Sector Led Improvement


Since 2019 North Tyneside Council has been a proud Sector Led Improvement partner. 

Sector Led Improvement  

Sector-led improvement (SLI) is about local authorities supporting each other to improve their children’s services. Local authorities work collaboratively, share good practice, and provide constructive challenge, to encourage collective responsibility for the performance of the sector. 

The health, safety and wellbeing of children and young people is at the very heart of North Tyneside Council, and we are delighted our children’s services were rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2020.  

Inspectors recognised that we take swift action to ensure children are protected and safeguarded. Our social work was described as ‘thriving’ and ‘transformational’, and that children and families are really benefiting from our services.

Leaders were praised for their ‘relentless commitment’ to continuous improvement, creating an environment which supports and encourages high-quality social work.  Our quality assurance framework was found to be ‘clear, explicit and well-developed’, and the quality of our performance management described as ‘excellent’. 

- You can read the Inspection of children’s social care services here

Youth Justice service 

In 2021 we were rated ‘Outstanding’ for our Youth Justice service (YJS). Inspectors acknowledged that our “Youth justice staff have a passion for working with children” and that children’s needs “are carefully balanced with the potential risk they may pose to others.” Our YJS management team were commended for “fostering an open, challenging and inclusive culture” and strong engagement across the teams in “innovative methods of working”.  

- You can read the inspection of youth offending services in North Tyneside here

Special Educational Needs and Disability

In 2021 North Tyneside’s Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) services also had a 5 day inspection from Ofsted. The report found that outcomes for children and young people with SEND are strong and there is a positive picture for attendance, exclusions from school and the number of young people with SEND who progress to further education, employment or training. 

It adds leaders are “determined to know what is working and what needs changing and are looking at detailed information and identifying priorities that chime with the issues raised by children and young people with SEND and their families”. 

- You can read the SEND inspection report here

Children's Services Front Door

Most recently, our Front Door service was praised by Ofsted in a focused visit in April 2022. In their report Ofsted said “Managers effectively use supervision, performance data and audit activity to scrutinise and inform practice developments. Well-established professional partnerships are embedded in routine decision-making and practice. A range of agencies are co-located in the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) who work effectively as one team with one goal, which is to safeguard children and improve their outcomes.” 

- You can read the children’s services, focused visit report here

How we can help

As a national leader in children’s services, we are well placed to support other local authorities to improve their strategy and delivery of children’s services and most crucially, outcomes for children and young people. 

We offer a wide range of complementary improvement products across all aspects of children’s services. 

Whether it is strategic planning, quality assurance, referral and assessment, care planning, placement management, or anything in-between, we have a breadth of highly skilled, experienced and passionate professionals who can help. 

The help we can provide is varied and tailored to individual authority needs but could include: 

  • Service reviews and diagnostics 
  • Service redesign and improvement workshops 
  • Improvement planning and project delivery advice 
  • Case file audits and learning reviews 
  • Performance analysis and interpretation 
  • System alignment to practice advice 
  • Peer-to-peer mentor support 
  • Partnership planning and development workshops 

Areas of support and expertise: 

  • Front Door 
  • Practice Model  
  • Placement management 
  • Planning and performance management 
  • Learning reviews 
  • Diagnostics  
  • Planning and redesign workshops 
  • Improvement planning 
  • Peer support and action learning  
  • Planning case management system alignment 
  • Learning events 
  • Thematic audits and improvement testing 
  • Post inspection support 

How we have already helped others

We have provided sector-led improvement support to a range of authorities across the country – with no geographical limitations to who we can work with.

We have worked with others on a range of services. Much of our support has been on 'Front Door' services and implementation of the Signs of Safety practice model.

With Ofsted praising us highly during their visit on our work in these areas, as well the team being shortlisted for a national award, our teams are well placed to help others.

You can read more about our success via the links below:

Related documents


Going Mobile: Creating an IT solution that practitioners want to use.

In this event participants heard practitioners, leaders, suppliers, and Signs of Safety consultants tell their story of using mobile software to transform North Tyneside children’s services practice. The practitioner’s experience and a live demo of the software was at the centre of this event.  

This event also concluded with reflections from: 

  • Yvette Stanley - Ofsted’s National Director for Social Care  
  • Professor Harold Thimbleby - International computer scientist and author of ‘FixIT See and solve the problems of digital healthcare’ 
  • Professor Eileen Munro - Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics 
  • Led in conversation by Professor Andrew Turnell, Co-creator of Signs of Safety and Exec Director of Innovation and IT for case management system supplier, Elia.

To watch the full recording of this virtual event, follow this link to Going Mobile. 


Collaborate and Innovate @ North Tyneside.

We were delighted to host our first virtual event “Collaborate and Innovate @ North Tyneside” on 23rd November 2021. 

The event brought together more than 80 participants, from a range of authorities and organisations across the nation, providing an opportunity to hear from several external partners, other local authorities, and take part in collaborative discussions to share learning from approaches to improving services. 

The discussion forums topics were: 

1)  What are the key ingredients of an effective multi-agency front door? 

2)  What are family hubs and what difference can they make? 

3)  What does ‘edge of care’ mean in practice and how can it make a difference? 

4)  What does digital maturity look like in children’s services?  

You can view the recording of our Director of Children’s and Adult Services, Jacqui Old, introducing the event  here 

COVID-19 research

We are pleased to have worked with leading experts, Professors Eileen Munro and Andrew Turnell to help the government understand how we and other authorities have helped keep children safe during COVID-19.

Together we explored how we and other local authorities used networks around a child – such as extended family members, neighbours, and other community members – to help keep them safe when professional support became more restricted.

The research also explored how local authorities have adapted to the pandemic and supported social workers to deliver high-quality practice. You can read the report and executive summary below.

The work forms part of a wider Department for Education project to understand how children’s social care teams have responded to the pandemic, capture lessons learnt and to share best practice. 

Related documents

Our ways of working

Whilst the work we do with each authority varies and is tailored to individual needs, everything we do is underpinned by the principles below:

  • The safety of children is our foremost priority
  • We commit to open and transparent dialogue throughout
  • We work together, as equals
  • Solutions and plans must be co-designed
  • Delivery of improvements must be owned by your organisation

Who to contact for more information?

For more information or an informal, initial chat, please e-mail