upon is a new leaders programme, designed to grow the UK’s talent pool of future Directors of Children’s Services, and also help recently appointed Directors thrive in their new roles. Supported by the Department for Education, it’s co-created and delivered by a trusted consortium of expert partners; The Staff College, Institute of Public Care, Skills for Care and GatenbySanderson.

This innovative leaders programme has been launched in response to the DfE identifying significant challenges in attracting and retaining talented leaders in DCS roles. In 2018/19 more than 25% of UK local authorities experienced an unplanned change in DCS. And right now, the average length of tenure is only 47 months.

upon aims to change that by inspiring ambitious and courageous future leaders to step up and move on into DCS roles, staying in post for longer to achieve even more positive transformation.

We passionately offer the same level of support and encouragement to recently appointed DCSs. Shaped with the help of valuable insights from serving DCSs, the programme aims to attract up to 40 highly driven candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds, from the public or private sector.

Whatever past experience, our future leaders will be fired-up to develop their skills, build resilience, take responsibility and thrive as part of the next generation of positive change-makers the UK’s young people depend upon.

Jo Davidson, Director of upon, commented, “The role of a DCS is wide-ranging, challenging, yet incredibly rewarding. Due to the nature of the role, current Directors very rarely get the time to share what’s involved and just how much of an impact they make. Our aim is to demonstrate what life is like as a DCS and prepare our candidates for the journey they’ll take, stoking a fire in the belly of future leaders who truly want to make a positive change to children’s lives.”

PARTNER

The Staff College

The Staff College has been established to support the development of leadership and management capacity in local authorities and their Children’s Trust partner organisations and, through this, contribute to the improvement of locality services for children, young people and families.

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PARTNER

IPC: Institute of Public Care

The Institute of Public Care was established in 1987 and is part of Oxford Brookes University. As an outstanding university institute, they collaborate with clients to deliver better health and social care outcomes. Combining professional experience and academic rigour to drive improvement and innovation they generate new learning for the benefit of people, organisations and communities.

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PARTNER

Skills for Care

Skills for Care supports adult social care employers to deliver what the people they support need and what commissioners and regulators expect. They do this by helping employers get the best from their most valuable resource - their people. Their practical support helps leaders and managers recruit, develop and lead their sta, improving retention – from entry level right through to senior leadership and management roles.

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PARTNER

GatenbySanderson

GatenbySanderson build leadership capacity to navigate complex challenges and transform public services. Whether that’s identifying the next CEO, devising top team or board development programmes or driving through organisational change initiatives, they partner with organisations to provide future ready leadership, improved board performance and enable change acceleration.

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PARTNER

Department for Education

The Department of Education, having identified the significant challenges local authorities face attracting and retaining talented individuals into DCS roles, have commissioned upon to inspire candidates, from more diverse backgrounds than ever before, to become leaders of the future.

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