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South West Sufficiency Project led by South Gloucestershire Council

IPC was commissioned to produce one of the key deliverables for the project: a single market position statement

  • Situation and Task

  • What was the impact?

  • Key Success Factors

  • Situation and Task

  • Situation and Task

    Local authorities across the southwest of England are facing significant challenges in providing homes for children in care or school places for children with special educational needs which are close to their families and communities and appropriate to each child’s individual’s needs. Demand has been increasing faster than provision and the pandemic has compounded the challenges facing commissioners and providers.

    These challenges are common across the UK, but the southwest region succeeded in winning funding from the Department for Education to develop a regional whole systems approach to tackle these challenges and ultimately improve outcomes for children. The South West Sufficiency Project is led by South Gloucestershire Council on behalf of all 14 mainland councils in the region which provide social care and education.

    IPC was commissioned to produce one of the key deliverables for the project: a single market position statement covering fostering, children’s residential care and independent special schools.

  • What was the impact?

  • What was the impact?

    For the first time, the southwest has a single comprehensive document covering three key aspects of children’s services. By working together, IPC helped the region to produce a document with a scope and quality which would be hard to replicate at a local level, underpinned by robust data.

    The Market Position Statement developed by IPC, provides clear and consistent messaging to providers and is helping to shape a detailed delivery plan to turn aspirations and priorities into reality.

    “IPC have been excellent and extremely easy to work with from initial contact right through to completion. They have gone above and beyond what was expected, and we can’t thank them enough for their expertise and commitment to the project. The MPS was a challenging piece of work to navigate which they managed with ease.”

    Lead Commissioning Manager for Children and Young People’s Services.

  • Key Success Factors

  • Key Success Factors

    Covering 14 local authorities, and three different children’s ‘markets’ required knowledge of the region and the sector, and the ability to understand and listen to different perspectives, both from the local authorities and also providers. IPC provided this along with a flexible, iterative approach to drafting and sign off. This ensured the final document received ‘buy in’ across the region.

    A bespoke regional data collection provided a more detailed picture than ever before about regional trends in both demand and supply. This was complemented by good use of national data sets which enabled IPC to make comparisons with the national picture and other regions, making best use of the data which authorities had already collected.

    Good communication and stakeholder engagement was essential. IPC was supported in this by the lead commissioner role, led by South Gloucestershire, and the dedicated project manager role enabled by national funding.

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