Director (Designate) - Education and Early Help

An exciting opportunity has arisen to lead the Education and Early Help service within Children Services.  We are creating a Council owned company, Worcestershire Children First (WCF), which will deliver children's services to our communities.  The company which starts in shadow form on 1st April 2019, ready for formal launch on 1st October 2019, will be values led – children at our heart, valuing family life, quality education for all and protection from harm.  This role provides an opportunity to play a key role in shaping, launching and leading the organisation.

Initially appointed as Assistant Director - Education and Early Help in the Council, you will be accountable for influencing, leading and managing resources to deliver better outcomes for Worcestershire residents.  You will be an executive director of WCF with full board accountability to ensure the company delivers its vision and priorities as well as being the senior lead director with specific responsibility for education and early help services.  In preparation for the company launch there is an opportunity to realign and redesign services to ensure that better outcomes are achieved.  The successful candidate will be able to lead this work with the service’s committed and dedicated staff.  

You will report directly to the Director for Children, Families and Communities (Chief Executive designate of WCF).  Your relationship remit spans much wider than this and you will have the opportunity to work with, and support the WCF Board, Elected Members, head teachers and governors of Schools, principals of Further Education Colleges, the Regional Schools Commissioner, Ofsted and Diocesan representatives, health partners, voluntary and community sector partners and children and families. You will play a key role in multi-agency working with Health, Police, District Councils and the businesses community, to harness the whole of Worcestershire’s resources to deliver improved outcomes.  All of these relationships will be instrumental to allow you to lead, develop and commission a cohesive and integrated range of services and resources, which will make a positive difference to families and communities and which support early intervention and prevention activity.

How to Apply

Details on how to apply will be covered at the bottom of this page

Key accountabilities for this role will be as follows:

  • Setting the strategic direction for Education Services, initially within the Council and then in the new Company, ensuring there is an effective range of education provision meeting our legal and statutory obligations in relation to school and settings organisation, settings and school standards and vulnerable learnings 0-25 (SEN).
  • Leading on Demand Management for Early Help services, fostering an enabling approach which supports the creation of self-reliant, resilient families. 
  • Ensuring a robust commissioning approach is in place which is outcome focused, clearly demonstrates the impact on children, young people, families and communities and which delivers related Corporate, Health and Well-being Board, Children and Young People's Plan priorities and the Act Local Agenda, and ensuring a seamless and Worcestershire-wide approach to meet Educational needs achieving improved educational outcomes within allocated resources.
  • Providing strategic leadership in shaping and gaining ongoing commitment to strategies and plans for improving Education & Early Help, which achieve priority outcomes for Worcestershire.
  • Providing strategic development of positive and beneficial relationships with families, partners and agencies, including the voluntary sector to enable access to a range of integrated services for families.
  • Creating powerful and influential partnerships (internal and external) that lead to a shared sense of purpose and responsibility for improved Educational & Early Help outcomes across Worcestershire, and therefore enhance effective co-operation and joint action with Education, Early Help and Children's Social Care providers and services.
  • To secure effective safeguarding practice and this is prioritised and integrated into the strategic commissioning of all education, children, families and communities services.
  • Continually improve and ensure that there is a strategic, commercial and outcome-focused approach to management of Education, Early Help and commissioned services (internal and external), ensuring that effective governance is in place to provide assurance on quality and productivity on our procurement policies, procedures and contracts are commercial, risk based and facilitate community engagement to deliver best value for citizens, in terms of achievement of outcomes, financial performance, quality and statutory compliance.
  • To develop and implement an effective strategy for reducing the NEET 16-18 population and contributing to the Company's Corporate Strategic Plan.
  • Leading on the delivery of improvement actions emerging from reviews and inspections in area of responsibility, ensuring positive impact and outcomes are evidenced within defined timescales.
  • Ensuring that wide-ranging consultation and dialogue takes place with stakeholder organisations, children, families, communities and young people, so that service planning and provision responds effectively to their needs.
  • Robust delivery, prioritisation, risk management, governance, and oversight of all resources (finances and people) in line with statutory, financial planning, regulatory, constitution requirements and best practice frameworks. 
  • A culture of accountability and innovation through a combination of local home grown thinking, testing and external scanning of Education & Early Help Services.

Areas of responsibility:

  • Setting the operating priorities to deliver our strategic objectives within the allocated resources.
  • Development of a coherent operating plan for:
    * Provision, planning, school admissions, school transport and access
    * School Improvement and effectiveness 
    * Early year's sufficiency duty and settings quality assurance
    * Special Educational Needs Inclusion and Assessment (0-25 years)
    * Vulnerable learners, including Looked After Children/Virtual School Head, Children Missing from Education, Elective Home Education & School Investigation
    * Post 16 engagement, Raising of the Participation Age, Not in Education, Employment and Training (NEET) strategy and links to Open for Business
    * Lead Senior Education Officer for Safeguarding
    * Early Help Commissioning;
    * Children's Community Health Commissioning;
    * Stronger (Troubled) Families;
    * Partnerships and Participation;
    * Early Help Implementation;
    * Early Help in Family Front Door;
    * Young People Commissioning;
    * Performance and Quality Assurance

Person Specification:

  1. Degree or equivalent level qualification or experience in relevant field
  2. Evidence of continuous personal development in a discipline or area relevant to the role.
  3. High level of understanding of Educational & Early Help services including a track record of effective continuous improvement in service delivery, evidenced by external inspection and the ability to translate this into successful strategic partnerships to achieve outcomes and targets.
  4. Significant experience of strategic leadership at a senior level within an organisation of appreciable scale and complexity including the development and successful implementation of key organisational strategies in an educational environment.
  5. Able to demonstrate substantial, successful strategic and commercial leadership experience of key services. 
  6. Proven ability to be able to operate in a sophisticated and complex environment requiring shrewd and high level political awareness and the management of strategic links with external partners, for example Ofsted, HMI, DfE
  7. Intellectually curious, with significant examples of innovation and continuous improvement through external awareness, continually looking in new places for solutions. Evidence of leading and supporting major cultural change within a large organisation to improve outcomes for customers, service users and the workforce.
  8. Demonstrable experience of developing strategic business and service delivery models, including sound commissioning, financial and contract management.
  9. Significant experience of creating and maintaining effective and influential partnerships & networks that work collaboratively to shape and deliver better outcomes for families, customers and residents.
  10. Significant experience of leading transformation and cultural change through a diverse set of stakeholders across a complex/large organisation and partner organisations.
  11. A demonstrable track record of identifying and building new capabilities and ways of working that are commercial, focused on behaviour change, demonstrate value for money and citizen focused.
  12. Demonstrable track record of innovation and continuous improvement, role modelling intellectual curiosity and bringing in new thinking from inside and outside the organisation.
  13. Evidence on successfully setting, monitoring and delivering on ambitious and inspiring targets and  goals, holding people to account for delivery
  14. Evidence of creating and delivering a clear vision, ensuring a real focus on the things that matter to families, communities and residents and to the wider organisation.
  15. Evidence of moving from thinking to action quickly, demonstrating appropriate balance between risk and opportunity.
  16. Has a relentless focus on prioritising along with embedding and evaluating progress routinely and regularly.
  17.  Sets, monitors and delivers on ambitious targets/goals and holds people to account for delivery.
  18. Understands how to analyse and harness data and technology to deliver improved engagement, involvement, efficiency and behaviour change, and understanding of citizens.
  19. Understands how to build and maintain the reputation of an organisation, locally, nationally and internationally, to deliver tangible benefits for residents and successful local and national media management as required.

How to Apply

To register your expression of interest, please submit the following to

  • A comprehensive letter outlining:
    * Why you are interested in the role
    * What relevant skills and experience you would bring to the role
    * Why you would consider yourself a suitable candidate
  • An up to date CV

This vacancy closes at end of play on 10th April 2019.