This guide is intended to help provide some structure to your first few days in office, and to cut through some of the initial ‘noise’, so that you can focus on what’s important straight away, and what you need to be thinking about going forward.
This publication has been shaped by chief executives who are either former directors of children’s services or for other reasons have been closely associated with leading improvement journeys in council children’s services.
Despite considerable changes in national education policy and school organisation over recent years, councils retain the bulk of their statutory duties. They have a key role as champions of educational excellence for all children and young people in their areas.
Councils have a statutory duty to “secure, so far as is reasonably practicable, sufficient provision of educational and recreational leisure-time activities for young people” and to make sure young people have a say in the local offer.
Councils have a major role in ensuring your parents get the help they need, whether it is through the services they commission or deliver. Health visitors, family nurse partnerships, early years, children’s centres, youth services and the voluntary sector all have a key role to play.
Councils are, in many ways, just at the beginning of this journey to curb violent crime with growing evidence that the key is a ‘public health approach’ – treating it as a disease that can be cured. By working together with our local partners we can make a difference.
As lead member you hold political responsibility for the leadership, strategy and effectiveness of council children’s services and will work closely with the director of children’s services (DCS) who carries the professional accountability.