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Tue, 09 Jul 24 10:00


In preparing for this blog, I re-read Charlotte Ramsden’s final blog as ADCS President from last month, “time to pass the baton”. As someone who enjoys sport it struck a chord - we seem to be on a continual relay these days and it is definitely an endurance race. Only last week we saw the publication of the “Opportunity for all: strong schools with great teachers for your child” schools white paper and the “Right support, right Time, right place” green paper following the SEND review. We also still await the outcome of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care.

So now time to digest and respond to these new policy papers whilst continuing to deliver the day job. Is there any such thing these days? We continue to see high rates of Covid-19 and the disruption this is causing to schools and children and young people. We have increased demand for our services in many areas and are working with partners experiencing similar pressures.

There is little indication of any let up, so what is it that keeps us going? It is, of course, the right thing to do, we have statutory responsibilities, are public servants and it is our job. These are all true but really it is because we care. We are preparing for the arrival of Ukrainian children and their families, in yet another unprecedented situation. Although never at the expense of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, those in need or at risk in our areas nor the children in our care or who have left care. All of this alongside ensuring children in our communities have access to the best educational opportunities.

This blog wasn’t intended to make us question why we do what we do, although some days it is a question I ask myself and I doubt I am alone. Rather, it is to acknowledge the care, passion and determination shown by those of us who work in children’s services to keep children safe and deliver the very best services we can.

So how do we do it? Caring alone isn’t enough. But we so all have that important quality that makes us continue trying to do something even when it is difficult, yes that is right, determination. It exists in bucket loads (technical term) but don’t forget to ensure your bucket gets topped up as needed. We have the invaluable support of the ADCS team and its members and I wanted to say a collective thank you to Charlotte for receiving the baton so smoothly and supporting us through another turbulent year.

We will continue to support the most vulnerable because we care and are determined. In the words of a famous relay runner Usain Bolt “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in determination.”

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