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Police show why early help is everyone's duty

In a passionate address at the recent National Children and Adult Services Conference, Stuart Gallimore, vice-president of the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS), explained that cuts to his budget in East Sussex means he will have to make decisions about provision he knows don't "make sense" in the long run. He, like other DCSs, faces the dilemma to reduce funding to early help provision to maintain services for children in care and at risk - knowing that doing so could raise the vulnerability of those whose problems are less severe.

National safety net for SEND funding needed

There are few more emotive issues than school funding. The government was reminded of this earlier in the year when, in the run-up to the general election, it was forced to backtrack on plans for a national funding formula over concerns the changes would see many schools lose money. To address this, the government pledged in the summer an extra £1.3bn from existing Department for Education coffers to plug the hole in the schools budget. It means that under the revised national formula, published in September (News, p4), every school will now receive a per-pupil funding rise. Few would argue that the formula needed changing, but questions remain about whether its replacement will solve the current crisis.

Innovators show leadership by sharing what they learn

Identifying the tenets of successful leadership in children's services is a challenge because, judging by Ofsted ratings, only a handful of councils are delivering on this crucial area. Yet this is what Ofsted has attempted to do with its recent commentary on children's services leadership.

Blame games make the job of a DCS untenable

Last Friday, the Reading Post published a story about how children's services in the town received only one application for each of the three senior social worker jobs it advertised. On the same day, the Coventry Telegraph reported that 30 demonstrators had gathered outside the city's town hall calling for more action to be taken against the agencies involved in the Daniel Pelka case.

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