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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...

RIAs, RAAs, PiPs, NAO, NCER, CHAT, SPLAT OK I made up at least one of those acronyms. But the theme that I want to talk about in this blog is co-operation which is inherent in all of the acronyms that I haven't made up. As directors of children's services there is a temptation to look at our neighbours...

As with so much in life you learn a lot from your children. It was only when my eldest son wound up his Everquest game by selling his virtual trousers for 150 real dollars that I realised this world was very much part of the real world. And my youngest son helped me to understand that the friendships...

Stephen Manderson (AKA Professor Green), who is patron of the charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and scooped the MIND ‘Making a Difference' National Award in 2016, has made several thoughtful, empathetic, and relevant documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4 on important topics such as mental...

As in all other regions the North East ADCS group has been investing considerable time developing a regional sector-led improvement (SLI) approach that we hope will have a real impact in the region. Having made the mistake of missing a meeting I found myself ‘volunteered' to take a lead on SLI within...