Inspiring Leaders Programme

Aspirant Directors Programme

What to expect

Starting in late November 2020 and running until June 2021, the first upon Programme will welcome around 20 future leaders.

The delivery of the programme will be a blend of virtual and face to face learning - subject to COVID-19 arrangements. And don’t worry, we’ll make sure there are a mix of activities so you’re not glued to a screen and you get to take advantage of the informal interactions that you would benefit from during a residential programme.

We’ll concentrate on creating the perfect environment for you to grow into the role of Director, using a range of inputs and techniques.

  • As well as 8 ‘taught’ days, you will take part in learning visits, action learning and leadership challenge activities, planned to support you in your very busy day job.
  • Content will be tailored around the needs of the cohort, using the skills and experience of participants as well as the expertise of facilitators and contributors.

What you’ll experience:

  • Leadership and management development including both academic learning and the chance to discuss the realities with leaders in the field, personal leadership qualities and resilience, systems leadership and building alliances and partnerships; working in political and corporate contexts;  leading in complexity; engaging communities; delivering results; innovation and change.
  • Building technical knowledge and skills – open access repository including guides, videos, blogs from successful leaders, learning sessions in areas of knowledge gaps. 
  • Personal support – you’ll have formative assessments including 360 feedback, a regional learning mentor and an employer sponsor.  There is optional academic accreditation and an optional coaching offer in year 2 and career advice and support.
  • You’ll grow as a person and as a leader during the programme which will equip you to feel more ready to step up to a DCS role with confidence, and you’ll be part of a national peer community during the programme and beyond.

In return, we ask that you, and your sponsors, are committed to your full contribution to and completion of the programme, giving to your peers as well as yourselves.

Should you apply?

We’re looking for inspiring new leaders that children can depend upon.

Here’s an outline of some of the experience and character that would make an ideal future DCS:

  • A strong moral purpose and passion to champion children and young people and their outcomes.
  • At least 3 years effective senior strategic leadership and management experience in local government children’s services or related fields and sectors, though perhaps you feel you still want to consolidate your knowledge across the different component areas or be more confident in applying leadership skills to a more diverse range of services.
  • If you fit these criteria, and you think you have the potential to become a Director of Children’s Services within the next three years then apply.

In this first year, we will be giving priority to those who have the potential to become a Director in the next 18 months but if you are interested, apply anyway as we are building up a talent pool for future years.

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Leaders

We believe the future of Children’s Services is one of diversity, acceptance, and equal opportunities for all. There are some outstanding role models for all of us amongst the world’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic leaders but we know that there remain barriers to progression which are long standing in this sector and others. To help achieve greater diversity of leaders, upon will be providing specific support for aspiring leaders, new Directors and employers, to help address some of the barriers to progression which are long standing in this sector and others. We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Leaders.

We are working with existing leaders from our Black and Asian Leadership Initiative along with other senior leaders, to develop our approach.

If you are not already involved in this work and would like to know more, please contact us at upon@thestaffcollege.uk.