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South Tyneside Council

Director of Children's Services

South Tyneside Council job vacancy

South Shields/Hybrid
25th May 2023
Closing date


Do you have the commitment, motivation, dedication, and skills to lead our Children’s Service teams?

Our leadership teams inspire, influence, shape and support. If you think you could deliver positive changes in South Tyneside, we’d love for you to join our team.

Collaborative working is at the heart of South Tyneside Council. Everything we are developing has our residents and employees at the centre. In South Tyneside you will find a commitment from everyone in our organisation to do the very best for the children, young people and families in our borough.

As the new Director of Children’s Services, you will provide strategic leadership to our teams, helping to deliver the best possible outcomes for our residents in South Tyneside.

You will be an integral part of our Corporate Leadership Team, delivering a new Children’s Social Care strategy. You will work closely with colleagues to identify and develop opportunities for improvements and new ways of working. Setting direction, establishing priorities, maintaining focus, and delivering continuous improvement.

We are seeking a confident and motivational leader with proven experience in children's services.

About the role

Job description


A pivotal role in our most senior team, reporting to the Chief Executive and supporting Elected Members, providing strategic leadership across Children’s Services.

This is a key role in delivering our overarching vision of making South Tyneside an outstanding place to live, invest and bring up families.

The postholder will be a key member of the Council’s Corporate Leadership Team and will lead and shape services ensuring that resources are developed and deployed in the most effective and sustainable way.

This postholder will hold the statutory Director of Children’s Services role. The Director of Children’s Services (DCS) has professional responsibility for the leadership, strategy and effectiveness of local authority children’s services. The DCS is responsible for securing the provision of services which address the needs of all children and young people, including the most disadvantaged and vulnerable and their families and carers. In undertaking these responsibilities, the DCS works closely with other local partners to improve the outcomes and wellbeing of children and young people.

Key responsibilities

  • Take on a full and active, cross-cutting role in the leadership of the Council acting in the best interests of South Tyneside to maintain the Corporate Wellbeing of the organisation.
  • Work closely with Elected Members to drive forward opportunities and developments and actively engage Elected Members in shaping excellent services.
  • Lead a group of services and highly experienced leaders – setting direction, establishing priorities, building capacity, maintaining focus, and delivering value for money and continuous improvement.
  • Ensure the Council is an effective Local Education and Children’s Social Services Authority, delivering against both statutory and non-statutory responsibilities.
  • Lead Children Services through the appropriate regulatory frameworks including the preparation and facilitation of such processes to drive improvement outcomes and protect the Council’s reputation.
  • Provide senior leadership and support to the Borough’s family of Schools.
  • Oversee services and interventions to effectively reduce health inequalities and improve the overall health and wellbeing of the children of South Tyneside.
  • Work in close partnership with local health partners to shape further health and social care integration to enable a range of people-focused outcomes for service users and their families.
  • Provide strategic leadership to ensure the services resources are appropriately managed, including leadership of the group’s medium-term financial plan and planning and delivery of capital investment projects to further meet priorities.
  • Ensure appropriate governance structures are in place and supported to effectively oversee and scrutinise key services, including Safeguarding Boards and the Health and Wellbeing Board.
  • Nurture strong relationships with government, inspectorates, regional bodies and other local authorities, and with professional bodies, to promote the Council’s interests and influence national policy.
  • Support the Chief Executive and act as a substitute when required, including representing the Council and the Chief Executive at meetings, including those involving regional and national stakeholders.
  • Work with key stakeholder agencies like the DfE and Ofsted
  • Work effectively with regional childrens directors and the ADCS groups etc

Further detail

The Council has undergone significant change since the launch of its 20-year vision in 2010. The Council’s Senior Management Team includes highly experienced, proactive and capable Heads of Service and Corporate Leads, who have broad responsibilities and autonomy, requiring minimal oversight on day-to-day operational issues. The Director Children’s Services will be responsible for providing overall strategic direction to Heads of Service and Corporate Leads, as required, and will have specific direct line management responsibility for the following:-

  • Head of Childrens Social Care
  • Head of Learning and Early Help
  • Quality Assurance and Improvement Lead

Person specification


  • Substantial experience of local authority care service management, commissioning and procuring services at a senior level within a social care or education environment.
  • Extensive experience of safeguarding practice in the protection of vulnerable children
  • Extensive experience organising, leading and managing multiple teams, developing employees and achieving results through others and a successful track record of leading and managing organisational and cultural change, engaging with and influencing a large workforce.
  • Proven experience in the strategic management and delivery of a group of services and a sound track record in the delivery and implementation of business strategies and plans.
  • Able to provide clear, balanced advice and guidance on strategic issues that achieve the corporate and service objectives of the organisation.
  • Substantial experience of strategically managing budgets or resources, evaluating competing budgetary priorities and delivering innovative solutions to traditional challenges.
  • Able to negotiate at senior level and experience of presenting at Board level.
  • A proven track record of working effectively within a political environment, providing clear, balanced advice and guidance on strategic issues that achieve the corporate and service objectives of the Council.
  • A proven track record of communicating effectively to a wide range of audiences both internally and externally to achieve the corporate and strategic objectives of a large organisation.
  • Professional qualification in socal care or other relevant qualification or equivalent.
  • Evidence of appropriate Leadership Development.
  • Proven experience of working with key stakeholder agencies like the DfE and Ofsted and leading and managing inspection processes.

Ability, skills and knowledge

  • In-depth knowledge of regulatory frameworks for vulnerable children and the ability to lead the preparation and facilitation of such processes to drive improved outcomes and protect the Council’s reputation.
  • An understanding of and commitment to the Council’s core values and objectives.
  • Knowledge and a significant understanding of the legislative frameworks, key issues and best practice relevant to local authority children’s services.
  • Ability to ensure equal access to and treatment in employment and services.
  • A strong communicator and influencer, able to apply a structured and disciplined approach to work activities. Ability to develop, communicate and gain ownership of a clear vision and direction.
  • Sound leadership skills and ability to provide coaching and employee guidance.
  • A “team player” who will actively lead the strategic development of the Council.
  • Strong decision maker, positive and open-minded approach, innovative, and open for new solutions.
  • Ability to deliver results, work under pressure and deliver to tight deadlines.
  • Capable of leading by example, taking ownership and being accountable for deliverables.

Personal style and behaviour

  • At a position where you are seeking significant career challenge with the drive to succeed in this important role.
  • A commitment to the Council’s Vision and Core Values.
  • Personal and professional demeanour and credibility which commands the confidence of Elected Members, senior managers, employees, the local community, external partners and other stakeholders.
  • A strategic thinker, able to manage a complex multi-discipline organisation.
  • Acts and thinks corporately with a collaborative style that empowers others.
  • Leads by example and delivers without supervision. Resilient and confident in own ability to make sound decisions incorporating information from varying sources.
  • A commitment to delivering outcomes.
  • A commitment to improve the quality of service to the community, best value and best practice.
  • Highly developed oral, written and presentation skills.
  • Highly motivated, resilient and not easily discouraged.
  • A commitment to learning and personal development.
  • Imaginative problem solver, able to apply remedial actions to business issues and establish permanent solutions.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to lead, motivate and manage staff.
  • Commercially aware, focussed on customer service, possessing drive and determination to drive the business of the Council.

Supporting documents

The vacancy

The Council

Why join South Tyneside Council?

It's a great time to join us at South Tyneside Council

We are implementing our ambitious ‘Our Council’ change and modernisation programme which will help us build on existing strengths and make some improvements so we can fulfil our bold ambitions for residents. We recently launched our 20-year ‘Vision’ for South Tyneside and developed new organisation ‘values’ which guide our ways of working.

Why work for us?

At South Tyneside Council we are PROUD:

  1. Professional
  2. Respectful
  3. Open and honest
  4. Understanding
  5. Deliver what we say we will

We are proud to make a difference.

Find out more about our Council values.

Benefits of working for South Tyneside Council

We can offer you fantastic benefits including:

  • an attractive annual leave entitlement which increases with length of service
  • automatic membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme
  • access to occupational health services
  • training and development opportunities
  • hybrid working for better work/life balance
  • flexible working from 6am - 10pm, Mon - Fri
  • childcare vouchers
  • care lease scheme
  • cycle to work scheme
  • corporate leisure membership
  • home electronics salary sacrifice

What makes South Tyneside unique?

South Tyneside has a fascinating past, inspirational present and an exciting future. Immersed in history and yet bursting with contemporary energy, South Tyneside offers a diversity of breathtakingly beautiful beaches, family fun, a heritage that is both ancient and deeply enriching, and a mix of bustling towns and villages. With cultural hotspots and a fabulous, year- round programme of events, South Tyneside has something for everyone.

Not everyone, when they think of South Tyneside, will think of sleepy country villages. But away from the town centres of South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn, the villages of Boldon, Cleadon and Whitburn offer leafy lanes, cosy pubs, independent shops and historical connections.

South Tyneside has some of the most competitive housing prices in the UK, making the cost of living more affordable and a work / life balance more achievable.

Being on the outskirts of three big cities – Newcastle upon Tyne, Sunderland and Durham – South Tyneside is ideally located within easy reach of the hustle and bustle of city life but with the serenity of wide-open spaces and award-winning beaches.

The beach life that South Shields provides enables workers and families to enjoy the sand or surf minutes after leaving the office or school playground.

Located in the heart of North East England, you can quickly access the A19 and the A1 which connects the area to Yorkshire, the Midlands, the South of England and Scotland to the North.

By train, you can be in London in less than 3 hours and Edinburgh in one and a half. Flights are available to over 80 destinations from the region’s International Airport, including London, Dubai and Amsterdam.

South Tyneside is on the Tyne and Wear Metro network, which delivers over 40 million passengers to their destination each year. A ferry which connects South Tyneside to North Tyneside and a regional bus network.

South Tyneside is warm and welcoming and we’d love for you to join our South Tyneside team!

How to apply

For more information, contact: