The Cabinet is composed of the leader, deputy leader and six other councillors (or Spokespersons) appointed by the leader of the council (the leader of the political group with the most elected councillors). The Cabinet has overall responsibility for the services that the council provides and operates within the overall policies and budget agreed by the council. The Spokespersons lead the discussions in Cabinet on issues in their specific portfolio or group of services. Recommendations on major items of policy and on the annual budget and capital programme are passed to the council for consideration and approval. The individual Cabinet Spokespersons also have power to take more routine decisions about matters in their portfolio. Find out more about this here; http://edemocracy.barnsley.gov.uk/edemocracy
My Portfolio (my third) is the only one of these which is a statutory position. It is perhaps the most significant function of the authority, not least because it accounts for almost half the employees of the authority and the single largest budget, but primarily because it is the most important and challenging thing we do.
The Directorate for Children, Young People and Families was set up in 2007, to meet the requirements of the Children Act 2004. It brought together two major services—education and children’s social care— along with aspects of children’s health services.
Our services are delivered through three distinct service areas, each led by an Assistant Executive Director, with a fourth Assistant Executive Director leading a programme of efficiency and children’s services development aligned to and complementing the overarching ‘Future Council’ programme.
Lifelong learning, leadership and enterprise
Lifelong Learning, Achievement and Enterprise
Services in this part of the directorate are responsible for ensuring that children and young people, at all stages of their lives, have access to high quality educational, vocational, extra-curricular and leisure activities.
They enable children and young people, including the most vulnerable, to achieve positive educational outcomes, raise their confidence and skills base, and through education, training and employment, make sure they can contribute to society and are prepared for work. Adult and family learning is an important part of this service.
Lifelong Learning, Achievement and Enterprise supports 20,000 primary school children, 13,000 secondary schools children, as well as those in nurseries, children’s centres, and special schools across the borough. Through youth support services, work focuses on reducing the number of young people involved in anti-social behaviour or offending and increasing those involved in positive activities and volunteering.
Safeguarding, health and social care
Services in this area of the directorate are responsible for ensuring children and young people are protected from abuse and neglect, and for commissioning or providing services to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people, including those with additional or complex needs.
As well as paying close attention to keeping children safe, this service provides specialist targeted assistance to the most vulnerable children and young people in our community. This includes child protection; ensuring the wellbeing of those children looked after by the local authority; residential homes; fostering and adoption; fieldwork services; mental health services; educational psychology; school nursing; health improvement; paediatric therapies; substance misuse services; speech and language therapy; learning disability nurses; and integrated inclusion services for disabled children and those with special educational needs. The education welfare service promotes children’s attendance and welfare at school
Strategic services, partnerships and commissioning
Services in this area of the directorate are responsible for all the functions that support service delivery, such as administration, information technology, workforce development, and for driving partnership working between the directorate, its partners, and the wider council.
These services drive the directorate’s planning, commissioning, governance and change management processes, as well as managing business and organisational development to provide better access to services for families and the best outcomes for children and young people across the borough. Quality and standards, performance management, stakeholder engagement, customer satisfaction and complaints are also included in this service area.
An important part of the work is to support the Children and Young People’s Trust - the local partnership that brings together partners and organisations responsible for providing services for children, young people and families in the borough – and work closely with One Barnsley – the local strategic partnership.
This area relates to development and service improvement. Work is undertaken through programme and project management to plan and deliver key priorities across Children’s Services, including change management, the efficiency programme and Children, Young People and Families’ Futures work. Priorities at present also include improving the directorate and Trust performance management arrangements.
Additionally, the Assistant Executive Director leading this area supports the executive management function in Children’s Services and ensures strong and positive collaboration with corporate initiatives and priorities. Current work includes actively contributing to the Future Council programme.