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The Leadership and Management Standard


    1. The leadership and management standard is that the registered person enables, inspires and leads a culture in relation to the children's home that:
      1. Helps children aspire to fulfil their potential; and
      2. Promotes their welfare.
    2. In particular, the standard in paragraph (1) requires the registered person to:
      1. Lead and manage the home in a way that is consistent with the approach and ethos, and delivers the outcomes, set out in the home's statement of purpose;
      2. Ensure that staff work as a team where appropriate;
      3. Ensure that staff have the experience, qualifications and skills to meet the needs of each child;
      4. Ensure that the home has sufficient staff to provide care for each child;
      5. Ensure that the home's workforce provides continuity of care to each child;
      6. Understand the impact that the quality of care provided in the home is having on the progress and experiences of each child and use this understanding to inform the development of the quality of care provided in the home;
      7. Demonstrate that practice in the home is informed and improved by taking into account and acting on:
        1. Research and developments in relation to the ways in which the needs of children are best met; and
        2. Feedback on the experiences of children, including complaints received; and
      8. Use monitoring and review systems to make continuous improvements in the quality of care provided in the home.

'Sufficient Staff'

Sufficient staff means a home having enough suitably trained staff (including someone in a management role) on duty to meet the assessed needs of all children in the home, and that those staff are able to respond to emergency placements, where accepted. The registered person must demonstrate every effort to achieve continuity of staffing so that children's attachments are not overly disrupted, including ensuring that the employment of any temporary staff will not prevent children from receiving the continuity of care that they need (regulation 31(1)).

As with all the Quality Standards, the responsibilities and accountabilities in this standard fall on the registered person. In practice, just as with the other standards, those responsible for the day to day running of homes, including leadership teams in large homes and specialist advisers within other settings (for example, security advisers in secure homes) play a key role in enabling the registered person to fulfil the requirements of this standard.

Registered persons have a key role in seeking to develop the home's effective working relationships with each child's placing authority and with other relevant persons which may include services, individuals (including parents), agencies, organisations and establishments that work with children in the local community, e.g. police, schools, health and youth offending teams (regulation 5 – engaging with the wider system to ensure children’s needs are met). These working relationships will also be key to success in delivering the care planning standard (regulation 14).

The registered person is responsible for leading a team which provides high quality care for all children living in the home. They must lead and manage the home in a way that delivers the ethos, outcomes and approach set out in the home's Statement of Purpose. They should also play a key role in shaping the ethos of the home through developing a culture of high aspiration for children which is demonstrated through the care, resources and opportunities offered to the children.

The registered person should support staff to be ambitious for every child in the home and to gain skills and experience that enable them to actively support each child to achieve their potential. To ensure that staff understand and can meet each child's needs, in line with their responsibilities, the registered person themselves will need to have a high level of understanding of the needs of the children in their care.

The registered person should seek to establish a diverse staff team with a range of interests, skills and experiences. They should lead staff to share those interests, skills and experiences with children to enrich the children's lives.

Those with a leadership and/or management role should be visible and accessible to staff and able to deliver their leadership and/or management responsibilities. Any registered manager employed in the home should have sufficient capacity to ensure that the Quality Standards are met for each child in the home.

The registered person should have a workforce plan which can fulfil the workforce related requirements of regulation 16, schedule 1 (paragraphs 19 and 20) The plan should:

  • Detail the necessary management and staffing structure, (including any staff commissioned to provide health and education), the experience and qualifications of staff currently working within the staffing structure and any further training required for those staff, to enable the delivery of the home's Statement of Purpose;
  • Detail the processes and agreed timescales for staff to achieve induction, probation and any core training (such as safeguarding and health and safety and mandatory qualifications);
  • Detail the process for managing and improving poor performance;
  • Detail the process and timescales for supervision of practice (see regulation 33 (4) (b)) and keep appropriate records for staff in the home.

The plan should be updated to include any new training and qualifications completed by staff while working at the home and used to record the ongoing training and continuing professional development needs of staff – including the home's manager.

Staff should be made familiar with the home's internal whistleblowing procedures through the induction process.

The following elements of the workforce plan should be included in the Statement of Purpose: (in accordance with Schedule 1 (paragraphs 19 and 20)) the staffing structure; experience and qualifications of staff and arrangements for supervision of staff practice.

The registered person should ensure that staff can access appropriate facilities and resources to support their training needs and should understand the key role they play in the training and development of staff in the home.

All managers working in a children's home must have the qualification in regulation 28(2) within the relevant timescales listed in regulation 28(3). All staff in a care role, including external agency or bank staff, must have the qualification in regulation 32(4) within the relevant timescale listed in regulation 32(5). The registered person may extend the time period if the member of staff hasn’t worked in the role for a prolonged period, such as sick leave or maternity leave, or if it is not reasonable to expect the member of staff to complete in this timescale due to the nature of the hours they work.

The term 'equivalent' as used in the Regulations in relation to qualifications will be a judgement for the registered person based on whether the content of any qualifications held by the individual closely corresponds with the qualifications set out in regulation 28(2)(c) (for managers) or regulation 32(4) (for those in a care role).

Annex A outlines further detail about how NVQ and other qualifications can be compared with the QCF Diploma qualifications.

As outlined in Explanation of terms in the regulation, the registered person should plan staffing levels to ensure that they meet the needs of children and can respond flexibly to unexpected events or opportunities. Staffing structures should promote continuity of care from the child's perspective. If children complain or give a view on how the staffing structure could be improved to promote the best care for them, appropriate action should be taken.

The use of external agency staff can be a positive choice to complement the skills and experiences of the permanent workforce. Any external agency staff should meet the requirements in regulation 32(4) regarding mandatory qualifications and the registered person should consider their skills, qualifications and any induction necessary before they commence work in the home. The use of agency staff should be carefully monitored and reviewed to ensure children receive continuity of care.

No more than half the staff on duty at any one time, by day or night at the home should be from an external agency.

Contingency plans should be prepared in the event of a shortfall in staffing levels. If it is likely that there might only be one member of staff on duty at any time the manager should make a formal assessment of the implications for children’s care, including any likely risks. This assessment should be recorded and available for inspection by Ofsted and placing authorities.

The registered person should monitor and review the patterns and trends of turnover of staff, whether agency or directly employed, and be able understand and where possible, address any negative trends.

The registered person is responsible for ensuring that all staff consistently follow the home's policies and procedures for the benefit of the children in the home's care. Everyone working at the home must understand their roles and responsibilities and what they are authorised to decide on their own initiative. There should be clear lines of accountability. Each home must have clear arrangements in place to maintain effective management when the manager is absent, off duty or on leave.

Any registered manager placed in charge of a children's home or staff member in a deputy or supervisory role such as 'shift leader' should have substantial relevant experience of working in a children’s home and have successfully completed their induction for the home in which they are employed.

Whenever possible, staff in day-to-day contact with children should include staff from the different gender groups. Where the home's Statement of Purpose makes it explicit that the home uses staff of one sex only, clear guidance will need to be in place and followed as to how children are enabled to maintain relationships with people of a different gender.

The registered person should oversee the welfare of the children in their care through observation and engagement with: each child; the home's staff; each child’s family/carers where appropriate; and professionals involved in the care or protection of each child including their social worker, Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO), teachers, clinicians and other health professionals etc.

The registered person should actively seek independent scrutiny of the home and make best use of information from independent and internal monitoring (including under regulations 44 and 45) to ensure continuous improvement. They should be skilled in anticipating difficulties and reviewing incidents, such as learning from disruptions and placement breakdowns. They are responsible for proactively implementing lessons learned and sustaining good practice.

Last Updated: February 9, 2022