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When a child or young person is placed behind bars then the state has an absolute duty to ensure they are safe and cared for. The law is very clear that their welfare remains paramount and their rights are not to be curtailed. The punishment is the removal of their liberty. Nothing more. It is truly...

Last week the Association held its annual conference in Manchester. This event allowed us to come together as a sector to debate the pressing issues of the day and to share the innovative solutions being developed locally in response to the challenges we all face. On Thursday, in my address to conference,...

Last week, I chaired a roundtable with policy advisers, local authorities, council organisations and child poverty campaigners about the implementation of the 30 Hours and the challenge of getting the right staff. The following day I joined NMT chaired by Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school...

This week, 20 MPs in the new parliament were given the chance to campaign for a change in the law on an issue they really care about. It goes without saying that Brexit will dominate politics and public debate for the next two years. So this is a unique opportunity for MPs who are passionate about domestic...

The West Midlands ADCS has been quietly unifying over a small but significant group of improvement priorities. Back in December, we took a hard look at ourselves and our performance across the full range of children's outcomes. Whilst there is some excellence in our patch we didn't particularly like...

A report jointly produced by Chief Inspectors of Probation and Prisons slammed the probation reforms, specifically the 'through the gate' services. As a matter of urgency, properly resourced Youth Offending Teams must now hold onto young people, who would normally transition to the adult system at 18,...

I'm often amazed by the strength and resilience of our young people. The challenges they face today are a world away from the ones we faced ourselves as children. Today's reality for our young people is so often a landscape of terror, grief and loss. The horrific attacks in Manchester and London in...

The growth of the online world in recent decades has had a huge impact on all our lives from the way we consume media to how we socialise to how we shop. Depressingly, these rapid changes have been accompanied by a corresponding growth in online issues around child protection. These challenges include...

When it was suggested to me that I put myself forward to chair the ‘spy committee' I couldn't resist the notion. Would it lead to glamorous locations, secret deals, double dealing and exotic meetings? I found out last week when I went to Islington to meet up with my fellow members. Unfortunately, the...

It was an interesting start to a short week. A Tuesday morning visit from Jeremy Corbyn. It may sound a bit grandiose when I say that I have met two previous leaders during an election campaign, both of whom became Prime Ministers. I don't know what this means for Mr Corbyn! His visit resulted in...