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2010 - 2011 Transforming Early Years: Total Place Corby

The Total Place Corby project was born out of an invitation from the Innovation Unit (IU) to a number of localities in England.  The IU had funding from the National Endowment for Sciences, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) to support radically efficient, innovative work in the early years in a small number of localities. This took the form of the ‘Transforming Early Years’ programme which ran from January 2010 - July 2011. Corby’s bid was one of the final six localities to be chosen to participate.




Since 2010, the IU and NESTA had been working together to establish a model of Radical Efficiency in public services. This research was a response to decreasing budgets within, but greater demand of public sector services. Following detailed analysis of innovative service models from across the world, they identified several drivers of innovation which resulted in the Radical Efficiency model. In summary these were:


  • New perspectives on challenges – changing the lens of viewpoint brought to bear on the problems that public services seek to address; and
  • New perspectives on solutions – looking to alternative providers, including users themselves, and rethinking the resources available to meet need.


Total Place Corby


The aim of Total Place Corby was to identify, establish and run an innovative form of provision and/or practice which would be ‘radically efficient’. There was particular focus on increasing the take up of services by families who were ‘disillusioned with' or 'disengaged from’ early years services.


Corby’s participation in this national initiative was based on three key factors;


  • Parents in Corby have been the drivers of changes in services and professional practice in the town.
  • Corby had experienced dramatic changes in the previous 30 years and was still undergoing extensive new changes as a community.
  • Northamptonshire County Council’s commitment to Area Based Working which was being developed by professionals and practitioners in Local Operational Teams.


“In Corby, professionals and practitioners authentically engage with parents and involve them in the development, delivery and evaluation of integrated provision and services which meet their expressed needs. This work has informed changes in professional attitudes and practice and sits well with our county’s Area Based Working and Local Operational Teams approach. The aims of the Transforming Early Years project are to, re-energise our commitment to the co-construction of services with parents, particularly the disillusioned and disengaged share the way we work with our partner agencies embed these approaches into the co-production with parents of service development and delivery across the town radically improve outcomes for Corby’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.


This will support the County directorate in transforming upstream service commissioning and planning and downstream delivery, reducing future expenditure related to high-cost acute provision such as children in care.


To further the Total Place Corby work we are trying to find out about the commitment of resources in Corby which supports families with young children. We want to connect this with what parents tell us about services in Corby so that we can then introduce an innovative and radically efficient intervention.” 


More information, including the final report, is available on the Innovation Unit website.  Please click here to access.


The University of the Integrated Early Years Workforce. Supporting professionals to develop high quality practice and best outcomes for all children.