As an authority we are highly ambitious in the outcomes we seek for all children and young people. We are an exceptional, award winning children’s service, spreading innovative practice nationally.
As we say in “Young and Yorkshire”, our children and young people’s plan, we want life chances increasingly to be in their own hands and not determined by geography or family circumstances. We also want to be an inclusive Authority with high quality education provision and support which works well together across the spectrum of need, whilst meeting the reality of public sector funding.
North Yorkshire has a growing reputation for its children and young people’s service with successful Ofsted outcomes and award winning innovation programmes. As a result, the LA is one of the DfE “Partner in Practice” authorities. It is certainly an LA which recognises the need for creativity and collaboration and for greater engagement of all in finding new solutions to historic challenges.
High quality education transforms lives. It brings alive knowledge and skills and ignites enterprise and endeavour. It liberates the talent and ingenuity of everyone it touches. We are determined that every young person in our schools must have access to the right opportunities, experiences and support that they need to succeed.
This passion for education continues to drive us. We are proud of our collective track record with 92% of children going to a good or outstanding primary school and 87% of children going to a good or outstanding secondary school. We have seen significant progress against our ambitions for improvement and the results achieved by students in secondary schools remain some of the best in the country.
The council is also leading and supporting some key cutting-edge initiatives that, with partners, are making a difference to the education offer in the county. The coastal district of Scarborough has schools with particular challenges and through the Scarborough Pledge £250,000 a year is being invested in areas including early help, raising aspirations and improving schools.
In addition to this, education secretary, Justine Greening, has announced that six areas identified as the most challenged when it comes to social mobility will have access to funding to address the biggest challenges they face. These six “opportunity areas” will benefit from help in ensuring children get the best start in the early years, building teaching and leadership capacity in schools, increasing access to university, strengthening technical pathways for young people, and working with employers to improve young people’s access to the right advice and experiences. Scarborough is one of first places to be identified as an “opportunity area”.
The inclusion service is a broad area and provides integrated services for children and young people (0-25 years), with special educational needs and disabilities. This covers provisions across a range of functions, including special schools, enhanced mainstream schools and pupil referral units. This is where we differ from some other local authorities and our approach provides a strong sense of the voice of children and young people, keeping them at the heart of the service.
As a service, we are committed to creating a healthy culture where social workers feel that they have a forum to share their views about the organisation and environment in which they work. We have been nominated for several awards and have previously won employer of the year at the social work awards. Through our workforce strategy we also ensure that staff receive continuous and excellent support from management.
Don’t just take our word for it. In a recent health check survey our social workers told us that they had manageable workloads, supportive and transparent management and the opportunity for CPD. Overall the survey revealed that:
- 93% would recommend North Yorkshire as a good place to be a social worker
- 100% were happy with the amount of supervision received, allowing them the opportunity to reflect and to continue to deliver high quality social work in the county.
- 94% believe that the county council is a learning organisation and has a positive learning culture, offering a transparent culture which nurtures practice learning and the development of professional practice.
- 84% felt supported to manage any work-related pressures, allowing them the time and space to make good decisions, focusing their efforts on making a real difference.
As part of the testament to social work recruitment and retention we have not employed agency social workers for over 4 years. Our vacancy rate is low and there is low turnover of staff. As a result of our workforce stability, children enjoy positive and stable relationships with their social workers.
Our No Wrong Door initiative is seen nationally as a flagship programme with 37 authorities working with us to mirror local practice. The scheme has been introduced to support troubled and challenging young people who have been in and out of foster care. No Wrong Door is expected to reduce the county’s looked after population to 400 – it has already dropped by 20% in the space of 18 months and is now seen as a national exemplar. Stepney Road, a No Wrong Door Centre based in Scarborough is leading the way nationally in improving the lives of young people, gaining an “Outstanding” Ofsted rating in their latest inspection.
This track record provides an excellent base to advance your career; safe in the knowledge that you have a strong foundation from which to further build our services locally and nationally. We are a large authority providing the opportunity to work at scale, on a national stage and further develop cutting edge practice.
If you think you are up to the challenge we would like to hear from you!
For more information about the assistant director of children and young people's services role and to apply take a look here.