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The Eastern ADCS region is made up of five large shire counties and six unitary authorities and, as for many colleagues across the country, lots of us are just out the other side of the local elections… New elected members joining, new cabinets being established and preparing for the first full council...

A previous election manifesto addition was to promise parents 30 hours of free childcare. This is an annual increase from 570 to 1140 hours, whether 30 hours term time or 22 hours stretched across 51 weeks of the year. If you are one of the many parents struggling to pay for childcare, "free" is an overstatement...

There's a common myth that does the rounds in the run-up to all elections. We've all heard it: the belief that the work of local authorities grinds to a halt in a bid to remain independent and unbiased so that we don't fall foul of the Purdah Police! "You must all have your feet on the desk for the...

The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales has recently published a working guide offering advice on the setting up a university/youth offending team (YOT) partnership. The document draws on findings from research with universities and YOTs about their experiences of joining forces. It covers...

Under the radar of the daily noise of the election campaign the country's council leaders have sent out the starkest warning yet about the state of services for vulnerable children. Alison Michalska, president of the Association of Directors of Children's Services, could not have put it more bluntly,...

The election fever has begun. Well, less of a fever and more of a virus at the moment. The manifesto writers are busy locked in a darkened room trying to shape their political parties' ideas and offers. According to the media and political pundits the main subject of the election is Brexit but a general...

Like other regions, London has been busy in 2017 developing the service and financial model for a future Regional Adoption Agency. When London was asked to develop the regional vision, we did so on the basis that this meant all of us in Greater London. One or two have left to pursue other opportunities,...

To say that the North East has experienced churn at director level over the last 12 months or so would be a bit of an understatement. Seven of the 12 local authorities in the region have had a new director of children's services (whilst the director of adult services has changed in nine authorities)....

We know the devastating effect that delayed access to mental health support for children and young people can have. Figures from health boards across England and Wales showed that nearly 19,000 children and young people were hospitalised for self-harm in 2015/16, an increase of almost 2,400 (14 per...

Education systems in England have changed radically over the past few years with a transformed role for local authorities, a more autonomous school system and a move towards sector-led school improvement. Many say that this shift heralds the end of the auhtority's role in education, but they are misinformed....