Leadership & Management

Supporting Directors of Children’s Services

The Staff College support for serving Directors of Children’s Services consists of two elements

of provision: basic and extended. Basic provision is available to all DCSs either through an LA subscription or through ‘pay as you use’ options whereas extended provision is only available to DCSs and their teams from LAs who have taken out an annual subscription with the College.

Basic provision

Annual Think Tanks

For more information about the Staff College’s Think Tanks please click here

Technical web-based workshops

These short technical webinar sessions led by experienced practitioners from the sector aim to provide an in-depth or detailed view of particular elements of children’s services provision for DCSs and members of their SMTs in order to extend or enhance their technical understanding of areas such as SEND, school place planning, the role of the middle tier in relation to schools, children’s social care, public health provision.

Each workshop will be no longer than 2 hours duration and will be augmented with appropriate dedicated audio visual materials which will serve to provide participants with a personal record of the topics covered on the webinar. If requested, particular workshops may be followed up by additional virtual or regional focus groups and/or network meetings in order to continue the discussion or create locality based topical task and finish working groups.

These workshops will be free to subscribing LAs and chargeable to non-subscribers.

Mentoring and coaching support

The College has always been a keen advocate for mentoring support for those new to the role of a DCS and executive coaching support for those who are more experienced. As previously outlined, the College has been commissioned by the ADCS to manage the sector mentoring scheme for those new to the DCS role. However, once this support has ceased the College is able to source experienced mentoring support should an ongoing need for this become apparent.

In addition to this, the College also manages an Executive Coaching Scheme for both DCSs and Assistant Directors which is outlined later in this prospectus.

For more information about the College’s Mentor Plus scheme for new directors of children’s services please click here.

For more information about the College’s Executive Coaching Network please click here.

Access to the Staff College website

The final element of the basic provision to DCSs is access to the open elements of the Staff College website including publications, factsheets, think pieces and linked strategic material from other public sector organisations.

Extended provision

In addition to the basic provision outlined above, DCSs (and nominated members of their direct management teams) from subscribing LAs have access to The Learning Portal, the closed section of the Staff College website which is designed specifically to support DCSs in growing their personal and organisational strategic intelligence.

The College’s digital learning portal will provide DCSs and their nominees with opportunities to engage in short web-based discussion forums, contribute to the development of think pieces and factsheets and participate in a digital community where giving and receiving ideas and practice enhances the individual and collective wisdom of the sector.

The portal will become the College’s prime means of sharing innovative national and international practice through occasional virtual master class style conversations with leading thinkers, blogs, social media feeds, regular digital newsletters, significant document synopses, additional think pieces and policy thinking from across the public and private sector.

Through its participation in a number of international networks and forums the College will also use the Learning Portal to offer occasional digital common rooms where DCSs can join peers from other countries in discussing and thinking about the challenging and wicked issues facing them and, through this, collectively learn from each other thus creating the potential for a learning community of practice which extends well beyond the UK.

Access to the College’s bespoke 360 leadership audit tool for children’s services personnel will also be through the portal.