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Listening to reports of yet more serious youth violence in the last few days and feeling sick to my core at the tragic and senseless loss of young life, and the devastation of family, friends and communities, I reflected on the continued challenges we face in trying to make a difference to the lives...

Local authorities are ambitious about improving outcomes for children but our ability to do this is being compromised by a 50 per cent reduction in our budgets since 2010 whilst at the same time more children and families are in need of help with increasingly complex needs. We also estimate that over...

As Chair, I often use the prerogative to introduce a theme or a topic.  This time, I wanted to explore what we understand by self-regulation particularly in light of the reviewed ELGs. Self-regulation is a much-misunderstood concept and one of the LEYF nurseries is involved in a piece of research with...

The outcome of the ‘Brexit' referendum in 2016 has triggered the single most significant constitutional shake up in living memory. Extricating ourselves from the European Union (EU) will have huge economic, legal, social and cultural consequences, some of which we are just beginning to get to grips with...

There has been some recent national media coverage about local authorities using ‘algorithms' to predict the likelihood of a child being abused. Should the prospect of a ‘Big Brother' approach worry us, or should we be encouraged by the possibility of improving outcomes for children? Algorithms, machine...

I continue to be amazed by the extraordinary efforts of the staff working in local authorities to support their towns, cities and communities. As Alison Michalska perfectly summed it up in her blog earlier this year, ‘the impact of local government on people's lives is difficult to express, we don't...

One of the privileges that come with being the ADCS president is that you get to represent the Association at a range of interesting events. Last week I attended the first Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Mandatory Reporting Seminar to speak on this subject. The government has previously rejected...

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Diversity matters

28 September 2018

Directors of children's services (DCSs) are all kinds of different characters, but if you're at all like me, one of the things you'll cherish is the opportunity to spend time among children, young people and the wider communities in the area you serve. And one of the things you'll enjoy about that is...

The Internet and social media has revolutionised how we can access information and communicate. While some of my generation may find themselves perplexed by this modern phenomenon, children and young people are quite the opposite. Digitally literate from a young age, many primary schools across...

Now that the first few weeks of the school term are behind us, I've taken time to pause and reflect on the challenges and highlights of the summer months. As holidays become a distant memory and we build up to the inevitable budget planning round, I've found myself thinking about the summer experience...