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I operate in two worlds; early years and social enterprise. Every now and then they converge, and I find myself invited to a most unusual or unexpected event. That happened on Saturday when I was invited to join a lively panel in the Economics Tent of the Big Tent Festival at Mudshute Farm. I had...

We all care passionately about children's services. We know the ins and outs, the policy and the legal detail. Sometimes it's easy to forget that not everyone knows what we know. And if that's the case for our elected members, who are there to help drive and shape our services, then we're going wrong...

While Boris and his Cabinet are figuring ways to extricate us from the European Union, (not Europe that will remain a continent no matter what!) my team have been to Spain to recruit Spanish staff. Why on earth? Because the recruitment challenge shows no sign of easing up. What are we facing? The...

A few weeks ago in Hertfordshire, we were really pleased to be one of the areas visited as part of the LGA/ISOS review of statutory guidance for local authority run youth services. Andy and Peter, who lead on our youth offer through YC Hertfordshire, were keen that we did our best to show the value of...

There's a special kind of sinking feeling you get as a parent when you realise you've made an error of judgment and either exposed your children to harm or exposed yourself as someone not living up to the values you espouse. My recent mini example was suggesting that, for our family movie night, we go...

The Chancellor, Sajid Javid, will announce spending plans for public services for the next 12-months. There has been much speculation about what his priorities might be and which areas will receive good news. The Prime Minister has made a series of funding pledges to address some of the huge pressures...

Youth Voice in an empty room is but an echo. You need to be heard by the relevant decision-makers to stand a chance of making an impact. The challenge for young people who want to make a difference has always been how? Even if you are loud enough, or credible enough to be invited into a room of power,...

I recently chaired a workshop on suicide prevention at the ADCS annual conference. This focus was a little unusual for us but it was specifically requested by members of the ADCS Families, Communities & Young People Policy Committee, who had flagged the growing numbers of children and young people taking...

Last week, I had a panicky phone call from my friend Alice Sharp asking me to get on Twitter and read about the Channel 4 programme which proposes using a dog trainer to help parents manage their babies and toddlers. This has caused outrage from many. Nursery World Magazine ran a piece on it which...

As chair of the ADCS educational achievement policy committee I was asked last week to sign off our press statement on the recently published Education Policy Institute / Fair Education Alliance Annual Report on Education in England. The reference to the forecast number of 562 years from 2019 of when...