Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
Despite Ofsted noting positive progress in children’s social care in the region, the services at Sandwell Council are to be transferred to a trust.
A damning Ofsted report in 2013 described children’s services in the West Midlands borough as ‘ineffective’ and criticised the leadership and management in place. Since then, a recent Ofsted report highlighted the ‘demonstrable improvement’ being made thanks to additional investment by the council.
However, despite the progress, the government will oversee the transfer of services over to a trust.
Cllr Simon Hackett, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The Ofsted report indicates that we are moving in the right direction and making improvements to the service.
“However, we know there is more to do to improve the quality of social care and accept we must accelerate the pace of change. For this reason, we acknowledge intervention can help us reach the high standards we are determined to achieve.
“We made it clear we do not agree that setting up a trust is the best way forward to improve services. While disappointed with the decision, our commitment and focus remains the same; making sure children are at the heart of everything we do and our priority is to ensure the trust is a success.”
Accessibility is the name of this game. Web designers are getting better at addressing the issues, but general awareness of accessibility requirements is still low. This is worrying – websites that are not currently accessible are potentially breaching the Equality Act of 2010. One of the first places to look for help should be the Government Digital Service (GDS), which provides help, advice and guidance on legislation regarding accessibility.
It is surprisingly easy to start meeting the government’s accessibility requirements.
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