DCS programme through a regional succession planning initiative to support the development of those working at middle management level. Patrick successfully took on this task with his customary enthusiasm and personal style and this programme had a powerful influence across the system laying the foundations for the sector-led approaches to improvement which we have today.

Patrick was very much a people person, gregarious, lively and committed to improving the lives of children and young people and especially those who are marginalised and vulnerable. It was therefore an easy choice for him to conclude his time at the Staff College by leading on the ongoing development of the College’s Black and Asian Leadership Initiative which has become a unique feature of our leadership provision for colleagues from diverse heritage backgrounds working in children’s services.

Many DCSs in role today together with senior teams are alumni of the leadership programmes designed and delivered by the Staff College over the past 12 years. These programmes can all be traced back to the felt tip scribblings that filled the small whiteboard on a cold February morning in 2009.

This is your legacy, Patrick. A job really well done and a system better for having been touched by your endeavour over so many years. Rest in peace dear colleague.