Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, made a wide ranging speech on the Every Child Matters agenda yesterday.
Things that I hope will interest readers of this blog were his announcement that the Children’s Fund will continue after 2008 with £396 million over the next three year, and £60 million in supporting schools to work with mental health practitioners.
Mr Balls emphasised his commitment to prevention and early intervention, and described a number of reviews looking at the transitions children and young people make as they grow up. He said:
It is teachers who are often the first to notice if something isn’t quite right. Who can recognise that there may be reasons why a child is frequently late, struggles to concentrate or regularly comes to school poorly equipped.
Schools are more than collections of classrooms. They have a vital role to play in identifying where families and children need extra help.
This is why extended schools are a popular idea for both schools and parent and children. Last week I announced an additional £265 million for extended schools to support disadvantaged children and their families.
The Sectertary of State also launched a consultation on Staying Safe, which they say aims to:
- Raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding children and young people
- Promote better understanding of safeguarding issues, encouraging a change in behaviour towards children and young people, and their safety and welfare
- Ensure work in this area is coherent, and effectively coordinated across government, by outlining existing work in this area
- Reinforce existing activity by proposing new actions to plug gaps and improve linkages
The consultation will run until the end of October.