Latest Blogs:

The secret to a good peer review is a great team. In any review there's always a lot to do, both individually and collectively, in a very short period of time. There's a huge amount of information to gather and a local context to understand if you're going to be able to turn it into something meaningful....

The early years sector is still suffering from the recruitment crisis kicked off by the demand for A to C Maths and English as an entry point into the sector. Many of us really argued against this because we realised that there would be insufficient candidates, the pipeline would dry up and we would...

We have a strong history of collaboration in Yorkshire and Humber and I've plenty of cause to reflect on this; at the time of writing this blog, I'm preparing for this week's regional meeting where DCSs (or their representatives) from the 15 local authorities in Yorkshire and Humber come together, along...

I've been thinking about education a lot recently as the end of another academic year approaches. As well as being the director of children's services (DCS) in East Sussex I'm also a Dad to a hard-working lad sitting his A Level exams hoping to make it to university in September and a husband to a fantastic...

There's trouble up mill … The sector is dismayed because the Early Learning Goals are being reviewed and the DfE has not engaged Early Years people nearly enough. Will they ever learn about the power of communication and involvement?! I have followed this debate very carefully to understand the rationale...

Highlighting the impact of neglect on young people is clearly presented in Ofsted's Growing up neglected: a multi-agency response to older children. I was taken by some of the opportunities missed in harnessing the insight and expertise of some of our partner agencies, as well as the need to better support...

As a proud participant in ‘cohort 2' of the national DCS programme in 2010, I wouldn't have predicted I'd be writing a blog as principal of The Staff College eight years later. Since I started in April, I've talked with a lot of people about leadership development. A common reflection is ‘I wish there...

Summer in the office and many teams are off strategy planning, team building and completing a myriad of personality tools from Birkman to Insights or learning style questionnaires such as Honey and Mumford ready for the strategy implementation in the autumn. Others take a more creative view such as the...

Last week's blog by Steve Crocker, chair of the ADCS standards, performance and inspection policy committee, got me thinking about improvement in children's services. Over the past few years this has been a contested arena with a wide range of opinions on the type of support that is needed and where...

Dear Mrs May I would like to thank Mrs May for hosting and chairing our meeting on Monday. It was a pleasure to be sitting in the Cabinet Room rather than down the corridor in a dark cupboard where social enterprises are often lodged! Thank you to Lord Bird for instigating the meeting and using all...