upon Aspirant DCS Programme: FAQ

Who should apply? 

The following are some key points to consider before applying, this is to ensure it is the right programme for you. Candidates should have: 

  • A vision for children’s services 
  • Real passion and authenticity 
  • Desire to work in children’s services 
  • Experience in children’s services 
  • Transferrable skills 
  • Ability to learn 
  • Ability to grow 

Will I have already needed to be in an Assistant Director role before applying? 

Not necessarily, however, those positions and experiences are helpful to you getting onto the programme, but not a barrier. We welcome all experiences, but we are looking for some level of insight into working in the children’s sector/services and the passion to be in this position. 

Is this a job application? 

No, this is not a job position, this is an application to apply for the upon Aspirant DCS Programme. Do I need to send in my CV? 

Yes, your CV helps us to have an insight into the journey of your career and have an idea of whether you are a potential for this programme. This will be uploaded as part of the application process. 

How do I apply for the programme? 

You can apply here – https://uponleaders-apply.co.uk/ 

How long is the programme? 

The programme is a total of 8 days spread over 7 months.  

Is the programme going to be face to face? 

The programme will be a blended offer with a mixture of face to face residentials and virtual one-day workshops. All dates and times can be found in the application.  

Where will the face to face sessions take place? 

All face to face sessions will take place at venues with good transport links, usually Birmingham. Virtual sessions will take place on Zoom. 

How much is the programme? 

The programme is fully funded by the DfE. The only expenses you may incur are travel costs to and from the venue. All programme materials, venue costs (including overnight stays as part of the programme) and all meals are included. There is an optional accreditation option at the end of the programme which there will be a charge for. As it is funded by the DfE, you are expected to provide feedback and evaluation of the programme.

If I am successful, how will the programme help me grow and develop? 

Not only does the programme provide an opportunity to take your career as a children’s Director to the next level, but it also enables you to develop as a leader. We aim the support your leadership development as much as possible. 

Do I have to attend all the sessions? 

Yes, you are expected to attend all the sessions, unless there are exceptional circumstances (such as an Ofsted inspection). There is also an expectation that you participate in providing feedback via surveys and a focus group.

When is the closing date for applications? 

Applications are open until 10th June 2024

Is this an accredited programme? 

The main programme is not accredited. However, there is optional accreditation available to participants. After the first year, further work will be required and will be accredited by Oxford Brookes University. There is a fee for this element. 

I have another question that’s not listed here. How do I contact you? 

You can contact us at upon@thestaffcollege.uk