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Adoption system failings harm children’s life chances

The adoption system in England is not working for children. There is overwhelming evidence that adoption is an excellent permanence option for children who had the toughest of starts in life. Yet, despite record numbers of looked-after children, only 2,870 adoptions were made in 2020/21 compared with 5,360 in 2015.

Queen’s Speech failed most vulnerable families

Children and young people in the UK are growing up in some of the hardest times in recent history, where inflation rates are at a 40-year high and the cost of living crisis is hitting every household. Low-income families, who were already struggling, are faring the worst.

Find inspiration to lead in an unpredictable time

How are you feeling? Excited? Positive? Exhausted? Despairing? All of these? After two years of a pandemic, even buoyant leaders are saying they’ve run out of strategies to help them steer a course through the next few months, let alone years.

DfE revamp offers children’s services opportunities

Ordinarily there’s nothing interesting about a government department restructure. But look more closely at what’s happening in the Department for Education and you might wonder whether there’s a sea change afoot in relationships with local services for children.

Prioritise retention of children’s social workers

Latest Department for Education workforce figures show the number of vacant social worker posts across children’s services departments in England rose by seven per cent in 2021 to a five-year high – accounting for one in six positions.

Turing programme will fail disadvantaged young people

Drowned out by the noise of Brexit and the pandemic, the government’s broken promise to remain a member of the Erasmus+ overseas study scheme has been largely overlooked. Yet, the failure to reach an agreement regarding its membership of the scheme post-Brexit, continues to have a devastating impact on young people.

University access key to success of levelling up

It is a decade since university tuition fees were raised from £3,000 to £9,000 per year. It was feared the rise would deter disadvantaged young people from going to university, yet latest figures from Ucas shows record numbers of 18-year-olds from poorer areas applied this year.

Levelling up is about more than better grades

The government’s levelling-up agenda has the potential to be a master key to unlock opportunity for children and young people and we have been eagerly anticipating the newly published white paper.