Thursday, 25 February 2010

Made a difference today...:-)

A whole day of governance - reflections?

I spent most of the morning in a workshop about reshaping 'behaviour provision' - how do we best support the wide range of pupils with a broad spread of inappropriate behaviours? General concensus that it needs to be much more child-focussed with 'total care' including family support; what will really make the difference is early whole-family intereventions that call on a range of professionals from several agencies. The challenges are several - to get the various agencies truly working in partnership, to get some acute support while the chronic services available via CAF get into gear, to to decide how to commission and deliver local support so that the pupils can stay in their local community while being helped, how much (if any) provsion to make centrally for the most difficult cases...
We saw some good practice from our own authority and from others, not least Sheffield. What we need to do is get quicker at making change for the better - as I said this morning, we are working in a messy arena that changes all the time so we are unlikely ever to find the 'one perfect solution' so we need to make change and learn as we go.

Then on to a meeting of the Traded Services Forum, where I represent governors amongst a meeting of officers looking at how to get better at contracting for and delivering services to schools. The bit that interested me the most was about safeguarding for contracted staff. The contracts specify that relevant staff will be ISA registered and CRB checked, but it seemed that there was no audit of the quality of the assessments of the Disclosures; it seemed that, in theory at least and who knows about practice, a particular disclosure mioght be treated inn different ways by different contractors - so us schools have no idea whether or not a contractor has 'passed' someone inappropriate. I hope that we persuaded the powers that be of two things 1) the need to give contractors guidance on their 'filtering criteria' 2) the need to explicitly audit compliance.

All in all, a good day, working with people whose hearts are clearly in the right place.

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