​Department for Education backs Firstline prototype

21st January 2015

Today the Department for Education has announced backing for Firstline, a new prototype being developed as part of the Innovation Programme.

Firstline will develop team managers (and others who directly manage practice) to become outstanding leaders of practice. First-line managers are engines of effective practice. The Firstline prototype fits with Frontline’s wider mission to transform the life chances of vulnerable children by recruiting and developing outstanding individuals to be leaders in social work.

The Firstline Team will work with partner authorities, to explore questions such as:

•    ‘what does great first-line leadership look like in children’s social work?’
•    ‘what helps or hinders first-line leaders?’
•    ‘what must organisations do differently to enable more effective first-line leadership?’

Using the answers to these questions, Firstline will work closely with experts within the profession to design and deliver a leadership development programme which will be tailor-made for social work managers.

Mary Jackson, who has experience of working with local authorities to implement major change programmes in social work, will lead a small and highly-skilled team.

Mary said: “I’m delighted to join the Frontline team as Firstline Director. Developing the leadership skills of first-line practice managers is crucial to ensuring frontline social workers are equipped with the tools and support to enable them to transform the lives of vulnerable children and families. I look forward to leading the Firstline prototype to explore how to better support social work managers and benefit the profession.”

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