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Surrey Children's Services Academy

Working in partnership to recruit, develop and retain a workforce, giving the best care and support to children, young people and families in Surrey.

Everyone working with children and families will be encouraged to develop their skills, learning and careers through the Academy. This will make Surrey agencies attractive employers to potential recruits, and will help ensure we retain the workforce and skills we need.

The Academy is expected to take 2-3 years to develop fully following the launch on 17 January 2019. It will be staffed in Surrey County Council but will draw in funding and expertise from across the partnership.

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The benefits

The Academy will work to:

  • support staff to develop themselves and their careers – refreshing their skills and developing new roles and ways of working
  • ensure all staff have up to date knowledge and skills to fulfil their roles
  • introduce and embed new skills, values and ways of working in all agencies that work with children and families
  • drive culture change and develop a shared language and values for working with children and families across agencies and professional boundaries
  • drive up and help maintain professional standards
  • build effective leadership skills and capacity across all services, for children and their families, to lead and sustain change
  • strengthen partnership working – develop a better understanding between agencies of each other's roles and responsibilities and more effective ways of working together
  • keep abreast of new practice – the Academy will have a responsibility to forge and maintain relationships with regional, national and international experts, and to bring their learning into Surrey.


To drive forward the design of the Academy and ensure we have good engagement from partners and staff we have established:

  • a Strategic Stakeholder Board with membership from across partners to shape proposals on
    scope, direction and priorities
  • a reference group of staff and managers from across the partnership workforce to provide ideas and feedback, help shape the content and act as ambassadors for the Academy in their services. It will provide a mechanism for regular input from children and young people and from foster carers.


In order to organise the learning and development of the Academy there will be eight faculties.

Faculty 1 - Practitioners in training (and newly qualified practitioners)

This faculty will address the needs of all Surrey partners to get a qualified workforce, working in partnership with universities and other providers.

Faculty 2 - Qualified practitioners

This faculty will support staff as their careers develop – it will enable staff to build a detailed understanding of theory and practice, give staff the opportunity to develop special interests and expertise and give them the opportunity to support and learn from their colleagues and others.

Faculty 3 - Practice education and other specialist teaching roles

All specialist staff are fully skilled and able to understand theory and practice, so that they are outstanding practitioners.

Faculty 4 - Alternatively qualified practitioners

This faculty will support the development of a wide and varied range of staff. Some of this faculty's members will aspire to obtain professional qualification following an apprentice programme provided by all partners.

Faculty 5 - Management and Leadership

This faculty will:

  • encourage the growth and development of leaders and managers across services for children in Surrey, with shared responsibilities for outcomes
  • ensure managers have generic skills – data analysis, budget management, staff appraisal etc.

Faculty 6 - Surrey model for working with children and families

Common induction for all staff working with children and young people; development of further shared training; job shadowing etc.

Faculty 7 - Research, Evidence and Evaluation Faculty

This faculty consists of colleagues who are supported to volunteer as "Research and Evidence Fellows" develop a knowledge base which will include resources nationally and internally to support evidence based practice across all partners. They are champions for cascading and supporting knowledge to improve and maintain good and outstanding practice

Faculty 8 - Commissioning Faculty

This faculty will support the learning and development of children's commissioners.

Contact us

For any enquiries, please email us at