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In an effort to increase diversity amongst the Judiciary, John Bache - Chairperson of the Magistrates' Association - has called for more ex-offenders to become magistrates. People who have previously been an ‘offender', can potentially help defendants to feel less alienated, understand what is happening...

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Growing into the role

05 September 2018

It was just about two years ago that I took up the role of director of children's services (DCS) at Staffordshire County Council. This was not my first chief officer role; in fact it was the fourth, but my first within children's services. Whilst I realised that my decision was not without risk, both...

The horrors of child sexual exploitation (CSE) have increasingly made national and international headlines as more and more appalling cases enter the public domain. Cases such as Rochdale and Rotherham are some of the high-profile and extremely shocking examples of a problem in society which is being...

Returning home from my summer break was one of those occasions when fact was stranger than fiction. On the flight, one of the films on offer was Kingsman starring, amongst others, Colin Firth. I won't spoil the plot but it basically involves a spy organisation who recruit a young person with a particularly...

I have been somewhat bemused at the interest the press has taken in our efforts to introduce yoga and mindfulness with the children across the whole of LEYF. Interviews with the BBC and various radio shows have moved presenters from initial doubt to the complete acceptance that small children not only...

It's the summer holidays yet negotiations are already underway in Nottingham to identify the next round of ‘savings' required for the 2019/20 budget. With each year that passes this process gets harder, takes longer and feels increasingly counter-intuitive. In the beginning, there was some rationalising...

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...