ALDCS has agreed a programme of core activities that all local authorities will be encouraged to take part in. It was agreed that the priorities and activities will run for both 2019 and 2020. These are:
- Developing a shared data set
- Narrative evaluation and exception reporting against 18 core indicators
- Priority Themes
- Peer challenge and review
- Sub-regional activity
The agreed approach to each of these activities is outlined below. These activities are also captured in the memorandum of understanding between RIA members. The extent of involvement of authorities in intervention should be agreed at a sub-regional level in recognition of the monitoring / improvement activity which will be going on in those authorities.
The RIA has agreed with the Department for Education to report on 18 indicators which will be collated and shared on a quarterly basis between London LA’s and with the DfE. These 18 indicators will be used as the measures on which LAs will undertake their narrative assessment focused on those data where the LA is significantly out of line with regional norms. This data-set will be used as the basis for peer challenge activity. The requirement on each local authority is to return the 18 indicators to the RIA data analyst at the end of each quarter.
In addition to the 18 ‘DfE indicators’ the RIA data analyst will provide an annual benchmarking report from published data (referred to as the ‘tartan rug’) supplemented by CHaT data. Part of the RIA development will be increasing the use and sophistication of comparative data to enable LA’s to better understand their own performance and to provide pan-London thematic analysis.
Narrative evaluation and exception reporting against data
Each local authority will receive a benchmarking report containing the core 18 indicators that are shared with the DfE, which will visually represent their position against other London authorities. Each authority will identify the indicators where their performance differs significantly from the London average (top or bottom 20% of any indicator) and is asked to provide a narrative account of their understanding of their position in relation to the London average. A common reporting template will be shared with LAs with the benchmarking data report.
Timeframe: the benchmarking report will be shared with all LAs in March 2019 for return of the narrative evaluation by May for analysis of pan-London themes by the RIA programme team. The benchmarking data and self-evaluation will provide the platform for peer challenge within sub-regional clusters in June 2019 (see below)
Thematic self-evaluation (against chosen priority theme)
Each local authority chooses one of the three priority themes (adolescent safeguarding, SEND or workforce) to self-evaluate against. These choices should be confirmed by mid-March for all LAs. Templates for self-evaluation for adolescent safeguarding and workforce are being developed with the named thematic DCS leads and will be circulated in March. DCS’s working on the SEND theme have agreed to use existing SEND inspection self-evaluations / post-inspection improvement plans and to share these as part of the thematic work group and to inform sub-regional learning activity. The thematic self-evaluation should be accompanied by a development / improvement plan.
Timeframe: thematic self-evaluations should be completed by May 2019 and submitted to the RIA programme manager. This will inform pan-London analysis and the work undertaken in thematic groups. Additionally the self-evaluation can be used for sub-regional learning activity as is agreed between DCS’s in each sub-region.
The RIA currently has a programme manager and data analyst who will support the development of the infrastructure and resources to deliver improvement activity. This will include the collation and dissemination of the shared data-set and the resources required to undertake peer review and challenge. Discussions are underway with the DfE to promote further investment in the RIA and enhance the capacity to deliver the programme.
At the meeting of 28th Feb it was agreed that the RIA programme capacity should be augmented to provide greater sub-regional support for improvement activity. To this end it was agreed that each LA would contribute £5k pa to establish posts to support the programme delivery at a sub-regional level. It was also agreed that a dedicated London RIA website is a developmental priority.