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Everyone says, the free offer is great for parents, they love it. It's just greedy providers who refuse to offer it. Well that is not true. According to the findings from the National Centre for Social Research report commissioned by the DfE about the factors associated with the take-up rate of the funded...

Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today, I wish, I wish he'd go away… (A short excerpt from "Antigonish" by William Hughes Mearns.) As a child I was always intrigued, and slightly spooked, by this poem. Little did I know that it was preparation for...

Brave, brave, brave! This was the word bounding around my head as I sat beside three care experienced young people during a public meeting of the council's cabinet. They were sitting in a packed cabinet meeting, attended by the leader of the council; the deputy leader of the council; the full complement...

Childcare is too expensive said the Trades Union Congress in their well-timed report. Costs have risen by 50 per cent since 2008 and wages have only increased by 27 per cent. Parents have to top up fees and some cannot afford to return to work - especially those whose children are under two years. ...

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...