Nottingham City Council has been granted a total of £421,611 by the Department for Education (DfE) as part of its Wave 2 improvement funding.
This decision comes in the wake of an “inadequate” rating the council received from an Ofsted inspection in July 2022.
The funding is earmarked for several key areas of improvement within the council’s Children’s Integrated Services department.
Key Allocations of the Funding:
• Workforce Training: £50,000 has been allocated to commission additional specialist training for the more experienced social work cohort.
• Trauma Informed Lead Manager: A sum of £26,762 will continue funding for a 6-month period to support the workforce in trauma-informed practices and resilience building.
• Children’s Improvement Specialist: £42,900 is set aside for strategic capacity enhancement, especially in preparation for Ofsted monitoring visits.
• Audit Resource and Learning: £243,880 will be used for a 6-month agency resource to support audit work, freeing up management capacity.
• Head of Service Capacity: £45,061 will create additional leadership capacity to aid the service on its improvement journey for a 6-month period.
• Practice Educator Post: £13,008 will fund a part-time post for six months to coordinate student placement development offers and expand the pool of practice educators.
The council had initially submitted a bid to the DfE for funding to support key areas of improvement. While not all areas of the bid were supported initially, the DfE later identified further ‘wave 2’ funding to back more areas from the original bid.
Rejecting the funding was considered but was not the preferred option due to the potential reputational risks and the urgency to make practice improvements. Without this funding, the Children’s Services might face challenges in delivering key practice improvements swiftly.
Legal and financial advice was sought before the decision, emphasising the importance of adhering to the grant’s terms and conditions. Any services procured with the grant must comply with the council’s Contract Procedure Rules and public procurement rules.
The decision is subject to a call-in, with the expiry date set for 10/10/2023.