Headlines: May 26th, 2004

A new qualification will be launched in the autumn to support those leading joined-up children’s services. The National Professional Qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership (NPQICL) will be the first national programme designed to meet the needs of leaders in multi-agency, early years settings.The new qualification will be recognised in multi-agency and multi-disciplinary settings across education, health and social services. The NHS Leadership Centre, the Social Care Institute for Excellence and the DfES are acting as advisory partners in the project. It will be launched in September with a 35-place pilot being led by the National College for School Leadership in partnership with Pen Green Leadership Development Centre.

The programme forms part of NCSL’s Community Leadership Strategy, a series of initiatives developed to support recommendations in the Government Green Paper ‘Every Child Matters’. There are currently more than 60 integrated children’s centres around the country and the Government plans to expand this to 1,700 by 2008.

Maggie Farrar, who heads the NCSL’s Community Leadership Strategy, said this would be the first qualification of its kind for senior staff working in the early years’ and wider integrated services sectors. The course would provide those taking part with an opportunity to reflect on their leadership work and to explore the complex dynamics of leadership.

The Director of Pen Green Leadership Centre, Dr Margy Whalley, said, “Leadership for integrated centres is pivotal because it underpins the delivery of coherent services to children, young people and families in their local community.”

Participants will be given a choice of two routes through the NPQICL qualification, a study programme or a research project. The study route will involve those following it working with tutors and fellow course members through a range of modules including exploring the leadership experience, clarifying values, principles and visions and developing an effective learning environment. The research route, open to those with appropriate qualifications and experience, will offer the opportunity to undertake research focusing on their own roles and demonstrating a developing leadership capability within integrated services provision.

Further information about the pilot programme is available at npqicl@ncsl.org.uk  or www.pengreen.org