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The key to Ofsted's rehabilitation

Ofsted has attracted its share of flak in recent months, much of it justified. The verdict of its Annual Performance Assessment of Haringey Council in late 2007 as "good" is now notorious.

Tory policy still needs some improvements

There is a very real prospect that the next government will be a Conservative one. So it's encouraging that apart from the small matter of a global economic crisis, issues affecting children, young people and families took centre stage at the party's annual conference this week.

Editorial: Immigrant children remain children first

Children's rights campaigners won an important breakthrough last week with the decision that immigration officers will be subject to the same duty to ensure children's safety as other agencies (see p9). The requirement relates to Section 11 of the Children Act 2004, which is the duty to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. This duty, which will apply to all staff employed at the UK Border Agency (UKBA), will be incorporated in the forthcoming Immigration Bill.

Let's support the parents with disabilities

There are an increasing number of families in the UK where the parents have learning difficulties. However, despite government commitments in England and Scotland to support parents with learning disabilities so their children's life chances will be maximised, the evidence suggests that neither health nor social care services are adequately meeting their needs. A recent report from the Norah Fry Centre at the University of Bristol highlighted that about half of all parents with learning difficulties have their children taken away from them.

Editorial: Children's services remain colour-blind

Findings of a study about engaging black and minority ethnic (BME) parents in children's services have been published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (see p4). Given government policy's emphasis on positive parenting and on connecting with hard-to-reach communities, it contains important messages for professionals who work with the young and their families.

The best champions have empathy

The challenge to reach out to disadvantaged families has long been the holy grail of children's services, not least in the take-up of childcare.

Victory for children is all that matters

CYP Now does not support any particular political party. This title's instincts are, and always will be, driven by what best serves the interests of children, young people and their families.

Keep up the pressure to battle child poverty

In Britain today 3.9 million children are living in poverty. Often unable to afford adequate nutrition, these children frequently suffer from poor health and are highly vulnerable to illnesses. Children in the poorest families are more than twice as likely to die unexpectedly before their first birthdays. They are also less able to participate in school trips and sociable activities, which can leave them feeling isolated and excluded from school and community life.

Editorial: Inherent dangers lurk in staying safe plan

With the publication of the Staying Safe Action Plan last week, the government has been at pains not to be seen to wrap children up in cotton wool. In presentation terms, the document's front cover depicts children happily participating in watersports, climbing and running. Meanwhile, the Department for Children, Schools and Families' press notice on the safety plan leads heavily on the proposal to encourage teachers to take pupils on outdoor school trips by providing advice and diminishing bureaucracy.

Commissioner for Wales is up to the challenge

It was an "exceedingly drawn-out" appointments process, according to one Welsh politician. But Keith Towler came through the interviews, both with young people and politicians, to secure the position of children's commissioner for Wales, just under a year after the untimely death of his predecessor Peter Clarke.

Unborn babies deserve protection from harm

Does the behaviour of women during pregnancy have a long-term effect on children? This critical question seems difficult to answer because many factors will impact on children's health outcomes such as poverty, housing, childhood diseases and schooling.

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