The ADCS Blog

img

Grow your own

12 July 2019

As I sit down to write this blog the ADCS Annual Conference 2019 has just finished. If you didn't get a chance to catch Rachel Dickinson's amazing speech or attend all of the conference sessions you can catch up on them, here. There were so many interesting ideas and experiences shared, and it was...

At the end of July, we will know who the next Prime Minister is, and we should have a good idea about what some of their priorities will be for this country. The main focus of the recent debates between the candidates has understandably been on Brexit, this issue has dominated the time and attention...

Local authority children's services does something good for local family… Seems like an unlikely news story doesn't it? It's hard to think of a job more important than child protection. While most children, young people and families thrive, for some a little extra support is vital. To protect the...

On 22 May I joined many other people in watching a Panorama programme exposing the cruel and callous treatment of staff towards people with learning disabilities and autism in their care at the now infamous Whorlton Hall. This programme came after an eight year period of reform in this area, including...

It is nearly a year since I started in Blackburn with Darwen as the director of children's services and education. I had the opportunity of taking over the role from a highly regarded predecessor, working for a council that had just achieved the accolade of being awarded Council of the Year. Although...

The precarious state of local government funding continues to capture the attention of the media and just this week I've read several articles on this topic. The Institute for Fiscal Studies' (IFS) recent analysis of local government funding highlighted the extent of government cuts to date. It found...

Earlier this month Edward Timpson's long awaited review of school exclusions was published and it certainly made for an interesting read. The report highlighted the increasing rate of fixed-term and permanent exclusions with this cohort disproportionately made up of vulnerable children and young people...

I've been spending quite a lot of time on trains travelling to meetings and speaking at conferences on behalf of ADCS recently. This has given me some valuable time to do some reading (as well as the obligatory emails!), but it also leaves time for reflection. During the Northampton to Taunton leg...

Last week, I attended the Greater Manchester Contextual Safeguarding Conference and was privileged to hear Dez Holmes from Research in Practice speak. Dez always provides me with a golden nugget or two to reflect on. As the new director of people at Bolton Council, I was motivated by her challenge...

Earlier this week I attended a development day on Ethical Leadership in Public Services, run by The Staff College. There were very good inputs from all three speakers - Kathryn Perera (NHS Horizons), Sherry Malik (NSPCC) and Martin Kalungu-Banda - I was left thinking about Martin's emphasis on what he...