Westminster Education Forum

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7538736244

Children’s services in England - inspection, effective multi-agency working, and innovation in delivery

Morning, Wednesday, 3rd June 2020


This conference will discuss the future of children’s services provision in England.

It is scheduled at a time of considerable policy development - and challenges for the sector - including:

  • Resource pressures - with the National Audit Office reporting local authorities outspending their children’s services budgets and the LGA warning of local authorities funding gaps;
  • New working arrangements - with Local Safeguarding Children Boards now replaced with new Safeguarding Partners consisting of local authorities, CCGs, and local police forces;
  • Regulatory reform - with the latest inspection framework for children’s services in place for two years, and following the publication of Ofsted’s evaluation of its implementation; and
  • Innovation in service design - with the conclusion this year of the Government’s six-year Children’s Social Care Innovation programme - designed to encourage new ways of working that can be scaled up more widely if successful - and following the introduction of a Partners in Practice programme designed to share existing best practice.

Areas for discussion include:

  • Implementation of the new Safeguarding Partners arrangements so far - with a keynote address from Sir Alan Wood who originally designed the new system;
  • Key inspection framework challenges so far including introduction of short inspections, the inspection of large local authorities, and the ‘burden’ of numerous inspection events; and
  • What has been learnt from the Children’s Social Care Innovation and Partners in Practice programmes and the next steps for encouraging innovation within children’s services.


There will be keynote contributions from:

  • Yvette Stanley, National Director, Social Care, Ofsted;
  • Graham Archer, Director, Children’s Services Policy, Department for Education; and
  • Sir Alan Wood, Founding Chair, What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care.

Further confirmed speakers include: Ruth Allen, British Association of Social Workers; Sarah Newman, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council; Heather Rolinson, Innovation Unit; and Kevin Yong, Coram-i.

The conference will bring together further key policymakers and stakeholders - including schools, local authorities, police forces, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), and others from across the NHS, charities and advocacy groups, academics and lawyers.

The agenda

  • The challenges facing children - what’s driving the demand for children’s services;
  • Addressing the rise in demand, resources, and improving multi-agency working post-LSCBs (Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards);
  • The inspecting local authority children’s services (ILACS) framework and driving improvement;
  • What works - how can children’s social care innovate and improve;
  • Innovation in children’s services - tackling barriers to new ways of working, evaluating change and the next steps for spreading best practice:
    • Achieving and building on ‘Outstanding’ delivery;
    • A case study from the Innovation in Children’s Services programme - improving long-term foster placements and adoption rates;
    • The Innovation in Children’s Services Programme - lessons so far and how can best practice be implemented across the country; and
    • Experiences of the council-owned social enterprise model.
  • Next steps for policy - government’s priorities for improving children’s services.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

Westminster Health Forum conferences typically attract strong interest from policymakers. This seminar will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have reserved places from the Department for Education and Ofsted.

Keynote Speakers

Sir Alan Wood

Founding Chair, What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care

Graham Archer

Director, Children’s Services Policy, Department for Education

Yvette Stanley

National Director, Social Care, Ofsted


Sarah Newman

Executive Director, Bi-Borough Children’s Services, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster City Council

Kevin Yong

Managing Director, Coram-i

Heather Rolinson

Director of Innovation Consultancy, Innovation Unit

Ruth Allen

Chief Executive, British Association of Social Workers