Headlines: March 27th, 2001

The Cabinet Office has launched a leadership development scheme for middle managers in the Civil Service, National Health Service, police service and local government. It will help the leaders of tomorrow to work across organisational boundaries to deliver better public services and to develop their leadership skills.The programme will include formal learning sessions involving skills workshops and cross-sector case studies and simulations. There will also be opportunities for secondments and mentoring schemes.

The Public Service Leaders Scheme is part of the commitment of the Civil Service Reform Programme to create stronger leadership with a clear sense of purpose. See Publicnet Feature, A Civil Service Fit for the 21ST Century. A pilot scheme began in Autumn 2000 with the first 50 participants from across the public sector who helped to shape the scheme. People can now apply for the scheme and successful candidates will be notified in early May. The programme will begin in the week of 18th June 2001.

The challenge facing leaders in the public sector has been brought into focus in the recent Guardian newspaper series ‘The Common Good’. Declining levels of morale, frustrations and disappointments and unwillingness to sacrifice sacred cows are some of the issues which emerged. Audit Commission Controler Andrew Foster called for a new breed of public sector leaders who are allowed to innovate and be entrepreneurs.