Latest Blogs:

I thought it would be timely to write about leadership given a number of live conversations underway regarding qualifications required, in the main, for those who dare to enter into the realms of leadership in social care. Within this context, leadership vacancies across children's services remain among...

"Off-rolling is wrong", says Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman in her Annual Report. That's great, of course, and about time. But - spoiler alert - the solution is in her own hands. First, though, it must be said that there has been plenty of evidence of off-rolling for many years. Back in 2004,...

Prevention is better than court is Cheshire Youth Justice Services' strapline for Divert - a programme targeted at children aged 10-17, arrested for less serious offences. The purpose is to ensure children get a fast assessment and receive an appropriate intervention. It has a role in early identification...

Foster carers are at the heart of our care system and carry out an invaluable role on behalf of society. They are on the frontline of looking after vulnerable children who are unable to live with their own families. The love and support offered by foster carers can transform the lives of the children...

I hope that no-one has been surprised that the phonics test has showed a rapid increase in the proportion of children reaching the expected standard. It is an inevitable and universal finding that high-stakes tests show a rapid improvement in their first years, slowly tailing off until nearly everyone...

As a child I often caused my mother a great deal of stress by being "bold". This fearlessness was usually in the form of "answering back". I can't count the number of swipes of the tea towel I had because "I was bold". I was therefore looking forward to reading the new Ofsted report Bold Beginnings....

I have been reflecting on my early career as a youth worker in a semi-secure children's home. In this role I worked directly with many young offenders who, despite their misdemeanors, were all very damaged or mentally ill children. At that time I felt like a lone voice advocating that we should be helping...

We all know that domestic violence and abuse is a scourge on families. The women and children, and the few men, affected suffer both short term and immediate trauma and long term negative impacts, both physical and mental. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is insidious partly because it is invisible, but...

The common perception about those of us working with children is that we are nice but dim and we spend our time just playing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Visit a great nursery and what you see will surprise you. Children are the litmus touch of society and when things change we see it...

It just so happens that the week I was due to write the ADCS blog coincided with a number of connecting factors; of most personal significance for me is a change of employer. This is always an opportunity to reflect on past successes and, perhaps more importantly, to think about what I might do differently...