Westminster Education Forum

Key issues for children’s services in England - new service models, managing financial pressures and next steps for inspections

Morning, Thursday, 16th November 2017

Central London


This timely seminar will assess the future for children’s services in England, looking at managing funding pressures, priorities for improving services and the next steps for inspections.

Delegates will discuss best practice in managing services and improving outcomes in light of ongoing funding pressures, including the use of early intervention, leadership and data and technology to improve efficiency in service delivery. They will also consider the findings of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children’s No Good Options report, which recommended a review of resourcing of children’s social care and the incentivisation of early intervention.

Stakeholders and policymakers will also analyse progress so far and future for the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme in light of the ongoing funding allocation for the second round of projects, including lessons from evaluations of the first round which can be applied to other contexts and the action needed to support projects to produce long-term, sustainable changes.

Further sessions will assess the future for service reform in children’s social care, including collaboration and service integration, following the announcement that the Government is developing an improvement system to support local authority children’s services. Delegates will also consider the progress so far in areas where children’s services have been removed from local authority control, in light of commitments to continue to remove responsibility for children’s services from the weakest-performing local authorities.

The next steps for inspections - including assessing the impact of leadership, responding to financial contexts and the piloting of focused visits - will also be discussed, ahead of the implementation of a new inspection framework for local authority children’s services from January 2018.

Guests of Honour

Lisa Pascoe

Deputy Director, Social Care Policy, Ofsted

Emily Whitehead

Deputy Director, Local Authority Improvement and Change, Department for Education

Guests of Honour

Emily Whitehead

Deputy Director, Local Authority Improvement and Change, Department for Education

Lisa Pascoe

Deputy Director, Social Care Policy, Ofsted

Keynote Speaker

Dr Jo Finch

Reader in Social Work and Deputy Director, Centre for Social Work Research, University of East London


Rt Rev the Lord Bishop of Durham

Lord Ramsbotham


Councillor Richard Watts

Leader, Islington Council and Chair, Children and Young People Board, Local Government Association

Tony Oakman

Deputy Chief Executive and Strategic Director for People, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Lucy Butler

Director of Children’s Services, Oxfordshire County Council

Maria Godfrey

Early Intervention Manager, Oxfordshire County Council

Robert Mack

Children, Families & Young People Service Manager, Compass Service, Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Nicholas Yeates

Consultant Psychologist, Child, Family and Young Peoples' Mental Health Service, Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Tom Symons

Principal Researcher, Nesta

Enver Solomon

Director of External Affairs, National Children’s Bureau

Pamela Dow

Chief Reform Officer, Catch 22

Peter Hay

former Strategic Director for People, Birmingham City Council

Miranda Gittos

Interim Director of Family Services, Westminster City Council

Wajid Shafiq

Chief Executive Officer, Xantura

Paul Moffat

Chief Executive, Doncaster Children’s Services Trust

Senior speaker confirmed from Compass Project

Abbie Rumbold

Partner and Head of Public Services & Mutuals and Health & Social Care, Bates Wells Braithwaite