Inspiring Leaders Programme

Aspirant Directors of Children's Services Programme

Share this role

Supported by
Department for Education
Contact email address
Closing date:
28th June
Job Ref:

Recruitment timetable

Application closing date
Midday on 28th June 2021
Welcome and introduction to the programme
28th or 30th September 2021 (afternoon)
Launch Day
29th September or 1st October 2021
Workshop 1
19th or 21st October 2021
Residential 1
1st - 3rd December or 8th - 10th December
Workshop 2
18th or 20th January 2022
Workshop 3
15th or 17th February 2022
Residential 2
15th - 16th March or 22nd - 23rd March

Associated documents


Are you an inspirational leader? Are you a change-maker? Are you someone the UK’s young people can depend upon?

Introducing the upon Programme for aspiring Directors of Children’s Services.

Starting in late September 2021 and running until March 2022, the second upon Programme will welcome around 35 future leaders.

The delivery of the programme will be a blend of virtual and face to face learning based on continued emerging Covid-19 arrangements. Having delivered a very successful first cohort during 2020, we know that you will benefit from a richly blended learning experience, taking advantage of online engagements alongside residential and face-to-face activities.

What you’ll experience

So, what support and learning will you get access to as part of the programme?

- 8 ‘taught’ days of leadership and management development including academic learning and the chance to discuss the reality with current DCS and go on learning visits.

- A learning repository packed with helpful guides, videos, blogs from successful leaders and learning sessions you can take in your own time.

- Personal support through 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, you just need to be fully committed to completing the programme.

Should you apply?

We’re looking for inspiring new leaders that children can depend upon. If the following description sounds like you, we would love to hear from you:

- A strong moral purpose and passion to champion children and young people.

- At least 3 years effective senior strategic leadership and management experience in local government children’s services or related fields and sectors.

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.

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.

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


How to Apply

To apply for this programme, please ensure you submit the following:

- Responses to all application questions.

- An up to date copy of your CV

- A Video Personal Statement, you will click on the link to record your personal statement video, this will take you to a separate webpage to record your video. 

- A copy of your letter of support from your employer. It is important that your employer can give you the support needed to undertake the programme and it is worthwhile having the conversation early to make sure this doesn’t slow down your application. Please ensure that the following details of your employer reference are included:

         -Name of employer

         - Position

         - Email address

         - Contact number

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an automated email to confirm that you have applied. If you do not receive this email, please make contact with GatenbySanderson on

Continue to full details and application

Before continuing please read and accept our Privacy Policy