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Think Tanks

The 24 hour Think Tank is not a conventional conference, seminar or workshop. It aims to bring together a group of colleagues to exchange practice and, through lightly facilitated working sessions and experiential ‘swap shops’, reflect upon and seek solutions to the challenges they face.

Typically the Think Tank is open to DCSs, their direct reports and others in equivalent senior leadership positions across the public sector with a particular interest in improving outcomes for children, young people and families. It is an opportunity for senior leaders to come together with peers to consider collectively how to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead and what new models of public service provision might be needed to withstand likely future shifts and changes.


Winter Think Tank, 13th-14th February 2019, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Leeds City Centre

The Staff College is leading a project to re-imagine services for children to 2035 in order to develop leadership tools and approaches that we need today.  The project will build on the ADCS safeguarding pressures research.

This Think Tank will consider current and future strategic challenges and will give you the opportunity to explore – and hopefully resolve – your current issues with colleagues.

To book on this event, download the booking form at the bottom of this page.


Summer Think Tank, 20th – 21st August 2018

This year’s theme was about equity and excellence in education for vulnerable children, with a particular focus on how we might turn the tide from an increasingly exclusive system to a more inclusive one.



A really rich discussion and lots to think about!
There were a number of light bulb moments/extracts that came out through the presentations and discussions.

Participants from 2017 Summer Think Tank

The course created the correct atmosphere to allow folk to speak openly and honestly about the issues.
Well planned, good background papers and well sourced examples that provided an opportunity to consider ideas that have different contextual genesis but common principles that can be mobilised.

Participants from 2016 Summer Think Tank

Yes – high level intellectual debate, much to reflect on for future planning in my own context.
Great opportunity to understand perspectives and view work through different lenses.

Participants from 2015 Summer Think Tank

If you would like to register your interest, please contact The Staff College team via:

*For each of our subscribing LAs one place on either of the Think Tanks is available free of charge for the DCS or nominee to attend. A reduced rate also applies to any additional places for subscribing LA employees, to find out more please click here.