Carmel Littleton appointed as Head of Children’s Services in London Borough of Islington

Image 1Carmel Littleton has been appointed as the new director of children’s services in London Borough Islington, following on from Eleanor Schooling who has moved to Ofsted.

Carmel Littleton (Image: courtesy of LBI), has been director of children’s services in Thurrock since 2013.

On 18th November 2015, Children and Young People Now, (article: Neil Puffett) reported that:

‘The local authority said that Carmel Littleton, who has been Director of Children’s Services in Thurrock since 2013, will take up the post in the new year.

Her background includes teaching, working as an educational psychologist and as a children’s services adviser.

Littleton said: “I am delighted to be joining Islington and look forward to both the challenge and exciting opportunities that this brings.

“I can’t wait to build on the excellent work that is already under way and ensure every child and young person has the best possible chances in life.”

Islington Council leader Richard Watts said: “The job will have its challenges because Islington is a borough of such great contrasts. Islington is one of the most deprived areas in the country with the fourth highest child poverty rate and complex underlying social problems that need to be tackled”.

SmithMartin Partnership are pleased to have worked with Early Years in Children’s Services in Islington, building on and developing the good work in children’s services.

Sue Martin

Jeremy Corbyn pledges support for Youth Services

A CYPN article - web link‘Labour leadership front-runner Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to fight for statutory youth services if he is chosen to head the party.’

Children and Young People Now have published, on 11.8.15, an article about pledges and commitments made by Jeremy Corbyn.

‘Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn pledges statutory requirement for youth services.
Islington MP Corbyn, who is ahead in the polls to be next Labour leader, said his party should maintain a commitment to a statutory youth service in order to offer young people the benefit of wide-ranging advice, guidance and support to access further and higher education.

His pledge comes just months after Labour ditched its commitment to statutory youth services prior to the general election.

The party’s Youth Manifesto for the 2015 election ruled out forcing councils to provide a minimum level of youth provision, committing instead to a “root and branch” review of youth services should it win the general election.

Corbyn’s pledge to pursue statutory youth services featured in a youth policy document published yesterday.’

SmithMartin Partnership – working with communities

The Schools System and
the Draft Structural Reform Plan

chdn groupSomewhere, in my past I remember being told ‘more haste less speed.’

The Draft Structural Reform Plan is in plenty of haste. Built into that, is the feeling that there is no time to talk about these major changes in our education system that will happen by September 2010.

To discuss openly can only ever be the right thing to do. Consultation is a process that, in the end, has huge benefits including involving people, creating ownership, making changes, being reflective.

So, why is there so much haste in these sweeping changes? At what level of breakneck speed are we expected to see the education system move into academies and free schools?

The Draft Structural Reform Plan, published by the DFE in July 2010 states that they will replace “the old, top down systems of targets and central micromanagement”. The power is being given to the people and the communities, only responsible to the Secretary of Education of course.
Improvements will be made through; local democratic accountability, competition, choice and social action.

But how does the setting up of academies and free schools be democratically accountable and provide social action or indeed choice. Schools set up by parents and anyone that wants to is not the same thing as being democratic

They would, I suggest, create competition and provide choice for those who can afford to move their children and to wherever offers the best in facilities and results.

chdn and worldBut what are the opportunities for the schools in less wealthy communities?

And where does this fit with the increasing needs of children living in poverty in our country? Will it bring a good education and a chance to broaden young people’s horizons?

It may enhance children who already have much, but what about those who have not? Are we heading to a fairer society? Will this narrow the gap between the rich and the disadvantaged?

The haste in which this will happen is staggering, over a period of 4 months, including the summer break, legislation will be in place.It is hoped that the first schools will be converting to Academy status in September 2010, one month from now!

Plenty of haste at a breakneck speed for major changes.

Let’s be clear about what the changes are, and for whom, and which children will really receive a better education as a result.