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

Keep up to date with what's happening in the sector
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.

Ofsted will prioritise inadequate authorities when inspection re-starts

09/07/2020

Local authority children’s services rated inadequate at their last inspection will be prioritised when Ofsted re-starts its inspection process and begins focused visits again after it was temporarily halted during lockdown.

When Ofsted begins prioritising local authorities for focused visits from late September to early October, it will take into account those judged inadequate at their [...]

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Children in secure training centres to be locked in cells for 22.5 hours a day

08/07/2020

The Ministry of Justice has amended statutory rules for secure training centres which would see children as young as 12 locked up for 22.5 hours per day.

An accompanying memorandum to the statutory rules states that children will have at least 1.5 hours out of their cells in each 24-hour period, instead of the usual 14 [...]

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Children’s commissioner: Thousands of young people falling through gaps in education and care

08/07/2020

Thousands of young people in England are falling through the gaps in the school and social care system amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, the children’s commissioner for England has warned.

Anne Longfield has warned that one in 25 teenagers were already slipping out of sight prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. A report sets out the risks affecting [...]

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