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Resilience prevails amid Osborne's bleak choices

Like a piercing, bitter English winter, Chancellor George Osbourne's "autumn statement" was eye-wateringly harsh. It is, without doubt, children and young people growing up in the most deprived households who are being asked to bear the brunt.

Government must keep pace with the baby boom

While we soldier on through this age of austerity, more and more little people are appearing. England's birth rate has been creeping up for some years now and the Office for National Statistics projects that it will continue to do so for some time.

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.

Show some respect for state schools

The drama over education reform continued at last week's Labour Party conference. Shadow education secretary Ed Balls naturally joined in, describing the coalition government's plans for free schools as "the most socially divisive education experiment for 60 years".

Welfare officers provide vital defence

Education welfare officers (who go by the glorious acronym of EWOs) provide a lifeline to vulnerable schoolchildren, and there are calls this week for their contribution to be properly recognised.

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.

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.

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