CWDC: Workload is training bar for children’s services managers

Children’s services managers are missing out on essential training because of heavy workloads, a Children’s Workforce Development Council report said yesterday.

A survey of 531 middle managers working in social care, educational welfare, youth justice and health organisations found 13.5% said they were not being given the chance to develop their skills and knowledge at work. Over 60% blamed their heavy workloads and time commitments for preventing them from attending training courses.

Many managers reported being reluctant to take time off for training due to lack of staff cover. Other barriers included reduced training budgets and lack of clarity about what skills were required for their role.

One respondent said in the report: “As always in social work, it’s about having the available time to attend training when also managing a busy front-line team.”


The Hay Group, which carried out the study for CWDC, recommended the creation of a common management and leadership programme for the entire children’s workforce and the provision of clear role profiles and career pathways for management positions.

It also called for action to tackle the barriers to training identified in the report, including “challenging the middle management culture” which sees taking time off for training as a low priority.

CWDC’s director of workforce reform and the regions Deirdre Quill said the council would produce a programme of work to tackle the issues identified over the coming months. 

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