A bite size look into the NCASC 2015

The National Children and Adult Services Conference opened on Wednesday 14 October with speeches from Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, LGA Vice-Chair, with Isaac Samuels, service user and member of Coproduction Group, Think Local Act Personal, ADCS President, Alison O’Sullivan and ADASS President, Ray James.

In her speech Alison announced the publication of the ADCS policy position paper on LSCBs and touched on the impact of reductions to local authority budgets, social work reform, sector-led improvement and of course OFSTED and the Single Inspection Framework (SIF). She celebrated the importance of innovation across the sector and the need for further partnership working in the future delivery of public services which was something of a key theme throughout the conference.

The full transcript of Alison’s speech is available here.

Sessions ran throughout the morning and into the afternoon from Education Question Time which looked at changes to the education system from academisation through to the increased safeguarding duties such as Prevent, to Practice leadership in social work: a new lever for better standards and standing? which considered social work reform and heard from principal social workers about their role. Other topics included keeping children safe at school and a look into the overlays of dealing with the impact of domestic abuse on both vulnerable children and adults. A speech from the Shadow Education Secretary, Lucy Powell MP, concluded the afternoon’s plenary sessions. In her speech she touched on some of the challenges facing local authorities including the recruitment of high quality teachers, the shortage of school places and closing the attainment gap. She also talked about free schools and emphasised that there is no evidence that academisation in and of itself leads to improvement in schools.

On Thursday Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield outlined the key issues for children and families that she will be seeking cross-party support for, including children in care, care leavers, CAMHS, CSE and CSA. Breakout sessions touched on radicalisation, adolescents and risk, championing children’s social work, mental health and the early years. A real highlight of the day was a DfE session with two care leavers from the Bournemouth area.

We were also busy filming some more of our talking heads at the conference including Dave Hill, ADCS Vice President, talking about the benefits of holding a proactive role in the Association and Debbie Barnes, Chair of the ADCS Educational Achievement Policy Committee, discussing the current challenges and opportunities in the education sector.

The day ended with a series of evening fringe meetings before we put our thinking caps on ahead of the Guardian quiz night!

A variety of sessions ran throughout the Friday morning including an in-depth look into Lincolnshire’s approach to improving education, discussions on local responses to child sexual exploitation and a session on the Syrian resettlement programme in response to the current refugee crisis brought the conference to a close.

The conference has generated plenty of Twitter activity over the three days and some of the key players this year included Rachael Wardell and Stuart Carlton- search #NCASC15 or see @ADCStweets for a summary of events.

Speeches and presentations from the event will be posted onto the conference website when available. And we hope to see you all again next year!


Tags assigned to this article:
EAPC 75 LSCB 17 NCASC 12

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