LGA Research Report - Our Ambition for Children and Young People: Supporting Data Pack
The LGA report, 'Our ambition for children and young people' launched at the LGA Annual Conference on 9 July, aims to support a radical rewiring of local public services. It sets out four high level ambitions and groups 'core measures' underneath them. This is intended to provide a starting point and framework for local discussions with partners about how to join up services for children and young people around their needs and aspirations and how to measure success locally. We hope it will also support integrated commissioning of services focused on outcomes, not service areas. The four high level ambitions, agreed following consultation with children and young people and partners are:
•all children and young people should feel that they are cared for and that they are safe and secure
•all are healthy, happy and free from poverty
•all get a good education that allows them to fulfil their potential and achieve their ambitions
•all are well prepared for adulthood and the world of work, making a positive contribution as active citizens.
We recognise that it is not enough to just state these ambitions and that we need to commit to more specific measures of what success would look like. This is needed to underpin conversations between partners about the contribution they can make to achieve the ambitions. However, the LGA is opposed to the imposition of prescriptive top-down targets and score cards by central Government and its agencies and inspectorates.
Councils in each region have been working together to identify the outcome measures that most accurately reflect the priorities in their area. These vary from region to region according to the different needs in those areas but there is commonality and we have used these to develop a set of 'core measures'. Many of these reflect a specific focus on the responsibilities of councils and may need to be extended to cover the responsibilities of partners. This report is designed to provide a view of the data for these measures to support local conversations about the ambitions and how success can be measured locally. A further section detailing comparative spend on children's services is included in this report to provide further context for comparison and discussion, using data submitted by councils to the Department for Education through Section 251.
There has been some concern that Section 251 data is an unreliable basis for a comparison of costs between different authorities. So the LGA, ADCS, SOLACE and London Councils have commissioned CIPFA to undertake a sector-led project to help provide a clearer picture of children's services costs by establishing a firm basis for comparing and recording such costs. The conclusion of the first phase of the research was that S251 data 'is not fit for purpose' and the second stage of the project will pilot an improved method of collection in a small number of authorities. A report on Stage 1 of this review is available along with a more detailed analysis of Section 251 data for 2013-14 budget and 2011-12 outturn on the LGA website.
How to use this report
This report is designed to allow you to review your selected local authority alongside others within a selected comparison group. The comparison could be with your council's statistical or geographic neighbours or with national or regional averages. The first four tables provide a simple dashboard view of how your selected authority compares to others in your selected comparison group, highlighting the distribution of results by quartile. Within the tables you can link to a detailed report for that measure through the indicator title on the left hand side.
Later sections provide a more illustrative comparison of costs, and the variation in attainment for different groups of children within the authority. If you are a registered user of LG Inform (all local authority members and staff can register for free - www.lginform.local.gov.uk you can save a copy of this report, adapt it for local use and export the data and tables for use in your own reports.