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The new Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds MP has admitted that school funding is "tight" and an issue for headteachers. He agreed that it is "vital" for the education system to be "properly resourced"! He didn't say too much about the real cuts to education which have not been topped up by...

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The power of us

27 March 2018

It's an absolute honour to be writing a blog for ADCS and to be representing colleagues as the new chair of the North East region. I really enjoy the opportunity to work with my colleagues across the region. For some, this might seem like a luxury, in the face of the day to day challenges we all face...

As part of the Greater Manchester Court plan, legal experts from the University of Salford have devised a new virtual reality court experience designed to help demystify the family court process. The project, supported by government and the judiciary, has been described as pioneering - claimed to...

I have been reflecting on improvement in children's services after reading previous ADCS blogs from Pinaki Ghoshal and Stuart Gallimore about the development of Regional Improvement Alliances, as well as hearing from colleagues about how sector-led improvement work is developing around the country. It...

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The funding gap

12 March 2018

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of joining members of ADCS Council of Reference at the Association's Annual Policy Seminar, discussing our priorities for the coming year. It genuinely was a pleasure, as it always is, because amid all of the challenges facing local authorities - and there are very...

We all assume that everyone will learn to talk. It's part of being human.  But actually there are levels of success when it comes to language. We can all learn to speak but the quality and range of vocabulary makes a substantial difference to long-term educational success. When I was figuring out...

A joint research project into perinatal mental health in Wales is hoping its recommendations will play a significant part in shaping the future of care for women and their families. The NSPCC has joined Mind Cymru, The Mental Health Foundation and National Centre for Mental Health to carry out a project...

LGiU and the MJ recently published their State of Local Government Finance Survey 2018. The survey, which provides a snapshot of the key pressures facing councils and their ideas for the future, found that children's services is now the most immediate financial pressure for councils - above adult social...

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In the space

27 February 2018

At a recent regional meeting of the South East ADCS group we were joined by a couple of Department for Education officials who will be providing regional support in the future. I was struck by how frequently the phrase "in the space" was used by both of them. Since then, I seem to be hearing it being...

I imagine we all approached the new year in a slightly different way. Some of us will be renewed with the optimism a new year brings, whilst others will have a sense of impending doom when considering the extent of savings that have to be made in the year to come. Others will be focusing on looking back...