Department for Education Local Authority Sector Led Improvement Programme
20 DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION LOCAL AUTHORITY SECTOR LED IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMME - The Director: Children and Community Resilience submitted an urgent report clarifying the scope of the Department for Education (DfE) Local Authority Sector Led Improvement Programme and seeking approval for the council to submit the application to become a Sector Led Improvement partner to provide a joint package of support across children’s social care and SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).
The DfE published guidance on how to apply to become a Local Authority Sector Led Improvement (SLI) partner on 16 December 2020.
The SLI programme was designed to help councils support each other to improve their children’s services by working collaboratively, sharing good practice and providing constructive challenge. The programme was designed to encourage collective responsibility for the performance of the sector.
Previous examples of SLI support across children’s social care had covered a vast range of practice areas and support had been provided through diagnostic services, case audits, mentoring, training and disseminating learning through conferences and events.
To date, there had not been a SLI approach to SEND and the DfE were also seeking councils who could also offer SEND improvement support including support for strategic planning and leadership, effective financial management, workforce development, joint working and commissioning, needs assessment and coproduction with parent carers, children and young people.
Councils were invited to submit an application to work with the DfE as a SLI partner to support children’s social care improvement, or combined improvement for children’s social care and SEND.
As part of the application process, it was necessary to secure evidence of elected members and chief executive support prior to submission. Key milestones were as follows:
• 11 February 2021 - Application to be submitted
• 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 – Successful councils to begin set up/delivery of support
The matter was urgent due to the requirement to submit the application by 11 February 2021, as set out in guidance by the Department of Education.
Resolved – That the council’s application to become a Sector Led Improvement partner to provide a joint package of support across children’s social care and SEND, to be submitted within the timescales as set out in the report, be approved.