4 Biggest Social Work Stories You Might Have Missed Last Week (18/07/16)...
A new Education Secretary has been appointed and a select committee has criticised government plans to convert failing children's services into independent trusts. Read on for these stories, and more...
4. New £1.5 Million Centre for Social Work to Be Established in London
Three London boroughs have been awarded £1.5 million to establish and operate a new national centre to train future leaders in Children's Services.
The centre will be based across Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea - three of the Department for Education's high-performing 'Partners in Practice' - and will be looking at innovative ways to advance the profession nation-wide.
It will open in 2017 and take on a cohort of 15 social workers, with the councils looking to build on the 'Focus in Practice' model implemented in their Tri-borough area, which was a key factor in two authorities receiving an 'Outstanding' rating from Ofsted.
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3. MPs: Stop Turning Children's Services into Independent Trusts
MPs from the Education Select Committee have urged the government to halt plans to turn struggling authorities' children's services into independent trusts.
The committee's comments came following an inquiry into the delivery of children's social care, declaring the method 'untested' and advocating that these conversion plans should not be further rolled out until there is definitive proof they work.
Instead of going forward on plans to give one-in-three councils' children's services over to independent trusts, the committee has instead encouraged the Department for Education to focus on supporting workers within current local authorities' arrangements.
2. Scope of Major Children's Services Review Unveiled at ADCS Conference
The former president of the Association for Directors of Children's Services has announced that the scope of an upcoming major review of Children's Services in England.
Alan Wood confirmed at an ADCS conference in Manchester last week that the review would focus on authorities' responsibilities concerning early years service provision, special educational needs service provision, and analysing school improvements.
He went on to announce that the review would begin with a September consultation excercise which would focus on policies the DfE should introduce to help authorities adjust to new responsibilities concerning these areas.
1. New Education Secretary Justine Greening Appointed
Former Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening has taken over the role of Education Secretary from the previous incumbent Nicky Morgan.
Greening, the MP for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields, was awarded the post as part of new Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle - Morgan has returned to the backbenches.
She will now preside over Children's Services in England, although whether she continues Morgan and out-going PM David Cameron's policies - including setting up a new social work regulator and introducing 'academy-style' freedoms for authorities - remains to be seen.