Inspiring Leaders Programme

upon - Aspirant Directors of Children's Services Programme

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Supported by
Department for Education
Contact email address
Closing date:
13th June
Job Ref:

Recruitment timetable

Application closing date
Monday 13th June 2022
Notification of outcome of application stage
w/c 4th July 2022
Welcome and introduction to the programme
27th - 28th September or 29th - 30th September 2022
Workshop One
20th October or 21st October 2022
Residential 1
28th - 30th November or 5th - 7th December 2022
Workshop 2
17th January or 18th January 2023
Workshop 3
7th or 8th February 2023
Residential 2
20th - 21st March or 22nd - 23rd March 2023

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 2022 and running until March 2023, the third upon Programme will welcome around 40 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 very successful cohorts during 2020 and 2021, 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

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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. 

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

Please note: 

If your application is successful and you are offered a place on the programme, you will be required to have a declaration letter of support from your employer signed. Your place on the programme will be contingent on getting this document signed and returned to us by the given deadline.


The following consultants are managing this role and will be happy to answer any questions that are not covered in the person specification on the next webpage.

Philip Emms
07590 225 472
Kate Merson
020 7426 3376
Alex Hayes
0113 205 6109
Continue to full details and application

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