LGA - Children’s Improvement Adviser (CIA) procurement

Twelve months contracts starting 1 June 2019.


12 months contracts starting 1 June 2019 in the following regions*

  • East of England Region (30 days)
  • South East England Region (40 days)
  • North West England Region (50 days)
  • South West (55 days)
  • North East (30 days)
  • London (40 days)
  • East Midlands (30 days)
  • Yorkshire and Humber (30 days)
  • West Midlands (55 days)

The number of days allocated for each region is determined by the number of local authorities in that region and the expected levels of support they will need.

In this challenging high-profile work, you will be instrumental to the improvement of children’s services within councils. Working with the LGA’s Principal Adviser you will engage with councils that have been identified for sector-led support. You will develop strong relationships with Lead Members, Chief Executives and Directors of Children’s Services. Building a clear understanding of their needs, you will identify innovative solutions, broker improvement strategies, and ensure they are delivered. This is a role with huge scope and a broad remit - from commissioning additional capacity and expertise, through to facilitating staff development and change management programmes. Working with regional networks, you will ensure best practice, policies and partnerships are shared. (Role Description attached)

Your background

You will bring to the role proven senior level experience in complex political and strategic environments within children’s services and you will have recent experience as either a DCS or a DfE Advisor. Together with an in-depth understanding of central and local government, you will have a track record of creating strategies, interventions and innovative solutions to complex issues. An inspirational, motivational and influential leader with deep integrity and professional credibility, you will demonstrate a flair for negotiation and forging partnerships.

How to tender for this work

If you are interested in this work, please submit a CV together with a short statement setting out your suitability and your preference for which region.

Closing date: 5pm, 12 April 2019

Please forward your CV and supporting statement to richard.cooke@local.gov.uk

If you would like an informal discussion about these opportunities please contact:

Richard Cooke, National Programme Manager (Children’s Services) – 07766 356320

Role Description: Children’s Improvement Adviser

Reports to: Regional Principal Adviser, Local Government Support

Purpose

In these challenging high-profile roles, you will be instrumental to the improvement of children’s services within councils:

  • To support the Principal Adviser within the nine Regions and work with all member councils to provide sector-led support. You will develop strong relationships to build a clear understanding of need in children’s services, to support leadership, identify innovative solutions, broker improvement strategies, and ensure they are delivered. Building a direct relationship with the regional improvement alliances in terms of strategic planning, intervention and resources.
  • To provide complementary support and assistance, where required, to existing regional sector led improvement programmes for children’s services and contribute to the development of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) peer support service and support improvement in local authorities.
  • To support and develop leadership and best practice in councils and support councils at risk, acting as a broker between the Local Government Association (LGA) and local authorities.
  • To commission additional capacity and expertise, facilitating staff development and change management programmes. Working with regional networks, you will ensure sector led improvement is developed and best practice, policies and partnerships are shared.

Core accountabilities:

  1. Develop networks and partnerships that are of value to Councils and to the LGA and work to maintain a positive reputation for the LGA with local authorities, central government, partners and stakeholders.
  2. Support the Principal Adviser in maintaining a culture of continuous improvement across the children’s services sector.
  3. Commission resources to supplement the LGA core resources in terms of capacity and expert knowledge.
  4. Work closely with LGA Programme Managers responsible for Policy and Peer Review/Diagnostic delivery and act as a broker between LGA and the Regions.
  5. Lead/work as part of a team, building a culture of flexible and collaborative team working to ensure that the LGA meets its business objectives and responds effectively to new or changing requirements.
  6. To maintain a systematic overview of the performance and challenges for individual councils within the region.
  7. Model the LGA’s values and work in accordance with health and safety, equal opportunities and environmental policies.
  8. Undertake any other duties and responsibilities appropriate to the post.

Specific Accountabilities:

  1. Manage and maintain relationships with individual local authorities, and or groupings of authorities across a region or sub region at the level of leading members, chief executives and senior officers (eg Directors of Children’s Services, Assistant Directors and nominated leads for improvement) to help them develop sector led improvement and access national support.
  2. Directed by the Principal Adviser, assist in the identification of councils at risk, using an evidence-based approach and engaging with councils and groups of councils, government,the political groups and other sector improvement bodies as appropriate
  3. Support the provision of direct peer support to councils
  4. Contribute to the development of the LGA’s approach to peer challenge and peer review, and to ensuring that a consistent and streamlined framework and methodology is in place and kept up-to-date. This will include the opportunity to be involved in peer review teams.
  5. Work collaboratively with LGA politicians and officers to maintain up-to-date knowledge about local government performance and contribute to LGA positioning and practice.
  6. Provide high quality scoping and diagnostic work and examples of other good practice to develop appropriate solutions and interventions for individual organisations or groups of organisations.
  7. Provide post peer review support to Council’s to implement recommendations and develop areas for consideration that have been identified.
  8. Within a consistent framework of support, and as directed by the Principal Adviser, participate in the commissioning and co-ordination of improvement activity and interventions from peers, consultants and where appropriate LGA employees, to meet the support needs of councils. Following agreed procurement processes and within budget allocations.
  9. Ensure that a high quality of service is delivered; understand and recognise the highly challenging politically sensitive and high-profile environment in order to manage complexities and risk.
  10. Develop and maintain relationships across local government and central government, elected members, regulatory bodies, professional societies, voluntary and private sector business and partner organisations to ensure influence of sector improvement and promote the LGA’s contribution at a national and regional level.
  11. Ensure that key findings, learning and impact are widely understood and integrated across the LGA in order that the LGA’s services are closely aligned to the experiences and priorities of the sector.
  12. Participate in national and sub-national events to improve knowledge of developments within local government and the products and services of the LGA.

Relevant contacts:

Local Authorities

Elected members of all parties including Leaders and Portfolio holders

Senior Officers (Chief Executives and Directors of Children’s Services)

Sector experts/professional bodies

National, regional and sub-regional organisations and groupings of councils

Regional Sector Led Improvement Programme Managers for Children’s Services

Members and Officers; Political Group OfficesCorporate Management Team; Principal Advisors; Financial Support Advisors; Adult Improvement Advisors

Other: Regulatory Bodies (Ofsted and Department for Education); Private and voluntary sector partners; ADCS; SOLACE; Regional Improvement Allianances and other regional networks; Other appropriate regional and loical organisations

Person Specification: Children’s Improvement Adviser

Qualifications

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent
  • Membership of ADCS

Knowledge and experience

  • Proven senior level experience in complex political and strategic environments within children’s services (former and recent DCS
  • or DfE Advisor experience is essential)
  • Understanding of the key issues, priorities and pressures affecting local and central government
  • Demonstrable experience of leading successful projects for improvement in children’s services across a diverse range of participants
  • Experience of line management including managing a large and diverse team
  • Experience of producing presentations, reports, and briefings
  • Experience of working with senior officers and members to deliver support to local authorities
  • Track record of creating strategies, interventions and innovative solutions to complex issues
  • Understanding of the local government policy and improvement agenda
  • Proven ability to build and maintaining effective relationships and partnerships

Skills and abilities

  • An inspirational, motivational and influential leader with deep integrity and professional credibility
  • Political sensitivity, and the ability to exercise appropriate discretion and judgement on issues of significance and importance
  • Proven credibility with politicians, senior managers, key stakeholders and staff.
  • Excellent organisational skills and the ability to deliver under pressure, prioritising work against competing demands to meet deadlines.
  • Strong influencing, negotiating and relation-building skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with ability to present complex ideas in a clear and comprehensible way
  • Confident and resilient with excellent people skills, able to develop positive internal and external relationships.
  • Good financial and resource management skills.
  • Strong team player able to build alliances and lead from within
  • Strong analytical skills including the ability to interpret evidence and identify trends
  • Able to deliver under pressure, prioritising work against competing demands to meet deadlines.
  • Intellectually agile and innovative, capable of translating ideas into policy and practice
  • High level awareness of media and presentational issues, and ability to work with politicians and media professionals to shape and project credible public positions.
  • Commitment to personal and professional development