What is sector-led improvement?

Sector-led improvement (SLI) is the approach to put improvements in place by local authorities and the LGA alongside the abolition of the previous national performance framework.

SLI is based on the underlying principles that local authorities are:

  • responsible for their own performance 
  • accountable locally, not nationally 
  • there is a sense of collective responsibility for the performance of the sector as a whole, and 
  • the role of the LGA is to provide tools and support. 

Through a coordinated approach to SLI across local government, LGA support helps your local authorities: continue their own improvement journey, take up our support offer and contribute to the improvement of local government as a whole.

Our current approach to SLI has been running since February 2011, the background to which was summarised in our publication Taking the lead, which took forward our previous Freedom to Lead work with the sector.

Our current approach, the core principles, key components and their application in specific service areas were originally described in our publication

Find out more about our peer challenges, which form a significant part of this approach.

Working with councils we undertook a thorough review of the approach during the early part of 2015 publishing a consultation paper Taking stock: where next with sector led improvement? as well as our analysis of the responses.

In response to the sector's views we have strengthened our corporate peer challenge offer. This includes a clearer expectation around publication of the report and making the follow up visit an integral part of the overall process. We are also planning on the basis that all councils will have a corporate or finance peer challenge every 4-5 years.

The LGA will continue to keep sector colleagues informed about the progress of this work, but if you would like more information or to contribute, please email Dennis Skinner at: dennis.skinner@local.gov.uk.

Read more


Sector-led improvement: our offer of support

More publications

Case studies

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