This episode is with Andy Couldrick. Andy is the Chair of the Birmingham Children’s Trust, having just stepped back from being the Chief Executive since the organisation was founded.
Before joining the Trust, Andy led an incredibly fast children’s services improvement journey in Wokingham Council, moving up from a rating of “inadequate” in just a year. He explains how that was achieved and the importance of having the right team and being able to do many things in parallel. Andy also talks about his transition to Chief Executive from Director of Children’s Services and the different mindset and skills that required.
Birmingham is not the only Children’s trust in the country and Andy explains exactly what a Trust is and how it works to give a service space and protection from what might be a difficult Council environment. Anyone with an interest in Local Government will know that Birmingham is facing some severe challenges.
A key attribute Andy demonstrates is perseverance. He talks about the critical importance of keeping showing up and keeping consistent messaging over time, particularly of you are asking people who have been on multiple failed improvement journeys to trust you and buy in to what you are trying to achieve.
And finally, we talked about the role of children’s services in the wider system and in particular the key role council services play in achieving system objectives around children’s health and wellbeing.