The changing landscape for children’s services - accountability, best practice and opportunities for innovation

Location: London
Organiser: Westminster Education Forum

Bringing together policymakers and key stakeholders, delegates at this seminar will consider the future for children’s services - bringing out latest thinking on best practice, collaboration and innovation.

It will assess the initial impact and implementation of government’s newly announced accountability measures for children’s services, which will see failing services taken over by high-performing local authorities, experts and charities, if they do not show signs of improvement six months on from an inspection - and is timed to follow the recommendations of the Education Select Committee’s inquiry into children’s social work, launched in January.

With recent cuts to council budgets, delegates at this seminar will also consider latest examples of best practice in local authority collaboration and innovation, such as government’s Partners in Practice programme - which aims to provide a ‘blueprint for excellence’ that other councils can learn from. They will also discuss challenges faced by councils in maintaining high-quality services, in light of the Children’s Commissioner’s calls for a review into how children’s services will respond to decreases in funding.

Further sessions will examine several new measures designed to raise standards in children’s social work, including government’s plans for a new regulatory body for the profession and a What Works Centre to share research and best practice, along with a £100m investment to expand programmes to recruit more talented graduates into social work, such as Frontline.

We are delighted that Graham Archer, Director, Children's Services, Department for Education and Lisa Pascoe, Deputy Director, Social Care Policy, Ofsted have agreed to be Guests of Honour at this seminar. Councillor Elizabeth Campbell, Cabinet Member for Family and Children's Services, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; Dr Tim Hobbs, Head of Data and Analytics, Dartington Social Research Unit; Dr Duncan Ramsey, Director of Education, CWA Academy Trust; Michael Rosen, Executive Director of Children’s Services, Norfolk County Council; Richard Selwyn, Assistant Director for Children’s Commissioning, Suffolk County Council and Amy-Grace Whillans-Welldrake, Researcher, Centre for Local Economic Strategies have also agreed to speak.

Earl of Listowel, Treasurer, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children has kindly agreed to chair part of this seminar. is an online service designed to support and encourage parents and carers of children aged 5-19, with a collection of videos addressing day-to-day questions and concerns spanning wellbeing, behaviour and learning.