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Never mind the inspectorate, recruit the right inspectors

On the face of it, the education select committee's call to split Ofsted into two separate inspectorates for education and children's care would represent a further step away from services centred on the needs of the whole child. It is a trend played out in several areas through the disappearance of children's trust arrangements and local authority children's services departments.

Progress in joint working must go on

The decision last week to strip the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) of government funding will inevitably raise concerns that any genuine "development" of the workforce will stall. A plan for how the Department for Education intends to take forward the quango's work is yet to be articulated.

Getting past obstructive parents is essential when children are at risk

Trying to work with families who won't co-operate is one of the hardest parts of being a social worker. But getting past obstructive parents or carers, whether they are openly hostile, or charming but tell a story that doesn't add up, is absolutely vital when children are at risk, as we explore in this month's cover feature.

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