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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.

Cut traffic speed to make cycling safer

When I was about 10 a car came around the corner of a quiet country lane and knocked me flying off my bicycle. Fortunately, I went into the hedge and the bike went into the middle of the road.

It's time to respect children's rights

You wait ages for one 20th anniversary, then three come along at once. We've just marked the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 1989 Children Act. And this week it is 20 years since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child came into existence.

The next commissioner needs bite

The Department for Children, Schools and Families has fired the starting gun to recruit a children's commissioner for England to succeed Sir Al Aynsley-Green early next year.

From The Frontline - Drugs don't always work for ADHD sufferers

I've worked with many young people with behavioural problems and hyperactive disorders since I started out in youth work eight years ago. I've lost count of the number of conversations I've had with concerned families about how their child is "out of control" or "needs sorting out" because they are unable to cope with the erratic behaviour.

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.

Outstanding challenge for Ofsted

Ofsted-bashing has been on the rise for several months. Cries of exasperation over the way the children's services inspectorate goes about its business have come in fits and starts from all quarters.

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.

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.

The unpalatable truth of obesity

Let me introduce you to the Quality Street Six. They're a small group of young people I work with each week. And like many youth groups, eating and drinking together has become a big part of our meetings.

Cannabis row leaves us all in a blur

Back at the end of October, Professor David Nutt, chair of the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), was sacked after criticising policy on cannabis classification.

Gove gives joint working a rude jolt

Michael Gove's revelation to CYP Now that a Conservative government will remove obligations on local authorities to have children's trusts in place will come as a thunderbolt for children's services, particularly in their efforts to safeguard children and enable them to thrive.

Super-size kids vs super-size nannyism

We've all got our memories, rarely charitable, of school dinners. We've probably also got our memories of how we dodged the stodge, with or without our parents' consent. I saved for my first guitar by doing without for a term. I am not quite sure what I actually lived on.

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