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ASPIRANT DIRECTORS OF CHILDREN’S SERVICES

The Aspirant Directors of Children’s Services Programme is a single national leadership development programme for senior leaders who aspire to a director-level role in the provision of children’s services in England. This exciting opportunity brings together learning from Staff College senior leadership programmes from across the public sector in England, Wales and Scotland and NHS Horizon’s experience and expertise in supporting and delivering large scale change across the public sector.

Public services, and people involved in their provision, face unprecedented challenges. Roles are becoming more wide-ranging, and people working in senior positions invariably find themselves responsible for services outside their historical area of expertise. The relationship between the citizen and the state is increasingly unsettled while, as integrated delivery becomes more established and new alliances take shape, there is greater fluidity between the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

The step up to a director level role requires a willingness to embrace and handle the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity which now characterise senior leadership in the public sector. Many of the challenges they face test their ability to manage dilemmas, in which there may be no single “best way” in which to proceed and where progress can only be achieved by holding in creative tension apparently polar opposite perspectives or approaches.

This programme is about finding ways of working successfully in a difficult and unpredictable space, where you may be alone, but you can’t operate in isolation, where you may have to take risks, but your first concern must be for the welfare of others, where you may want to think systemically, but must act like an entrepreneur to make progress.

The programme offers participants the opportunity to benefit from some of the most innovative approaches and tools available to support learning, innovation and change, learn from each other and, together, prepare for the next phase of their careers.

 

Inspiring and thought-provoking. Good opportunities to practice new skills.
It more than met my expectations to be honest, leadership challenges were so insightful! I learnt event more.
Really valuable to have peer support and reflection on my leadership challenge.
The group is collegiate and supportive. it's been really powerful to see our network develop.

Participants from 2018 Aspirant DCS Programme

 

Applications for Cohort 2 now closed

 

Objectives of the Programme

The step up to a director level role requires a willingness and ability to embrace the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity which now characterise senior leadership in the public sector. It will test your ability to manage dilemmas, in which there may be no single “best way” in which to proceed and where progress can only be achieved by holding in creative tension apparently polar opposite perspectives or approaches.

By the end of the programme, you will be better able to exert influence and call others to action, gain consent for pragmatic solutions based on a strong sense of public value, determined by inclusive dialogue and deliberation and informed by evidence and democratic values.

The programme is designed to help you prepare for the challenge of operating at director level as a member of an executive team, and as a key player in the wider system. Its specific objectives are to:

  • Introduce some ‘core concepts’ about leadership in the public sector, including ‘adaptive’ leadership, public value and systems thinking
  • Share tools and approaches that you can use to manage the dilemmas and paradoxes that characterise many of the challenges that you will face
  • Share thinking about the contribution and value of citizen and community capital in delivering improved public welfare outcomes
  • Help you explore your potential for leadership at the most senior level and develop the resilience needed to cope with increasing demands
  • Provide a safe learning environment within which to review your practice and work alongside your peers on an individual “leadership challenge”.

 

Eligibility Criteria

This programme is designed for senior leaders across children’s services who are:

  • Interested and able to step up to a director level role within the next 12 – 36 months
  • Committed to continued professional development and the ongoing review of their professional skills and competencies
  • Committed to deepening personal learning about leadership and making behavioural changes that impact positively on those around them
  • Will actively share learning from the programme with colleagues through their leadership approach
  • Can demonstrate significant experience and expertise in public sector leadership.

 

To get the most from the programme you will need to be highly committed and able to dedicate the time to complete the programme in full. You will also need to have the support and endorsement of your Director, line manager or other appropriate senior colleague.

 

Application process

The application and assessment process comprises a number of steps, these are:

✓ Sponsor conversation

✓ Completion and submission of the application process and sponsor nomination

✓ Independent review and benchmarking of application forms

✓ Identification of a maximum of 30 participants

Prospective applicants will need to complete the online application process with the support of a sponsor. This process will identify and establish whether a potential applicant meets the eligibility criteria. Those individuals, who are deemed through the assessment process to have development needs that cannot be met by the programme, will receive constructive feedback and will be signposted to other development opportunities to support their future professional growth. Applications must be submitted by the deadline, and will only be processed following the receipt of both submissions from the sponsor and prospective applicant.

 

Duration

Programme duration is 6 months, which allows flexibility for individual participants. Participants are expected to commit to attending each of the face-to-face elements of the programme for the duration in order to successfully complete the programme.

 

Timeline of programme dates

Applications close                                        11th January 2019

Successful applicants notified                  Week commencing 14th January 2019

Launch day                                                     11th February 2019, thestudio, Birmingham

Residential 1                                                   12th – 13th March 2019, Conference Aston, Birmingham

One day seminar                                          29th April 2019, Birmingham

Residential 2                                                  13th – 14th May 2019, Conference Aston, Birmingham

End of Programme Seminar                     12th June 2019, thestudio, Birmingham

 

Cost

£2,200 + VAT per person

 

For any other information please contact: hello@thestaffcollege.uk or call the team on 0161 826 9450.