Newsletter 7: March 2017

Key highlights from our learning activities

Innovation Programme learning event – Innovation towards Excellence

We hosted an Innovation Programme learning event on the 16th March 2017 in Manchester Town Hall. The theme for the event was Innovation towards Excellence, looking at the role innovation plays across a local authority/organisation’s improvement journey. Multiple wave 1 funded projects and non-Innovation Programme projects were invited as speakers to deliver interactive sessions on how successful innovations are implemented across the sector. We had a fantastic response with over 50 leaders and senior decision makers participating from local authorities and voluntary sector organisations across the country. You can read about the key highlights of the event here.

 The Spring Consortium also developed a set of Innovation Insights boards that were shared during the event. These boards capture insights from the project’s perspective about how innovation in Children’s Social Care is being done, which methods people are finding helpful and the conditions required for innovation to thrive. They offer an introduction rather than a ‘how to’ guide, using illustrative examples of projects from within and beyond the Innovation Programme. The boards also provide reference links to further information. Click here to access the boards.

Key highlights from other learning activities

Over the last few months we have hosted multiple learning events and have also represented the Innovation Programme in sector led events, you can read about the key highlights of these events here.


What’s next?

We are now planning for our next learning event, please keep an eye out on our website for event details. If you have any event suggestions/recommendations, please drop us an email at


Funding for 11 new projects announced

As part of the second round of the Innovation Programme, we are delighted to announce that a further 11 projects will receive funding from the programme. These are:

  • The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and NHS England’s Child House
  • Newham’s NewDay project
  • Northamptonshire County Council’s alternative delivery model
  • Shared Lives Plus
  • The Fostering Network’s Mockingbird project
  • Family Rights Group’s Lifelong Links
  • Hertfordshire’s Family Safeguarding model 
  • Catch22 and Southwark Council’s Care Leavers’ Partnership
  • Havering Council’s project for children in, and leaving, care
  • Slough’s Transformation Programme
  • Hackney’s project on contextual safeguarding theory

For more information on the announcement click here

For more information on the projects click here


Targeted Funding Opportunity

In November, the Department for Education announced a Targeted Funding Opportunity through the Innovation Programme to develop and test innovations focusing on the four policy areas highlighted in ‘Putting Children First’:

  • Building on the recommendations of the Narey report on residential care, particularly piloting ‘Staying Close’ and regional commissioning of residential care;
  • Testing the use of social investment to improve support for care leavers;
  • Testing alternative delivery models for children’s social care; and
  • Testing and developing understanding of targeted support to prevent children entering child protection systems.

We received over 140 Expressions of Interest as part of the Targeted Funding Opportunity. 59 applicants attended an event to further develop their solution and submit a full proposal to the programme. The events provided an opportunity for participants to share ideas and learning and to take their expressions of interest to the next stage. Full proposals will be submitted to DfE by the end of April and funding decisions made by the end of June. Further information can be found here.



A further 10 evaluations from wave 1 were published last week. Please click here to view the summary reports.


Partners in Practice

The Department for Education have published summaries setting out the work that the Partners in Practice are doing as part of the programme. Their activities are focused on developing their own excellence and sharing that with other local authorities through their sector improvement offer. Please click here to view the summaries.


Recent Press Coverage

Calderdale Council – Supporting young people to make Positive Choices

Mother courage: swapping pregnancy in exchange for help

Havering’s children’s services given multi-million pound boost

Peterborough secures £2.8million grant to take domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health issues



If you have any questions, or would like further information about the programme, visit our website or email us at

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