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Three key issues of the 2010s to fix in the 2020s

The new government will need to solve quickly a number of longstanding issues affecting vulnerable children and families if it is to offer a more optimistic outlook for a children’s sector worn down by a decade of austerity.

Trial shows votes at 16 is a verdict to support

I undertook jury service at the Old Bailey earlier this year. The case I adjudicated on was not a conventional trial, but deciding if the country is ready to lower the voting age to 16 for all UK elections.

Time to invest in the children's workforce

Ask children's services leaders - whether a director of children's services, head teacher or nursery manager - what motivates their staff, and most will say it's a passion to improve outcomes for children, not the wage that comes with it.

Early help must prove it cuts care demand

Graham Allen's 2011 report Early Intervention: The Next Steps makes clear that the real savings from early help lay in its ability to reduce the numbers coming into care to such an extent that fewer high-cost residential facilities would be needed.

Benefits of funded childcare need selling

When searching for reasons for the low take-up of funded childcare for disadvantaged two-year-olds in England, debate has focused on whether providers are being adequately remunerated to create sufficient places.

Strategy must boost youth opportunities

The government's long-awaited Civil Society Strategy recognises the "transformational impact that youth services and trained youth workers" can have on disadvantaged young people.

Incentives are key to halt school exclusions

The education committee's report on exclusions and alternative provisions makes it abundantly clear that the current system is failing some children, and that rising exclusion rates are a reflection of this.

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