Schools crucial to children’s services

Schools and education have a key role to play in delivering
children’s services, a leading member of the Association of Chief
Education Officers claimed last week.

Christine Davies, a past president of the ACEO and the
association’s spokesperson on children’s services, said schools
would only be able to deliver the best results through working with
social workers, health visitors and the police.

She told the conference that there were opportunities available now
that had not been there before. She pointed to the Education Act
2002 which allows schools to provide community services through the
concept of “extended schools”.

All local authorities are to receive £200,000 to develop
extended schools in their area, she explained.

She pleaded with social workers to remind schools which said they
were “not about social work stuff” and were under pressure to
deliver on improvements that joint working would also make a
difference to those children “most resistant to learning”.

Davies said ignorance about each others’ roles was one of the
biggest barriers to overcome.

She added that children’s services would not be helped if the
inspection regimes failed to talk the “same common language”.

Ofsted, the Social Services Inspectorate and the comprehensive
performance assessment should engage in “joint” inspection with
shared targets, she said.

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