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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.

Policy into practice - Financial education

The issue: As more families feel the effects of the recession, the impact on children is starting to show. Recent research carried out by the Personal Finance Education Group (PFEG) into the effects of the credit crunch on family life has shown that 70 per cent of parents believe money has become a more regular topic of conversation in the home over the past 12 months.

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.

What we need is a trusting society, Darling

"What I want to avoid is getting ourselves in a position governments have done in the past where you face an immediate problem and cut back on things the country will need in the future," Chancellor Alistair Darling said last weekend.

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.

A decent education will liberate children in care

While I often disagree with Michael Gove on the "how", I applaud his passion for making things better. As he said in his letter to the education select committee: "Regardless of our party affiliation or political principles, we all share a fierce determinĀ­ation to make opportunity more equal." I share that determination.

The art form of cutting out-of-school services

All the directors and local politicians I've spoken to of late agree that the impact of the cuts has only just begun to be felt, and that there is much pain yet to come. This is a hard message for colleagues in services at risk and for the young people they serve.

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