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Tue, 09 Jul 24 10:00

A 101 things

After reading a previous ADCS blog written by one of my peers, I decided to follow on from a theme about our role, and why we wouldn’t change it. This set me thinking about just how wide-ranging the role of the Director of Children’s Services is and the range of issues that we cover in any working day. One of these issues is ensuring that all children and young people are able to thrive in their learning.

Like many DCS’s I make a point of visiting schools who have been graded Outstanding by Ofsted to offer the local authority’s appreciation and to congratulate them.

It was on one such occasion the other week that I set out to visit one of our rural primary schools – a sizeable one at that by Shropshire standards, at just over 100 pupils. As I drove there my mind was whirring around over a number of issues including, one of our children in care who was having difficulties at the time, the quality of social work practice, how do I deliver my savings this year and next? and how do we enhance the corporate parenting role? To name just a few.

Located in a beautiful part of the county, I found the school down a narrow lane (they were surprised I found it so easily) surrounded by fields and not much else. Such a great peaceful location for a school. And what a treat I got. The children were a delight. So well behaved, polite and engaging. It was clear that this was their school, and they felt part of it, that they loved being there and that they had worked hard together with the staff to make it outstanding. They were so proud of that and took great pleasure in telling me just how proud they were.

The relationship between staff and pupils was amazing, demonstrating mutual respect.

Support from the local authority had been good and the improvement adviser well regarded.

It made it all feel worthwhile. After my short visit, I got back in the car drove back to the office, to find the Consultation for the National Funding Formula sitting on my desk. What next for the local authority’s role in education? And there I was back in the reality of the changing world in which we operate, with a hundred and one things whirring around in my mind!

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