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An alternative approach to helping looked-after children gain good grades

When middle-class children fall behind at school, the parental response is often special tutoring. In London, tutoring for secondary school admission is a substantial industry, and in Birmingham almost all children being put in for grammar school tests are tutored. I'm not judging this, by the way, I was tutored (fruitlessly) for my French O-level; and we paid for extra music lessons whenever needed.

Shhh... Every Child Matters lives on

Watch out, the language police are about. An internal Department for Education memo lists 30 terms the government wants consigned to history, and the words that should be used in their place. Many relate directly to children's services.

Putting payment-by-results under the microscope

So the new high ground in the funding of public policy for young people is "payment-by-results". It is so easy to say, so immediately appealing that one can hardly argue against it. Quite naturally, in the difficult fiscal times to come, people will want value for money.

Hidden costs of payment-by-results

We are in an age of austerity where outcomes are critical. So it is difficult to take issue in raw principle with the government's desire to commission more public services on a payment-by-results basis.

Can good services remain standing?

Like the suffocating drone of vuvuzelas, cuts continue to dominate the atmosphere in the children's services arena and in public services more generally.

Less money, but much more purpose

The Association of Directors of Children's Services' (ADCS) policy paper, which outlines some priorities to Education Secretary Michael Gove, is compelling and constructive in how the sector can do more with less while meeting government objectives.

Sector must influence the coalition

They say that a week is a long time in politics. Quite. As predicted in these pages for many months, the new Tory Secretary of State Michael Gove has renamed the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) as the Department for Education.

Election result prolongs uncertainty

At the time of writing -- on the historically uncertain afternoon of Friday 7 May -- the Conservatives were about to enter into negotiations with the Liberal Democrats about helping them to form a government.

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.

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