CYPS – Strategy and Commissioning Directorate

The Children and Young People Service play a huge role in the lives of children. I was asked to address a forum of 40 managers and chose to be challenging and thought provoking. This is important as we examine all our processes to ensure we provide the very best we can for the people of Cambridgeshire.

I have been very impressed by CYPS staff. Everyone I have met has been dedicated, able and eager to do the very best. This group of managers were no different, excellent.

I raised a number of challenges. Are we too risk adverse?

Are our IT systems fit for purpose looking forward to the next 10 to 20 years? Lots of really good work has been carried out by our own staff to shape the products we use but have the commercial providers helped enough? Does it help our need for a more flexible workforce moving forward?

Should keeping children safe be more important that keeping all vulnerable people safe? Tough question but one that shapes our thinking particularly as we have to work across the organisation more effectively.

Services include:

Central CYPS strategy and performance including Management Information.
ONE vision team and information sharing
Families Information Service – providing good quality information for families about our services.
School planning and delivery – including admissions for all primary and secondary parents, transport for mainstream and special ed children, childcare places and market and post 16 places (we don’t fund post 16 places, but we do have a role in making sure the right type of places are in the right place at the right level to meet demand etc.)
Schools capital – now up to £500m in total – for schools…
SEN/LAC provision and commissioning – so assessment of children for SEN Statements, as well as for LAC placements, commissioning and procuring the right placements and management of special schools.
Health and VCS commissioning – including joint work with PCT/CPfT etc. We also commission the VCS market for up to £3m worth of services and are doing some work on whether and how we can sustain this.
Cambridgeshire Catering Services Over 400 staff delivering school meals to over 5 LAs – very successful. Building Schools for the future team – 5 schools in Fenland plus the PRU.
School funding and the Schools Forum – basically how to divide the school budget fairly and what level to apply the top slice for LA services. Includes early years, post 16 and SEN funding.

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