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IPC form part of the 'upon' consortium, who have launched a DfE-supported programme to support new Directors of Children's Services

A new programme aimed at increasing the pool of future Directors of Children’s Services (DCS), supported by the Department for Education, has been launched.

The programme has been initiated in response to the DfE identifying significant challenges in attracting and retaining talented leaders in DCS roles. For example, in 2018/2019 alone, over 25% of local authorities experienced a change in DCS. It was also found that the current average length of tenure as a DCS is 47 months.

The “upon Leaders Programme”, co-created by a consortium awarded with the tender comprising of The Staff College, Institute of Public Care, Skills for Care, and Gatenby Sanderson, aims to increase the pool of talent leaders that flow into DCS roles, providing support that results in people remaining in the post for a longer period of time.

The programme has been co-created with the sector, and is looking to attract a diverse range of applicants from both the public and private sector, to find and develop those with the core behaviours and skills that are needed in a DCS role.

The programme will develop leadership and management skills, including personal leadership qualities and resilience, systems leadership and building alliances and partnerships; working in political and corporate contexts; leading in complexity; engaging communities; delivering results; innovation and change.

For more information, or to apply to join the programme, visit:

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