COVID-19 Guidance from WillisPalmer

Whilst the outbreak of Covid-19 is likely to cause some disruption to WillisPalmer services in the short-term, we are issuing guidance outlining our plans to minimise the impact of the virus.

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Social Work Services

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Special report: SEND system letting children down

Failures of implementation of the 2014 Children and Families Bill has resulted in confusion for families of children with special education needs and disabilities, unlawful practice, bureaucratic nightmares, buck-passing, a lack of accountability, strained resources and adversarial experiences, and ultimately dashed the hopes of many.
The Education Committee has published a report following an [...]

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Ofsted reports

A summary of the Ofsted reports of children's services inspections published in October.
Senior leaders focused on improving children’s services at Newcastle
Senior leaders at Newcastle have been resolute in their focus to improve children’s services, Ofsted has found.
At the last Ofsted inspection of Newcastle upon Tyne children’s services, in April 2017, the overall [...]

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MPs urge link between exclusions and knife crime to be tackled

Mainstream schools need to be more accountable for the children they exclude in a bid to break the link between school exclusions and knife crime.
That is the key message from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Knife Crime, supported by Barnardo's and youth charity Redthread, which calls an end to part-time education for excluded pupils.

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Evidence of improvement at Reading but practice remains variable

There has been evidence of improvement in most areas of practice at Reading children's services since the last Ofsted inspection.
A children's services inspection found that Reading children’s services were judged inadequate in 2016. Frequent, and often sudden, changes in the senior leadership team since then have hampered progress in improving services for children.
This, [...]

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Families of SEND children face bureaucracy and confusion

Families of children with special educational needs and disabilities are facing a "nightmare of bureaucracy, buck-passing and confusion", due to poorly implemented legislation, according to a report.
An 18-month inquiry into government reforms aimed at placing children and young people at the heart of the SEND system by the Education Committee found a generation of [...]

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Migrant children to access legal aid more easily

Migrant children who have been separated from their parents will have easier access to legal aid, the government has announced.
New legislation - The Legal Aid for Separated Children Order 2019 - will ensure that non-asylum immigration and citizenship matters for under 18s who are not in the care of a parent, guardian or legal [...]

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Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

£7m funding for charities supporting children affected by COVID-19 and lockdown measures

Vulnerable children and families affected by COVID-19 and the measures put in place to stop its spread will benefit from support offered by a coalition of charities under a new ‘See, Hear, Respond’ Department for Education programme.

The government has provided £7m of funding to launch the service which will be led by the charity Barnardo’s [...]

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Are you a foodie or a fitness fanatic? The groups emerging during lockdown

While it is inevitable that most of us have probably endured our fair share of wobbles during lockdown, given the fact we have never experienced anything like this before, people have naturally had to adapt their mindsets to navigate their way through social isolation.

I’ve noticed a number of ‘groups’ emerging.

The fitness fanatics

Walking, jogging, running – [...]

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Blog: Abuse during lockdown

WillisPalmer Chief Executive Mark Willis says all professionals working with children need to be ultra vigilant in looking for signs of abuse as we ease out of lockdown.

Children’s services professionals need to be vigilant for signs of emotional, physical and sexual abuse in young people as children return to primary school following lockdown, the chief [...]

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