I can’t believe that it is nearly Easter as it doesn’t seem many days since we powered up our laptops at the beginning of 2022. I’ve been thinking back and I have to say that am truly amazed at all of the hard work that has everyone across the whole of Children’s Services has undertaken over the last three months. I can see this in so many ways such as through our performance and audit reports, comments from colleagues in partner agencies, good practice celebrated during our regular Tuesday morning briefings and perhaps most importantly feedback from children, young people and their families. I haven’t forgotten Ofsted of course and we have done really well with a positive Monitoring Visiting letter published in January and another visit that took place only a couple of weeks ago.
This doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been challenges along the way many of which have been exacerbated by the effects of COVID. I am sure that we can all name more than one such as the number of young people being excluded from our secondary schools, the significant rise in requests for Education, Health and Care assessments and the scarcity of placements for our looked after children. There is also a great deal of work to do such as taking forward new government initiatives and the prospect of a full Ofsted inspection later on in the year.
Many of you will know the African proverb ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ and for me this means that when a child is born the entire community needs to wrap around them and support them with care, love and respect to become a happy, healthy, and fulfilled individual. I like to draw a parallel with our work in Children Services as it takes everyone from every discipline to ensure that Middlesbrough’s children can achieve everything they deserve and more. ‘Middlesbrough Children Matter’.
Thank you to everyone for all of your hard work and your support. I hope that you all have a really lovely Easter holiday time. ‘Middlesbrough Children Matter’ and so do you!