annual-plan-08091 - Kent County Council

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1


Kent County Council Annual Plan



Performance in 2007/08



Priorities and targets for 2008/09



















2

About this plan



This Annual Plan brings all Kent County Council’s activities together in a single document. It sets
out:




How we performed in

2007/08




Our objectives and targets for 2008/09




How we are transforming the organisation and managing our resources




The county council’s Contracts Statement.



































Responsibility Statement

Kent County Council (KCC) is respon
sible for preparing the KCC Annual Plan, for the information
and assessments within it and for the assumptions and estimates on which the targets are based.
KCC is also responsible for putting in place appropriate performance management and internal
contro
l systems to ensure that the information and assessments included in the plan are, in all
material respects, accurate and complete and, above all, that the plan is realistic and achievable.
Please note that not all performance information for 2007/08 has y
et been audited

3

Leader and Chief Executive’s Introduction


Welcome to this year’s Annual Plan, which sets out our ambitions and priorities for the
forthcoming year. It set
s

out how we will continue
Putting Kent First

by building on our
solid achievements
over the past 12 months, pursuing our principal objective of delivering
high quality services and seeking innovations which will make a real difference to people’s
lives. This is increasingly hard against a backdrop of growing demands for services and a
t
ough three
-
year settlement from the Government. In addition
t
he overall economic
situation is considerably less

certain than it has been for a number of years.


Oil

prices are
soaring, borrowing has become more difficult and costly for both householders a
nd
businesses and the Bank

of England has introduced special schemes to improve the
liquidity of the UK banking system.

Kent County Council (KCC) remains

focused on its
objectives, as set out in the
Vision For Kent

and
Towards

2010,

but we recognise that
the

financial circumstances

in which

we, our partners and Kent's people
and

businesses

are operating

are far more challenging.


We

will continue to do all we can
to maintain stability in the services and projects

that we, and our partners, are delivering.


In the past three years we have made more than £90m in savings. This is considerably
more than the Government’s targets, making KCC one of the best value for money
councils in the country. The achievements of the past year, many of which have been
recogn
ised through the independent assessment of government inspectors, have been
remarkable.
We have been assessed as performing strongly by the Audit Commission,
making us one of only 12 councils to get the top rating, and achieved the top score of four
out o
f four in the ‘harder test’ Corporate Assessment. We also received outstanding
results in an additional two reviews

by Ofsted, the Joint Area Review (JAR) and Kent
Youth Service’s enhanced inspection of services for children and young people.


In our ov
erall assessment we scored particularly highly in providing services for children
and young people and vulnerable and older people and in our use of public money.
Consumer satisfaction with Trading Standards and the way we have reduced the number
of peopl
e killed and seriously injured on Kent’s roads were picked out for particular praise.
We are delighted that we have once again shown that we are performing strongly in
delivering services to the public but this does not mean that we will rest on our laure
ls.
Instead we are determined to continue working hard in building on the issues raised by the
inspections, including better partnership working and engagement with communities and
more transparent decision making.


We were also very pleased to be chosen a
s Transport Authority of the

Year
. This was the
result of a great deal of innovation, the success achieved by Fastrack in Dartford and
Gravesham and the highly successful introduction of the Kent Freedom Pass in June
2007. This year will see the Freedom
Pass continue to be rolled out as part of our plan to
establish it across the whole of Kent by 2009. The highly popular scheme gives students
aged 11 to 16 free travel on bus services in Kent for an annual fee of £50, improving their
access to leisure and
sport activities and a wider choice of schools.


We are continuing to work with the Government to find a long
-
term solution to the annual
funding gap for caring for unaccompanied, asylum
-
seeking children. The gap between the
cost of the services we are req
uired to provide by law and the grant towards them is
currently running at £5m a year.


This is an exciting time for education in the county and we are delighted to be overseeing
the biggest transformation for many years. Last year’s academic results, part
icularly at key

4

stage 4, were excellent. We will continue to expand our pioneering apprenticeship and
vocational training programmes to help more young people acquire the skills that the
commercial world so desperately needs. KCC is piloting a range of inn
ovative strategies
for 14 to 24 year
-
olds that will deliver enormous rewards in future years.


The people of Kent expect to have a real say in how social care services are provided
when they need them.
Active Lives for Adults
, the modernisation programme
that will help
Kent Adult Social Services change the way services are provided, will place greater choice
and control in the hands of the people who use them and ensure that people can live as
independently as possible.


A successful local economy will be
one of the critical success factors in improving the
quality of life for local people. As the UK enters a period of some economic uncertainty, it
is important that KCC redoubles its contribution to achieving economic success across the
county. The coming

year will see the launch of a new KCC regeneration strategy that will
outline how we propose to maximise this contribution over the longer term as well as
setting out details of the measures we will take. Our longer
-
term ambition is to ensure
new, qualit
y employment opportunities are created within the county.


Quality employment opportunities depend on a strong and growing economy in the county.
We hope businesses will choose Kent as their ideal location based on our proximity to
London and mainland Eur
ope. In East Kent there are exciting development opportunities
at Manston Airport and building will commence on the Turner
Contemporary gallery in
autumn 2008.

The Channel Tunnel Rail Link domestic services opening in 2009 from
Ebbsfleet, Ashford and Fol
kestone, and the improved connectivity across the county to
London, should not be underestimated in terms of its ability to stimulate and support
inward investment and Kent’s enormous competitive advantage compared to other parts of
the south east.


To mee
t people’s justifiably increased expectations regarding the quality and nature of
public services we need to look to continue to create and develop new partnerships and
ways of working. Working with our partners to continue to deliver the very best public
services is a clear goal, but how we do this and how we can best combine a new set of
relationships for the future will be a constant theme in our overall planning.


There are many exciting opportunities in the public and private sectors in Kent that make
us very optimistic about the outlook for 2008 and beyond.



Paul Carter




Peter Gilroy

Leader, Kent County Council Chief Executive, Kent County Council


5

Introduction by the Leader and the Chief Executive


Con
tents:


1.

Local and national priorities









7


2.

Delivering improved services and t
ransforming KCC




10


3.

Economic success


opportunities for all







22


4.

Learning for everyone









26


5.

Preparing for employment








3
5


6.

Enjoying life











39


7.

Keeping Kent moving









4
4


8.

Environmental excellence and high quality homes




4
8


9.

Improved health, care and well
-
being







5
4


-

An essential part of life is

staying healthy


10.

Improved health, care and well
-
being







59

-

Helping olde
r people and those with disabilities to be independent


11.

Stronger and safer communities







6
5


12.

Finance











7
3


Appendices


A1.

Kent Agreement
1 and
Kent Agreement

2






8
8


A2.
Towards 2010










9
6


A3.

The Supporting
Independence Programme






9
8


A4.

The Vision for Kent

and the Kent Partnership





10
1


A5.

Comprehensive Performance Assessment information




10
6


A6.

Performance Indicators and information






11
0


A7.

Reviews, audit

and inspection








11
7


A8.

Improvement and engagement








12
2


A9.

Strategic risk management








12
7


A10.

KCC’s Annual Efficiency Statement







129


A11.

The policy framework









131



6

A12
.

KCC cont
racts










134


A13.

How to obtain alternative versions of the Annual Plan/comments


135


Glossary












137


7

Section 1:

Local and national priorities


1.1

KCC’s strategic direction

KCC continues to act in pursuit of the c
ounty’s clearly stated objectives as set out in the
Vision for
Kent (the

Vision
).

This document, agreed between Kent’s public, private and
voluntary sectors, sets out how the county council and its partners will work together to
improve the economic, socia
l and environmental well
-
being of the county over the next 20
years.


Towards 2010,

a vital document designed and developed across the council in 2006,
defines KCC’s priorities in terms of the
Vision

and gives the business strategic direction.


At the he
art of
Towards 2010

are the county council’s agreed aims. These are designed to
achieve:




Increased prosperity for Kent through business growth and job creation



Transformation in education



Reduced traffic congestion



Improved health and quality of life



Qual
ity homes in a well
-
managed environment



A safer Kent



Continued improvements in services while keeping council tax down.


The
Kent Agreement

is the county’s
Local Area Agreement (LAA)

and
Public Service

Agreement (PSA
)

with the Government, signed by KCC and

its major partners in Kent.
This year’s performance will be vital in achieving the stretching targets agreed and in
winning additional funding for local public services.


The Kent
Supporting Independence Programme

continues to play a fundamental role in
achieving the
Vision
,
Towards 2010

and
Kent Agreement

targets. Of particular importance
is its focus on key dependency groups including young people not in education,
employment or training (NEETS) and its multi
-
agency approach to helping people move
from
dependency into employment and more fulfilling lives.


This
Annual Plan

is a shorter
-
term document aimed primarily at KCC members, directorate
staff and key partners. It sets out KCC’s priorities for the current year and reports on
performance for the prev
ious year.


To make sure the council’s resources align with its priorities, it has a
Medium Term
Financial Plan

(MTFP) that
s

look ahead at the next three financial years. Its main purpose
is to identify and estimate resources available over this period.


1.2

N
ational priorities


One of the key tasks of every local authority is to achieve a balance between national and
local priorities. There has been a government drive over the past few years to help
councils deliver improvements in services to local people. In
itiatives aimed at delivering
these improvements have included:




The Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) regime, which was introduced in
2002 to help local councils improve services for their communities. CPA uses existing
information on the perform
ance of services, their ability to improve and the council’s

8

plans and ambitions for the future to produce an overall assessment of how well the
council is run and how well it is delivering services. The assessment results in a ‘star
rating’ from nil to fo
ur



The Gershon Review, which required local authorities to improve efficiency and reduce
bureaucracy



The new generation of Local Area Agreements LAAs (represented by
Kent Agreement
2
) that will be
central to public sector delivery

between

2008 and 2011. T
hey represent
the main contract for outcomes between a local authority, its partners and government
and the single delivery plan for the local Sustainable Community
Strategy
(Vision for
Kent)



Best Value, introduced on 1 April 2000 as a key element of the G
overnment’s
programme to modernise local government. It places local authorities under a duty to
seek continuous improvement in the way they carry out their functions



Every Child Matters
, a radical reform of children’s services prompted by the Children
Act

2004. It aims to bring together the work of the health sector and local government
to improve the delivery of health and social care for children and young people



Our Health, Our Care, Our Say
, a White Paper that sets out a radical agenda focused
on the f
ollowing four overarching goals for health and social care:



Providing better prevention services and earlier intervention



Giving people more choice and a louder voice



Tackling inequalities and improving access to community services



Providing support for pe
ople with long
-
term conditions.



Sustainable Communities
-

People, Places and Prosperity
, a five
-
year strategy setting
out the Government’s vision for sustainable communities. It focuses on vibrant local
leadership, resident engagement and participation and

improved service delivery and
performance



The recent Varney report on service transformation that included recommendations for
a cross
-
government identity management system. This would enable greater
personalisation of services and reduce duplication acro
ss government by, for instance,
only requiring people to make one notification when their circumstances changed
instead of notifying each public body separately



Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs), non
-
statutory, multi
-
agency partnerships that
match local
authority boundaries. LSPs bring together at a local level the different
parts of the public, private, community and voluntary sectors, allowing different
initiatives and services to support one another so that they can work together more
effectively.


1.3

The

Local Government White Paper/Local Government and Public
Involvement in Health Bill (
LGIPH Act 2007)


The LGIPH Act received Royal Assent in October 2007 and has key implications not just
for KCC but for all local government in England. It has brought ne
w responsibilities and
challenges that the county council is meeting by working in partnership with district
councils and other public service providers across Kent.


The legislation means that not only is KCC being independently judged on how it performs

as a county council but on how well the whole of the public sector is working together for
Kent.



Key elements of the Act include:



Making it a statutory duty for the county council to develop a Local Area Agreement
(the
Kent Agreement
)


9



Giving the county

council a duty to prepare and publish a
Joint Strategic Needs
Assessment

on the short and long
-
term health needs of the county



Introducing a
Councillor

Call for Action

to make it easier for local people to raise issues
of concern



Making the county council

responsible for ensuring the creation of a new way of
involving local people in health issues through a Local Involvement Network (or LINk).


1.4

The ageing population and the economy

People in Britain are living longer than ever before and the population

is ageing. This
pattern can be found in developed economies worldwide and will have a very significant
impact on the future of public services, the economy and family life. It is essential that
KCC plans for the impact this will have. It was to identify
the key issues and begin a wider
debate that KCC hosted a seminar on
The Ageing Population and the Economy.

It produced a number of key points:



This is a worldwide issue. While some governments are only beginning to think about
it, we cannot afford to wai
t



Access to information and new technologies is essential to well
-
being and inclusion



There is a huge potential market for
well
-
designed

and adaptable homes, fittings and
everyday items that would help people continue to enjoy leading normal lives



It makes

no economic sense not to support carers and enable them to combine their
caring roles with employment.

The seminar will feed into KCC’s older people’s strategy, entitled
Strategy for Later Life.


10

Section 2:

Delivering improved services and transforming KC
C


2.1

The journey continues


Kent County Council has excellent staff to deliver its services and

has maintained high
levels of performance while making significant efficiency savings. It

has undergone
massive transformation in recent years, placing the custom
er at the very heart of its
services.
As it meets increasingly diverse and personalised service demands, that journey
of transformation will continue.


KCC has been rated as
four star

and
improving strongly

in the Government's performance
assessment for lo
cal authorities, the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (See
Appendix A5). This is the highest overall rating that can be obtained, although the council
is determined not to be complacent and must continue to deliver new service
improvements every year.


This section sets the scene for the work individual directorates are doing to continue
delivering improved services for the people of Kent.


Kent Adult Social Services

Our Health
,

Our Care
,

Our Say
launched a major programme of change. This is now
moving
into a further phase.


The Government has published a range of key documents including
Putting People First
,
Transforming Social Care

and
Valuing People Now

and is expected to launch two key
national strategies on carers and dementia in June 2008. Prime M
inister Gordon Brown
and Health Secretary Alan Johnson have meanwhile launched a public debate about the
future of the care and support system for England that is expected to lead to a Green
Paper on the future of social care in 2009. The consultation can
be accessed at
http://www.careandsupport.direct.gov.uk/


These initiatives

all reflect and underscore KCC’s core values of:




P
romoting Independence



P
ersonalisation



P
revention



P
artnership.


The new
Care Quality Commission will oversee a new performance framework being
developed to focus on these priorities. It will go beyond the 198 national indicators and the
health sector’s
Vital Signs

framework to focus jointly on
h
ealth and social care. Annual
A
ssessments will continue to be a key feature and will feed directly into the new
Comprehensive Area Assessment
.


Children, Families and Education

KCC aims to provide effective, integrated services that help children develop into healthy,
motivated, confid
ent adults. It does this by identifying and addressing their needs both as
individuals and within family and community settings and it aim
s

to make sure those who
are disadvantaged, vulnerable or at risk of harm are supported from the earliest possible
o
pportunity.


KCC is continuing to develop Children’s Trust arrangements. By September 2008, 23
Local Children’s Services Partnerships (LCSPs) will have replaced the clusters that

11

currently exist at local level. LCSPs will plan and commission key services

for children at
a local level, maximising personal choice and involving users in the way services are
designed. This will address the needs of children, young people and their families by
providing a more responsive, coherent and personalised service deli
very earlier and closer
to the point of need.


This vision for LCSPs is supported by the Children's Plan, published by the Government in
December 2007. This plan will mean a new leadership role for Children's Trusts in every
area, a new role for schools at

the centre of communities and more effective links between
schools, the NHS and other children’s services. The partnership that emerges will work
together to engage parents and tackle each and every barrier to the learning, health and
happiness of Kent’s
children.


Communities

KCC

is focused on improving the quality and value of its services, involving customers in
the way those services are shaped and developed and having a positive impact

upon the
people of Kent.


The unique combination of services with
in the directorate plays a vital role in helping to
enhance community safety and community leadership, offering universal and targeted
services to people of all ages and encouraging people to adopt healthier lifestyles.


In the coming year these services w
ill continue to be responsive and personalised at a
local level, offering choice where possible. The directorate is committed to consulting
widely during service development and planning.


The directorate is leading on a number of important developments in

2008/09. These
include working with partners to devise an Integrated Youth Support Strategy,
implementing the recommendations of the recent Alcohol Select Committee report,
developing a Cultural Strategy for Kent and implementing the first phase of the
Go
vernment’s new ten
-
year drug strategy.


Environment and Regeneration

The directorate is committed to delivering services and projects of the highest quality on
behalf of the people of Kent. Its diverse responsibilities range from Kent
-
wide activities
such
as road maintenance, public rights of way, waste management and supporting
businesses to work that is more closely linked to specific locations such as regeneration
projects, new road schemes and the growth areas of Thames Gateway and Ashford.


The 2008 la
unch of the new Kent County Council Regeneration Strategy will reinvigorate
and shape the work of the directorate and its partners both inside and outside KCC for a
number of years to come. The strategy will provide both the foundation and the reference
point as KCC strives to meet the environmental, social, economic and transport
-
related
needs of the people of Kent both now and in the future.


That regeneration strategy will be the springboard for a 20
-
year transport strategy covering
strategic and local

infrastructure

requirements for

roads, railways, seaports, airports
and

river transport.


It will include sections on freight transport, bus and coach services,
walking and cycling together with an action plan for change broken down by district council
ar
ea.



12

The directorate’s work will take place against the backdrop of an overall economic
situation that is considerably less

certain than it has been for a number of years.


Oil

prices
are soaring, borrowing has become more difficult and costly and the Bank

of England has
introduced special schemes to improve the liquidity of the UK banking system.

It means
that while continuing to focus on the objectives set out in the
Vision For Kent

and
Towards

2010,
KCC
will need to be aware of the more challenging cond
itions in which its
partners and the residents of Kent are operating.




KCC has made significant progress towards buying a new technology
-
driven planning
application system that will provide greater e
-
access and has the potential to see the
council receiv
e a higher level of planning delivery grant from Government. The new
system is expected to be fully functional by 2009/10.


Chief Executive’s Department

The Chief Executive’s Department is a core part of KCC, supporting service delivery and
driving forward

the modernisation and transformation agenda. The department is a
federation of services that include finance, personnel and development and commercial
services.


2.2

Our commitments

KCC’s five management priorities are to:




Deliver the
Vision for Kent
, th
e
Kent Agreement 2

(the Local Area Agreement), the
Supporting Independence Programme, the strategic statement

Towards 2010
and the
aims set out in this Annual Plan



Provide excellent value for money services and continuously improve KCC’s
performance



Take
better care of the public by communicating more effectively with them and by
listening and responding to their needs



Inspire staff and make KCC a great place to work



Transform the way KCC works by investing in information technology.


These are enshrined i
n our commitments for delivering improvement in 2008/09.


2.3

Priorities for delivering improvement in 2008/09


The county council’s priorities fall within the areas set out below:


Towards 2010

Towards 2010
defines KCC’s major priorities in terms of the

V
ision for Kent.

Sections
3

to
11 of this document outline how the county council will deliver those priorities

this year
.


Supporting Independence Programme

KCC’s Supporting Independence Programme (SIP) is committed to
developing a cohesive
approach design
ed to help those who currently rely on benefits

to

lift themselves out of
dependency and
to
support themselves and their families. SIP also aims to tackle the root
causes that create dependency and improve individuals’ life chances in order to prevent
them

becoming dependent in the first place.


There are a number of corporate priorities for SIP in 2008/09:



13



Continuing to deliver work that supports KCC’s
Towards 2010

targets (specifically
targets
9

and 15 to 20), particularly around Kent Success, the Kent C
ommunity
Programme and work on welfare reform



Working with Jobcentre Plus and other key partners on ways of supporting the
Kent
Agreement

2 target to reduce the number of working age people on out of work
benefits



Developing a better understanding of the n
eeds of the people who find themselves in
the 10 SIP archetypes by collating more accurate data and working closely with
marginalised groups and working with partners to develop better services for those
people



Undertaking high level, targeted work with pa
rtners in the most disadvantaged
communities in Shepway, Swale and Thanet, and developing an action plan with
measurable outcomes to tackle entrenched disadvantage



Working closely with colleagues in the Environment and Regeneration Directorate,
particularl
y around KCC’s Regeneration Strategy.


For further information see Appendix 3.


Kent Commitment

Kent County Council and the 12 district councils are committed to improving services and
achieving significant savings for the people of Kent through this innov
ative local
agreement.


The
Kent Commitment

builds upon the strong working relationships already in place
between KCC and the districts and continues to put residents and service users at its
heart.


Kent Agreement 2

The coming year will see a new Local Ar
ea Agreement, the
Kent Agreement

2, developed
with the wider Kent Partnership and agreed with the Government. It will build on Kent’s
existing agreement and continue the aim of providing improving services while maintaining
a focus on value for money.
Ke
nt Agreement 2

will be the way overarching priorities for
action across all Kent’s public services are brought together and delivered in the most
effective way possible.


For

further information
see
Appendix 1.


Partnership working

KCC is keen to work even

more closely with partners on the continuing improvement in
public services and will build upon the work of the Kent Partnership
www.kentpartnership.org.uk

(see Appendix

4
).
This reflects the council’s comm
itment to
improved two
-
tier working and recognises that the Kent Partnership
-

the countywide Local
Strategic Partnership
-

is key to driving new ways of working that are challenging and
innovative and unlock new opportunities.


For 2008/09, the Kent Partn
ership and the Public Service Board (PSB) will focus on new
governance arrangements that meet the requirements of the Local Government and
Involvement in Public Health Act 2008 and relevant statutory guidance. These
arrangements were developed during 2007/
08 to deliver the new Local Area Agreement
(the
Kent Agreement

2). The governance framework sets out new terms of reference for
the Kent Partnership and the PSB as well as standard protocols for the working groups.



14

Another area of partnership working th
at will be a priority for 2008/09 is the implementation
of the recommendations from the
Governance of Partnerships
Audit Report completed in
February 2008. This will be led by the Kent Partnership team and involve all directorates in
designing and deliveri
ng workshops for partnership lead officers. The aim will be

to

further
embed the KCC policy guidance
Risk Management of Key Partnerships,

encourage a
common approach to risk management and further

to

review and improve the guidance
itself.


Customer care

The expectations of residents and businesses as consumers of public services are
changing. KCC needs to respond to the fact that service users increasingly see
themselves as customers, expecting greater choice and services tailored to their needs
and thos
e of their families and businesses. Residents want to access services that meet
their individual needs at convenient locations and at times that suit them.



KCC is committed to excellence in customer care for all the people of Kent. Whether they
access th
e council’s services face
-
to
-
face, via technology or by phone the council is
determined to make every contact a positive experience. We will:




Make sure we understand what our customers need by consulting them, encouraging
community involvement and develop
ing our services around their expectations



Respond positively and promptly to compliments and complaints, using feedback to
learn from any mistakes and improve and modernise our services.


Personalising services

KCC is committed to personalising services
to ensure they meet the needs of the people
of Kent. This means continuing to innovate and improve by:



Giving individuals and communities a stronger voice in the design and transformation
of services



Ensuring that we continue to improve access through inn
ovative projects such as
Gateways

and the self
-
assessment website so that services are accessible to all



Continuing to find new and innovative ways of offering more choice and individual
control in order to meet and surpass public expectations



Making the m
ost of technological innovations to personalise services



Getting the simple things right first time and ensuring an excellent customer
experience for all.


The Contact Centre will continue to provide quick, easy and high
-
quality access to all
county counci
l information and services. It will continue to look for opportunities to expand
the number of services it handles, helping KCC to deliver wider, ever
-
better customer
contact in a cost effective way. It already takes more than 1.3 million calls each year,
as
well as running Consumer Direct South East in partnership with the Office of Fair Trading
and Trading Standards teams in the Government Office for the South East (GOSE) area.
The Contact Centre currently looks after more than 60 services, including cruc
ial social
services out
-
of
-
hours calls, helping customers to register births or deaths, enrol for Adult
Education courses, renew library books, report potholes and much more.


KCC’s Personalisation Board supports directorates by championing improvements in

community engagement, identifying and communicating good practice within KCC and
maintaining a clear focus on improving the customer experience.


Information and communications technology (ICT)


15

The potential and capabilities of ICT are being fully develo
ped and exploited across KCC
to help drive forward service transformation and improve efficiency.


The council will continue to expand the capability of ICT systems in support of innovative
and modern flexible working practices. It will give particular em
phasis to activity that
enhances and supports opportunities for multi
-
agency working across the public, private
and voluntary and community sectors.


In the coming year KCC

will deliver
:



A consolidated public services data network to replace the existing
corporate, schools
and inter
-
agency networks that have reached

the

end of their lives



Proposals to bring together public sector machine room provision across the county



Remote access and home working solutions that will support the office transformation
pr
ogramme across the whole of the council



Webjam



an on
-
line public/staff consultation system.


ICT will continue to support Kent Adult Social Services’
Whole Systems Demonstrator
project that aims to extend Telecare and Telehealth services in support of so
me of the
most vulnerable members of society.


KCC will work with partners to find opportunities to influence and inform the national ICT
strategy for public service so that it reflects the priorities and needs of local communities.


Equality and diversity

In KCC, equality and diversity means delivering excellent quality, value for money services
to everyone in Kent. The council’s approach is simple. We aim to open doors to access
and participation and to enable everybody to contribute to the life of the co
unty, whatever
their background or circumstances. Our services are already rated amongst the best in the
country and we have a strong record in raising standards, increasing choice and tackling
inequality.
KCC is committed to ensuring that current and pote
ntial service users,
employees or job applicants will not be discriminated against on the grounds of social
circumstances or background, gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, disability, sexuality, age,
or religion.


KCC’s
Equality Strategy

2007 to 2010 spells out what disability, gender and race equality
mean for those who live, work and visit Kent and the priorities to be tackled in each area. It
also deals wit
h community cohesion and the cross
-
cutting issues of age, faith and sexual
orientation.
The strategy supports continuous improvement in service delivery across all
areas of the council, with a focus on meeting the needs of diverse service users. It is
unde
rpinned by a commitment to achieving the best value for the resources available,
working in partnership and encouraging more people to have their say locally to influence
decisions which affect them and their community.


Strategy for staff

KCC aims to make

Kent a great place to live, work and visit, a county that people are
proud of, where communities, families and individuals flourish and where people feel safe.
The council sets out to achieve this by putting customers first, providing and
commissioning hi
gh quality services and continuously improving performance. As success
depends upon the passion, skill and motivation of staff, KCC’s commitment to recruiting,
developing and retaining the very best people goes way beyond traditional boundaries.



16

Driven by

our core values and high performance culture, our Strategy for Staff aims to
make KCC a great place to work. The ambition is to make it a place where inspiring
leadership and excellent people management enable all our staff to:



Feel proud and excited abou
t working for KCC



Achieve their full potential



Treat customers as they would like to be treated themselves



Feel valued, equipped and rewarded for what they do



Feel confident to welcome change and initiate innovation.


The council is committed to:



Deliverin
g a ‘total reward’ framework in which staff receive individual statements about
their pay and benefits



Developing a core skills development programme,
Skills for Life

that can be accessed
by all staff and achieves the national Go Award standard



Increasing
staff engagement through enhanced use of technology, face
-
to
-
face
contact and improved feedback mechanisms



Achieving the highest level of the Equality Standard for Local Government and
recruiting a workforce that reflects the population



Inspiring a high pe
rformance culture through improved leadership and excellent people
management



S
urveying all staff, using

an on
-
line tool

where possible,

to gather key trend dat
a on
job satisfaction



Creating a healthier workforce, evidenced by improved attendance and Healt
hcheck
feedback



Enabling all staff and managers to access and maintain their own personnel
information locally



Introducing new ways of working, including increased flexibility on where and how jobs
can be done, in order to keep customers happy, promote a h
ealthy work/life balance
and reduce the council’s impact on the environment



Combine the way talent is managed and ‘job families’ are organised in order to provide
career pathways across the organisation.


International agenda

Our International Strategy,
Ke
nt


Global Reach, Local Benefit
, guides our work overseas
and is based on the clear
principles of:




Concentrating on priorities and activities that can bring best value in terms of meeting
the county’s needs



Maximising existing links



Only considering new
links where they demonstrate clear added value



Taking the best advantage of income generation opportunities for Kent
.

In the coming year we will seek to:




Maximise the take up of EU funding aligned to KCC’s strategic objectives



Strengthen and further devel
op key sectors of Kent’s economy through encouraging
trade, inward investment and tourism, working with Locate in Kent, Visit
K
ent and
other relevant Kent subscribers and organisations



Develop existing strategic international alliances to enhance Kent’s ke
y policy
objectives in areas such as innovation, migration and changing demography and
create new relationships if appropriate



Utilise student/staff exchanges and educational linkages to provide new life
-
long
learning opportunities


17



Share and develop inte
rnational best practice in service development in areas ranging
from education, community safety through to social care and health to ensure that
Kent services are world
-
class.


International work is not undertaken separately but supports core business and

is linked to
the council’s key priorities.


Climate
c
hange

Building on the successful foundations laid in 2007/08, the coming year will be crucial for
KCC’s climate change action programme.


In the coming year the council will:



Further reduce the organis
ation’s own carbon footprint and make progress towards the
target of reducing emissions by 10 per cent by 2010 and 20 per cent by 2015. This
includes continuing to explore practical ways in which KCC can reduce the wider,
indirect emissions associated wit
h its operations and outsourced services. The council
has joined the

Local Government Information Unit (
LGiU’s
)

innovative c
arbon trading
councils

scheme for 2008/09. This simulates the idea of operating within carbon
budgets and trading with other counci
ls and is designed to help the council prepare for
the
Carbon Reduction Commitment

from 2010.



Make further progress towards ensuring all KCC services understand the impacts that
the changing climate has on the work they do. This includes demand for and del
ivery
of services and the impact the changing climate has on processes, policies, logistics
and management. The council will also continue to work towards developing a
comprehensive, risk
-
based adaptation action plan for the whole authority.



Continue to le
ad activities under the
Kent Agreement

2 to help the county to reduce
carbon emissions and adapt to the changing climate. This includes working through
the Kent Partnership to deliver carbon reductions and building on the successful
low
carbon communities

pilot scheme. KCC will also lead work on developing a Kent
-
wide
local climate impacts profile

to support decision
-
making related to climate change
adaptations across Kent.


2.4

Performance and achievements in 2007/08


Kent Commitment

The
Kent Commitment

w
as signed by the county council and all district council leaders in
January 2007. It outlines five aspirations for two
-
tier government in Kent and commits the
authorities to work together to achieve five things:

1.

An excellent
customer

experience for everyo
ne in Kent who uses local government,
built on fair, simple and equitable access to services and demonstrated by improved
satisfaction rates


2.

More ‘engaged’ local
communities

in which decisions are made at the lowest
possible level so that local people are

involved in shaping their quality of life



3.

More
impact on
economic growth and regeneration throughout the county by
effectively combining the decisions and resources held by national and regional
bodies with those of the county council and district counc
ils



4.

An ambitious programme of
cost

reduction, based on the 13 councils working
together to save money by sharing best practice, best providers and common

18

infrastructure


5.

A combined set of outstanding
capabilities

based on the county and district councils

nurturing internal talent and external suppliers in order to deliver the ambitious
standards they share for the people of Kent.


Achieving these outcomes will mean strengthening partnerships between the councils and
building new ones in order to deliver a

wide range of projects and services. The work
includes both front
-
line service delivery and back office efficiencies and improvements.
Examples include the Gateway programme, ‘extra care’ and supported flats and
apartments and the
Clean Kent

campaign.


Ot
her areas of joint activity include transport, countryside management, community safety,
skills and education, economic development and tourism, empty properties, procurement,
property, staff development and waste management.


A critical focus for the
Ken
t Commitment

is to maximise procurement efficiencies. In
2007/08 KCC managed almost £140m worth of goods and services for the public sector
and has led the way in buying energy at it
s

most competitive price on behalf of the
councils in Kent.


Working toge
ther on economic development and regeneration has also been a dominant
theme over the past year, with KCC continually looking for new ways of working across all
sectors. This partnership approach has been reflected in a Multi Area Agreement (MAA)
for the N
orth Kent Thames Gateway growth area. This new concept has brought public
and private sector partners and resources together to bring forward the jobs, housing and
infrastructure the area needs, and is based on the strong links between KCC, Medway
Council

and Swale, Gravesham and Dartford District Councils.


There are a number of other examples of partnership working:




Reviewing the Kent Partnership structure and governance arrangements in response
to the LGIPH Act 2007 and LAA 2 guidance to provide new
t
e
rms of
r
eference for the
K
ent
P
artnership
,
Kent
P
ublic
S
ervice
B
oard

and working groups



Supporting the expansion, capacity and sustainability of the voluntary and community
sector through K
ent
P
artnership

funding and direct support, including leadership an
d
representation activities. This included improving partnership working through the
Kent
Agreement

and the Kent Partners’ Compact and providing more than £480,000 raised
from the Big Lottery Fund



The work of the Public Service Board to identify opportunit
ies for cross public sector
innovation including an agreement to sponsor
Kent View

and agreeing
information
governance protocols




Implementing the
Vision for Kent

through the plans and strategies of partners.



Delivering the final year of the
Kent Agreemen
t

and achieving 75 per cent of targets to
secure between £28m and £30m in performance reward grant



Negotiat
e

the complex
Kent Agreement

2 in co
-
operation with partners despite the
absence of formal national guidance. Developed from the ground up, the
Kent
Agreement

2 programme is built on a broad consensus and detailed ownership across
partners to provide firm foundations for delivering the programme over the next
three

years



Improving KCC
’s

approach to community engagement through collaboration,
consultati
on and communication.


19



Implementing the
n
ational
Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (
CDRP
)

standards as required by the Government Office, identifying specific needs and
introducing training to i
mprove service delivery further.




Delivering
the
county’
s Community Safety Agreement (CSA) by bringing together
d
istrict Strategic Assessments (SAs), setting out the county's seven strategic priorities
and producing a
Statement of co
-
operation and support

to target objectives and
improve joint working across Ke
nt.



Improv
ing the
strategic and analytical information available to CDRPs, partner
agencies, the Safer and Stronger Communities Group (SSCG) and the Safer Kent
Delivery Group (SKDG)
.



Information and communications technology (ICT)

Throughout the year KCC

monitored advances in technology and assessed their potential
benefit in supporting council services. The council identified remote access solutions and
made them available in support of the home working agenda and introduced ways of
ensuring new technolo
gies represent value for money.


Technology underpinned major service innovations during the year, including Kent TV, the
expansion of the Gateway programme and the support system behind integrated children’s
services. The final three Kent telephone exchan
ges were upgraded to broadband and a
programme was put in place to deal with remote areas that are currently unable to receive
broadband because they are too far from the local exchange.


A feasibility study looked at the idea of a Kent
-
wide public contact

service and KCC
worked with other local authorities on a joint initiative to fund a consolidated data network.


Equality and diversity

In March 2008 KCC was externally assessed at level three of the Equality Standard for
Local Government. The assessment,
which included interviews with external stakeholders
and service users, focused on the way the county’s objectives and targets related to the
needs of service users and employees. It also looked at the county’s use of equality
impact assessment to identify

areas for improvement.


A new younger staff group was set up to support the council’s
Towards 2010

commitment
to encourage the employment of younger people. KCC already has groups representing
disabled, black and minority ethnic and gay, lesbian, bisexual

and transgender staff. KCC
improved its rating in the Stonewall
Workplace Equality Index

from 37th to 29th and
retained its accreditation as a
two ticks positive about disabled people

employer for the
sixth year. The council developed partnerships and joi
nt initiatives through the Kent
Equalities Network co
-
hosted by Kent Police and KCC. Service improvements included
making website information easier to access by promoting interpreting services and
implementing web accessibility standards, particularly acr
oss KCC’s 60 social care sites.


Kent Adult Social Services has introduced a procurement system that ensures equality is a
key component in
Good Care

Guides
, service specifications, tendering and contracting
and contract monitoring. The system includes inn
ovative ways of involving older people,
people with disabilities

and those with mental health illnesses who use KCC services so
that they can share their views on the quality of those services. Such clear, accountable
systems are essential in ensuring high

standards for the

12,000 service users since the
d
irectorate buys in 85 per cent of its services from the private and voluntary sectors.




20

One of the most innovative

achievements during 2007/08 was the

Reaching Seldom
Heard Groups

project. It

used SMS tex
ting technology to enable young offenders in the
Thanet area to give their views on whether or not public transport was serving them as it
should.


Strategy for staff


In 2007/08, KCC:




Built on the
Investors in People

(IiP) re
-
accreditation achieved again
st the revised
‘harder standard’ in December 2006. The council was particularly commended for high
standards of learning and development opportunities, and a strong performance
management culture



Implemented a harmonised pay structure that recognises and r
ewards staff for their
total contribution

and includes an enhanced benefits package that offers increased
flexibility, choice and value



Supported and developed staff groups supporting black and minority ethnic, disabled,
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transge
nder and younger staff



Provided a range of practical measures to promote and support good health, including
Healthchecks
, the
Fit4Healt
h programme, giving up smoking and an online stress
management tool



Reflected the council’s ‘desired behaviours’ (as def
ined by the
Ways2Success

framework) in the appraisal and development process and linked them to salaries
through the
total contribution pay

(TCP) system



Improved communication through the KNet intranet and team briefing arrangements
and introduced events i
ncluding speed surgeries and ‘Leader’s Lunches’ to increase
knowledge sharing and staff engagement



Developed the Kent Leadership Programme as an exciting and innovative cross
-
sector
approach to developing leadership capacity and potential. KCC’s Management

Development Centre of Excellence has achieved outstanding success, with 812
managers achieving qualifications in the past seven years



Created job families and profiles that have increased opportunities for movement
across the organisation and implemented
a talent management process to identify
staff with the potential and ambition for progression



Introduced new induction programmes for staff and managers that enable them to
become effective, confident and competent as quickly as possible



Developed a range
of programmes specifically designed to challenge, inspire and
develop support staff.


International agenda

Kent was closely involved with the Commonwealth of Virginia during 2007, the year of
America's

400
th
birthday celebrations.

Highlights included

Kent'
s representation

at the
Anniversary Weekend and the Queen's visit to Jamestown in May. The joint trade mission
by Kent and Essex County Councils delivered £20,000 worth of business, with an
estimated £300,000 forecast over the next 12 months.


Kent joine
d the Commonwealth of Virginia at

America's largest annual cultural festival, the
Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC. This was a first for England, which had
never been represented at the festival before, with 38 cultural tradition bearers sho
wcasing
the very best of Kent over 10 days to more than a million visitors. Taking part in the festival
is expected to boost US tourism to Kent significantly in future years.




21

On the European front, KCC has successfully bid for structural funds programmes

such as
Interreg IIIA, securing some £24m to fund 131 projects in Kent and Medway. The council
has also lobbied to shape, influence and secure new funding regimes such as Interreg IVA
and the South East Competitiveness Programme.


The council has worked

hard at promoting European trade connections and hosted a
successful European Business and Innovation Centres Network (EBN) Congress in
Canterbury in June 2007. This raised Kent’s profile amongst 370 business delegates in 32
countries as well as contribut
ing some £100,000 to the local economy.


KCC has also encouraged various international exchanges for young people and staff
including:




75 study visits by schools to France



Youth exchanges with the Provincial State Office of Southern Finland, including Du
ke
of Edinburgh Award gold expeditions



A pilot exchange with Seattle to encourage social care staff to share best practice.


22

Section 3.
Economic success


opportunities for all

Supporting business, creating jobs


Successful local businesses matter to us a
ll. Kent County Council must do all it can to help
our business community; the wealth it creates helps pay for good public services and the
jobs it provides are key to a happy and successful life.


Kent has a unique opportunity to take full advantage of th
e busiest ‘gateway’ to the UK
between Europe, London and the rest of the country to bring more employment to the
county. We will support school leavers and the workforce to develop the right skills to
access the jobs and opportunities that a thriving busin
ess sector brings. We will also
capitalise on Kent’s proven strengths in construction, land
-
based industries,
pharmaceuticals, technology, tourism and biodiversity.


The
Towards 2010

targets in this area are set out below:


Target 1: Substantially increas
e the number of new jobs by increasing the number of
companies investing in Kent and the number of businesses starting up or expanding

Target 2: Concentrate on the regeneration of Kent’s deprived areas and support business
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What will it mean to you?

Kent recognised nationally as a premier
UK
business location and KCC seen as a friend of
business. This will result in better jobs for school leavers, a highly skilled workforce and
inc
reased prosperity for all.


3.1

KCC’s specific priorities for delivering improvement in 2008/09


Economic performance (funding, developing skills and providing workspace)

KCC continues to work with partners to make the most of Kent’s strong entrepreneurial

culture and develop enterprise skills in schools, support small businesses and improve the
skills base in deprived communities. The council will be working actively with Ashford and
Swale Borough Councils to develop a skills strategy for those areas.


Workspace provision for small companies is a key element of KCC’s economic strategy.
Building on the success achieved in 2007/08, further work is planned to identify new
business incubator units at EuroKent, Manston Park and Sheppey.



23

With the largest rur
al population in the south east both numerically and as a percentage of
the total population, the rural economy is fundamental to the achievement of economic
prosperity in Kent. Post office closures will impact on both urban and rural areas but the
latter

will be most affected. Further work is underway to research new business models
such as community shop schemes that will assist rural communities affected by the post
office closures. We are also developing and submitting bids for two
LEADER+

schemes
ai
med at helping rural businesses to innovate and diversify.


Tourism is traditionally one of Kent’s key economic sectors. Following the success of the
2007
Visit Kent
campaign in London, further campaigns are being planned for 2008 to
2011. We will conti
nue to seek out and develop tourism opportunities afforded by film, TV,
music and major sports events including preparing for the Open Golf Championship in
2011. A new
Pride in Kent

initiative is being launched to assist businesses in the run up
to the O
lympics with a focus on raising customer service standards and promoting greater
awareness of local attractions and places to visit.


A key area for high
-
value economic growth is sustainable industries and technologies.
Subject to funding, work will be
taken forward on developing sustainable future industries
centres at Kent Thameside (SusCon


construction industry) and at Hadlow (land use and
rural renaissance). These centres will bring together key skill sets to generate and supply
commercial solution
s to meet the growing demand for sustainable technologies, products,
materials and services. Subject to funding, scoping studies will be undertaken for two
further centres that will be focused on bringing forward new technologies and solutions for
tackling

climate change.


A joint venture between KCC and Thanet District Council will take forward the work at
Manston Park/Euro Kent during 2008/09 to develop the site and attract new businesses.


Growth areas

North Kent and Ashford have been designated as majo
r growth areas for housing
development and employment. KCC is involved with partners in a number of key town
centre, transport and environmental regeneration projects. In Swale, projects include
design input to major road schemes, masterplanning work at Si
ttingbourne and
Faversham, the expansion of Sheerness Port, environmental improvements at Bluetown
and starting work on the Rushenden relief road.


In Ashford, work will continue on the Conningbrook and Discovery Park projects and on
major site expansion

at Chilmington Green. Planned transport improvements include the
completion of the Elwick Road, Victoria Way and Chart Road works and the development
of the
Smartlink

(public transport) bid as well as continuing public realm improvement
projects.


Coas
tal towns

Kent’s coastal towns and surrounding areas have an important role in the development
and growth of the Kent economy and this is recognised in the many town centre
regeneration initiatives and projects that are planned or underway in coastal towns
:




In Dover, projects include the development of a construction facility near Aylesham,
access and public realm improvements to Dover Priory Station Approach,
masterplanning work at various sites to identify and unlock regeneration and economic
potential

and bringing forward proposals for a marine skills centre.
Work has begun on
the new Dover Sea Sports Centre at

the Dover Harbour

beach
.

The new centre is

24

designed to develop sea sports in

the harbour and
introduce more people to the
exceptional opportuni
ties available




Subject to funding, schemes in Margate will include improving traffic and pedestrian
access and movement, developing the public realm and progressing a mixed
development on the Rendezvous site with the intention of submitting a planning
app
lication in January 2009. Work will also start on a new planning brief for the town
centre including the future redevelopment of the Dreamland site



Turner Contemporary and the development of a new gallery is key to KCC’s vision for
the regeneration of Marg
ate. The new gallery will be a catalyst for further
developments in the town. Building is due to start in autumn 2008.


Funding for improved transport

The priority for the Local Transport Plan (LTP) delivery in 2008/09 will be producing a
Delivery Report

which sets out the progress made on achieving the overall objectives and
targets of the LTP. The report will review progress made in the first two years of the LTP
period (2006 to 2008) and will look forward to the rest of the period. Another priority w
ill be
identifying and assessing integrated transport schemes that will be implemented in
2009/10.


3.2

Performance and achievements in 2007/08



Economic performance
(funding, developing skills and providing workspace)



The URBAN programme is now supportin
g more than 90 jobs and skills programmes
in Kent, while the
Trading Up

Initiative has helped more than 300 people in deprived
communities to complete skills training courses. Rural community projects such as
LEADER+
,
Rural Revival

and the Kent Rural Towns

project have provided training and
business advice to rural communities across Kent and supported community
-
led
regeneration projects such as Sheppey Wheels



Funding for business incubator spaces has been secured in the new Folkestone
Performing Arts Centr
e and at the new Innovation Centre at Kent Science Park. KCC
has launched a dedicated business advice scheme for co
-
located retailers to help
mitigate the effects of post office closures in rural areas and taken the lead in
examining other possible enterpr
ise
-
led solutions and strategies



Through the Kent Tourism Alliance, a series of successful marketing campaigns has
led to an increase in day trips to Kent by London residents and in overseas trips from
America with the
Visit Kent

Campaign generating an es
timated £40m of additional
spend in Kent. The first
Big Day Out

on 31 March 2007 attracted £250,000 worth of
local publicity and £75,000 of secondary spend on the day. In July, more than two
million people lined the streets of Kent to watch the
Tour de Fra
nce
. The event
generated an estimated £37m of spending in the Kent economy



In Thanet, work has started on the development and masterplanning of the EuroKent
and Manston Park sites including the completion of the EuroKent spine road to unlock
the economic
potential of the area.


Growth areas



KCC supported the opening of a new Kent Science Centre at the Kent Science Park in
Sittingbourne. There is tremendous potential for growing and developing business
and science parks in Kent and KCC is playing an impor
tant role in this work



Improvements to the Ashford Ring Road are due to be completed in spring 2008. The
Lost ‘O’

public art project gained a commendation at the Landscape Institute Annual
Awards


25



Agreement has been reached with Government and local par
tners to secure £166m of
public and private sector funding to support the growth of homes, jobs and
communities in Kent Thameside. More than £39m of national funding has been
secured to date to support the growth programme in North Kent and Ashford.


Coast
al towns



Working with district council partners in Thanet, Dover, Shepway and Swale, KCC has
exceeded the Public Service Agreement target for bringing empty properties back into
occupied use and secured a £2m government reward grant. The council has agreed

with the remaining eight districts to roll out the scheme on a countywide basis from
April 2008



KCC has worked with partners to secure £850,000 of European funding to support the
regeneration of Margate Eastern Seafront around the Rendezvous site. Work on

the
various development and public realm projects will be completed in 2008
. In addition,
a planning application by the Stirling Prize winner David Chipperfield for the Turner
Contemporary gallery was approved by Thanet District Council in February 2008.

Building will commence in Autumn 2008



The Sea Sports Centre in Dover is expected to be finished by summer 2008. An
additional commitment of £1.6m from Network Rail will ensure the £2.8m public realm
improvement scheme at Dover Priory will start in April

2008



In Folkestone, a new university centre and an adult education centre have been
opened and improvements to Tontine Street commenced to support the cultural
-
led
regeneration of the town. Work has also started on a £3.5m Performing Arts and
Business Ce
ntre.



Kent Film Office

The Kent Film Office launched the Kent Film and TV strategy in 2007. The office assisted
various productions including
Cape Wrath, The Other Boleyn Girl, Half Broken Things,
Ruby Blue, Spooks, Eastenders, Eon’s Winds of Change

and

Morrisons’ 2007 Christmas
campaign.


The film office website was developed and location and image libraries
expanded. The office sponsored an award at the Kent Business Awards and will do so
again in 2008.


The Film Office worked with Visit Kent to laun
ch a movie map as part of a large marketing
campaign linked to
The Other Boleyn Girl.



Over the coming year the team will continue to assist productions, increase links with Visit
Kent to enhance campaigns, heighten advertising to the film and televisio
n industry and
explore media training opportunities through the Kent Academy.


Local Indicators


2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

Unemployment rates (as at March)

2.2
%

2
%

1.6
%

Percentage of people of working age living in Kent qualified to
NVQ4+ (annual survey)

2
4%

25.6%

Not
available

Median full
-
time weekly earnings for employment in Kent

£412

£428

£451

Claimant count: Job seekers, incapacity benefits, lone parents
and other income support (as at August)

82,050

83,040

79,990



26


Section
4. Learning for everyone

Getting it right from the start


Providing our youngest children with the very best start in life is crucial. Early years/
nursery education has an enormous impact in developing a child’s readiness to learn from
an early age, along with building essential

social skills and good behaviour. With these key
skills, a child’s appetite for learning is considerably improved.


KCC acknowledges the family and education as the most important factors in ensuring that
children grow into adults who are able both to loo
k after themselves and to contribute to
society as a whole.
The council is convinced that

e
ducation, skills, learning and well
-
being
are key to personal success and fulfillment and to the future prosperity and quality of life in
Kent. KCC is determined to
improve the quality of education received by every child in
every school and setting and to protect and improve the life chances of the most
underprivileged and vulnerable children in our community.


The
Towards 2010

targets in this area are set out below:


Target 10: Improve the quality of early years education by strengthening the links
between pre
-
schools/nurseries and primary schools, thereby improving children's ability
to learn when they enter primary school

Target 11: Help and inspire all our child
ren to do well, with a particular focus on ensuring
that the results our seven and 11 year
-
olds achieve at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
improve faster than the national rate

Target 12: Work with headteachers to encourage a zero tolerance approach towards
di
sruptive behaviour, bullying and vandalism in our schools

Target 13: Continue to offer and develop further multi
-
agency support to parents by
helping them with the problems they and their children face in everyday life

Target 14: Listen to young people’s v
楥ws and opin楯i猠and deve汯l 瑨e楲 楤ia猠to
業p牯re⁥du捡瑩tn⁡nd楦e⁩ ⁋ent


What will it mean for you?

Improved behaviour and achievement in our schools, greater support for parents and
improved levels of literacy and numeracy amongst children enteri
ng secondary school.


4.1

KCC’s specific priorities for delivering improvement in 2008/09


Children living in poverty are much less likely to fulfil their potential than other children.
KCC is focused on creating the conditions in which all children and yo
ung people can
achieve, no matter what their circumstances are. Since education is a key predictor of later
life chances, KCC aims to improve results and tackle any attainment gaps being
experienced by particular groups of children as a key mechanism to su
stain lower levels of
poverty in the future.


KCC and its partners face a challenge to ensure that the momentum for narrowing the gap
and enabling children and young people to be resilient and optimistic individuals gathers
pace, while maintaining a servic
e for all children that promotes high levels of achievement,
health and well
-
being, social cohesion and economic renewal
.


27


The New
Kent Agreement

The new
Kent Agreement

for 2008/11 will be a key driver to promote positive experiences
and instil optimism
and capability in individuals and communities. KCC’s ambition, through
the Kent Partnership, is to reduce the number of children in Kent who live in poverty by
delivering the priorities set out in the
Kent Agreement
.


Enjoying and achieving

Strategies for
the primary, secondary and special school sectors are in the process of
being implemented and remain at the heart of our transformation to meet the needs of
learners in the twenty
-
first century. KCC’s ambitious plans are supported through the
Building Scho
ols for the Future

programme and sit alongside the innovative reform of 14 to
19 education, the creation of academies and the development of extended schools and
children’s centres. These will create natural communities of schools and improve the
educatio
nal landscape and infrastructure of schools in Kent.


Early years


KCC will give children in Kent the best possible start by providing a firm foundation for pre
-
school children and ensuring that all children are safe, healthy, ready for school and able
to
take maximum advantage of rich and stimulating learning environments. Our aim is to
improve attainment at foundation stage and focus on areas that develop personal, social
and emotional skills including speech, language and literacy. We will focus on incr
easing
the take up of early education places particularly in relation to vulnerable groups of
children, targeting areas of greatest need.


The quality of early years provision will be supported by the ongoing development of the
c
hildren’s
c
entres
programm
e, with 20 new centres planned for 2008/09. Children’s
centres bring together a wide range of agencies to plan and deliver integrated services to
support early education, childcare, health and family support services to children and
families.


We are curre
ntly consulting on a new Early Years Strategy around a vision that includes:



Supporting disadvantaged groups



Improving the quality of provision and support within the early education and childcare
workforce



Securing sufficient and accessible early educatio
n and childcare



Working with and supporting parents



Facilitating integrated working between services.


Extended services

KCC will continue to implement the extended schools agenda to build independent and
self
-
sustaining communities to enhance life chance
s and improve social cohesion.
Parenting will continue to be a focus for extended schools. The Government Office for the
South East (GOSE) recognised Kent’s parenting strategy as a strength and the council will
continue to develop parent forums to ensure
parents’ views are listened to. KCC is also
entering the second year of a two
-
year pilot of Parent Support Advisors, a preventative
school
-
based role. Parent Support Advisors will concentrate in particular on behaviour and
attendance, reducing barriers to
learning and parental engagement with schools.


School performance

KCC will build on the improved Key Stage results of 2007/08 by continuing to support the
raising of standards at all key stages of education and the narrowing of the attainment gap

28

of targe
ted groups of children. We will continue to focus particularly on improvements in
attainment in primary schools.


Positive contribution

The council’s aim is to ensure all young people feel engaged and inspired to learn and feel
that they have an opportuni
ty to share their views and can make a difference. This should
lead to improved behaviour and achievement in schools and the community, less
antisocial behaviour and improved attendance and attainment.


KCC will carry out a second
Children and Young Peopl
e of Kent

survey to inform future
service planning and design.


Specific priorities for this year are to:



Continue to focus activity to reduce teenage pregnancies in those areas where the
rate has not reduced as significantly as in other areas



Continue t
o target persistent absences amongst all pupils, especially looked
-
after
children, and work to reduce the numbers of exclusions



Continue to support initiatives that reduce the rate of re
-
offending in young people



Continue to improve the numbers of young pe
ople known to the Youth Offending
Service (YOS) who continue in education and training or enter employment post
-
16.


Staying safe

Protecting children and keeping families together

KCC will take robust action with partners and through the
Kent Safeguarding
Board

to
protect children and develop a wide range of preventative services. Our priority for the
coming year will be to focus on timely and effective processes to ensure the best
outcomes for children in need of protection. Reducing the impact of domes
tic violence,
bullying and numbers of children killed or injured in traffic accidents will also continue to be
key areas of work
.


Looked
-
after children (LAC)

For those children who become looked
-
after, the priority will be to provide them with
security an
d to improve their educational achievement.


We will build on current progress to further improve the services for LAC and care leavers.
The 2007/08 Annual Performance Assessment (APA) highlighted the progress Kent had
made in reducing the numbers of LAC
and improving the stability of placements. We will
continue to improve attendance and attainment, ensure more responsive mental health
services and better access to health checks for LAC. Other priorities include extending
family group conferencing to a

wider age group, developing multi
-
agency protocols and
Kent’s pledge for children in care. This will lead to better outcomes for LAC and care
leavers.


KCC will continue to develop services to meet the needs of
unaccompanied asylum
seeking children
within

allocated KCC resources and to lobby central Government for
additional funding.


Children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD)

We will continue to modernise services for children with disabilities, making successful
transitions a priority
and ensuring there is a good range of coherent multi
-
agency local
services that meet the needs of children and young people and their carers. We will
maximise opportunities for children with additional and special educational needs and

29

enhance our

work wi
th families and schools to ensure equality of access and the
achievement of ambitious educational outcomes.


An internal review exploring opportunities to integrate further the work of all staff
supporting children with learning difficulties and/or disabi
lities will be established.


The Special School Review programme and the review of specialist provision in
mainstream schools will result in the delivery of a comprehensive range of provision for
the children and young people in Kent who need specialist
support because they have
profound, severe and complex special educational needs. Kent now has three resource
centres that provide respite breaks, holiday clubs and after
-
school activities and three
more are planned across the county. Additional short brea
k opportunities for children with
LDD will be made available between 2008/09 and 2010/11 th
r
ough funding from the
Aiming High

initiative.


Local children’s services partnerships

Children’s Trust arrangements continue to develop and by September 2008 there
will be
23 local children’s services partnerships (LCSPs) to replace the local clusters and
consortia that currently exist. LCSPs will commission key services for children at a local
level, maximising personal choice and the involvement of users in servic
e design as KCC
moves further towards devolving service and governance to the most local level. This will
address the needs of children, young people and their families, with a focus on meeting
the five key
Every Child Matters

outcomes and providing a more

responsive, coherent and
personalised service delivery, earlier and closer to the point of need.


This vision for LCSPs in Kent is supported by the national children’s plan