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The school funding crisis has been years in the making and now it's here - and the effects will be felt - and complained about - for many years to come. The initial intention was always good - to make school funding fairer, to avoid the post-code lottery - but as they say, the road to hell is paved with...

"She's gone mad," they said. "Completely bonkers," said others. People looked at each other and shook their heads in disbelief. What had I done? Well, I'd volunteered my local authority, in Nottingham City Council, for Ofsted's pilot inspection of local authority children's services. When I told my...

One of the few benefits of getting older is that one develops an increased perspective from the past to the present - things haven't always been as they are now! I have recently been reading Professor Melanie Tebbutt's new book, Making Youth - A History of Youth in Modern Britain, an encyclopaedic...

Last week was a "doing things differently" kind of week. On Monday, I attended a Criminal Justice Board event as chairperson of the County Domestic Abuse Executive. On Tuesday, I was at a round table event hosted by the High Sheriff which brought together representatives of the voluntary sector, the...

There have been the predictable - and justifiable - howls of protest about the proposed ending of the ban on new grammar schools and the associated capital funding allocation of hundreds of millions of pounds. The protests, as published in the media, have largely focused on the practicalities - building...

I am sure that for many of you the highlight of any week is getting out of the office and spending time in a school, on a social work visit or a visit to a children's centre or residential unit, in short anything involving an actual child or young person. It certainly is for me. Not so long ago on a...

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Tackling blame culture

24 February 2017

Who's to blame? The first question posed whenever there is service failure, particularly in children's services. When a child is abused, seriously harmed or murdered it is almost always at the hands of the very same people who have parental responsibility to protect and nurture their kids. I don't ever...

Last week, I spent a morning with staff from two nurseries talking about pedagogy. Kindness and what it means was central to the discussion on social and emotional wellbeing. It's quite the topic of the month with the Duchess of Cambridge saying it was more important to be kind and compassionate than...

Few would deny the need for shared learning. In the wake of a child's death learning is paramount; the lasting legacy from such tragedy has to be a change for other children. I am sure that we can all remember the learning from high profile cases like Baby P, although it was 10 years ago the findings...

I recently read a piece about the growth of artificial intelligence and the impact it will have on existing jobs, whether the driverless car or the extension of computer controlled decision-making. I can't understand the rush into such an inhumane world.  Why do we want more automated services, more...

 

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