Sleeping In Toasters….an Early Morning Breakfast Update!

Rather than wait till the next full blog update ( for that could be anytime between the next 24 hours or 24 months!!!) I thought I’d share the key points from a few important meetings of the last few days ( that makes it sound like only a FEW of the meetings are important and the rest are just……well………………….. the rest…….and that’s not the case, but hopefully you know what I mean!).

And to add to the info you might be interested in reading, below is interspersed with some quotes about morning – which of course is started with that wonderfully philosophy from Garfield that if we were meant to pop out of bed in the mornings we’d all sleep in toasters!!

“WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!……………Already?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” – My daughter on every school morning!

Safer Sutton Young People Group

This showed performance in YOT continues to be strong. The follow up to our YJB National Standards audit was really positive and the issues we had to pick up on had been addressed in full. Going forward we see a need for ensuring we’ve good info sharing between YOT and local GP’s so we will look into this with health colleagues, and we will also look at how we use the considerable data the YOT gathers to best effect.

“The average, healthy, well-adjusted adult gets up on average at 7:30 in the morning………………………………….. ……………….feeling just plain terrible!” – Jean Kerr

On Families Matter, the Group welcomed the news that Sutton had successfully met the Phase One targets from government and that the provision would be extended into Phase Two. We discussed how to ensure that colleagues in health were fully up to speed on the Families Matter Service and on how to access it for families and we will look at this further in the weeks ahead.

Finally the Group got an update from Ian Kershaw on the Safer Sutton Team’s ASB Youth Outreach project which will look at providing diversionary activity in certain parts of the borough.

“There is no snooze button on a dog who wants breakfast!” – Author unknown…… though I can empathise big time!  

People Directorate DMT

We had the first meeting of the new DMT since the People Directorate came into existence at the beginning of this month. We reviewed some standard issues that would previously have been done separately in the Directorates such as Finance and HR reports. ( For our division we will again have a net underspend for the year 14-15 which will help offset cost pressures elsewhere). We updated the Forward Plans for committees and for us it means we have reports going in over the coming months on the Children’s Centres Consultation, the Education Services Feasibility Study and some policy updates in areas such as SEN. We will also be working on proposals for the further redesign of aspects of our Early Help provision for children and young people, and we are currently working on an update to our Early Help Strategy to link in with that. The key decision was the DMT agreed a new Staff Engagement Plan to support the transition from separate Directorates into the combined People Directorate. We will publish that plan to all of you imminently and begin the implementation straight away.

“I have a carpe diem mug – though if I’m honest when the alarm goes off at six it doesn’t make me want to ‘seize the day’ – it just makes me want to slap a long dead poet!” Joanne Sherman

And to help you, as this blog sees itself as a public service (!!), I will end on a more lyrical and less cynical note, the words of William Blake! So, go seize the day and enjoy it!

“Let light

Rise from the chambers of the East. And bring

 The honey’d dew that cometh on waking day  

Oh radiant morning”

Sunrise over Glasgow!
Sunrise over Glasgow!



Let’s Hear It For………………….!

…………………. A couple of weeks back we had the second of our own divisional staff celebration events up at Whitehall House in Cheam. It’s an opportunity for us to take some time out as senior managers and celebrate the great work being down by some of you in the different parts of our division.

So along with the nominees, Jackie, Colin, Nigel, Peter, Claudette and I met for afternoon tea – although I have to admit that the timing around lunch time lent itself more to sandwiches than the scones and cake I’d ordered! Still, even when there are scones for lunch, we still engaged in the old debate about cream, jam and which goes on first!


The nominations that we make for our divisional staff celebration are separate from, and in addition to, the nominations we made for the recent Council Staff Awards, which I mentioned in the last blog update. But I wanted to list everybody who was chosen in a separate post because I think it’s important we give the staff we chose for the celebration tea the recognition that their work deserves. So…….the nominations this time round were:

Nicola Deer – SEN Team – chosen for the immediate impact made since Nicola joined SEN last November. Her work and her attention to detail meant that she passed her probationary period with flying colours

Ann Potter – School Admissions – nominated in part for consistently excellent approach to work and specifically for her work on IT aspects of the service provision, especially the CYPLD website info for admissions


Sheila Cruchley – Inclusion Support Service – chosen by Nigel in recognition of Sheila’s leadership of the Learning Support Service

Louise Roberts – Virtual School – for her long-standing commitment to Looked After Children and their educational outcomes in her role in the Virtual School team


Sarah Duggan – Children’s Centres Manager – for the work Sarah’s done on the Children’s Centre Options and the consultation with parents she has led – and on top of that she’s taken over and improved the performance of one of our centres!

Mandy Dennelly – Families Matter – Part of the success of our Families Matter service has been gathering the information we need to prove we’ve made a difference – Mandy has taken a flexible and determined approach to this and it’s been an integral part of Sutton meeting government targets in full and on schedule this year


Lisa Luff – ISYP – who was nominated for some specific work she’d done in conjunction with the Salvation Army and local businesses in providing vulnerable families with food and gifts at Christmas this year

Julie Montebello – ISYP – who was chosen for the Parenting Plus work she’d done, supporting some of our most vulnerable families at some of the most stressful times in their lives – it was a recognition of Julie’s calmness but also her willingness to go the extra mile.


Brian Duffus – YOT – specifically for his oversight on our very successful YOT Triage and the trips he’s organised as part of our Keep It Out Prevention Programme

Liza Martinez – ISYP/Youth Service – because one of the hardest things to do is balance change with still delivering the best service and Liza has done this effectively to shift the focus at Sutton Youth Centre to be increasingly on outcomes

As ever, I’d like to say thank you and well done to everyone who was nominated. On the day of the celebration tea itself, both Lisa L and Brian were on leave so we’ll make sure we invite them along to the next event! We’ve only done these staff celebration teas twice now but it’s quickly become one of my favourite ways to spend time at work – and that’s nothing to do with the scones or the cake!

Please feel free to leave a comment on the celebration awards this time round – even if it’s only to pass on your congratulations to your colleagues – I know they’d appreciate it(click the little speech bubble image at the topof this post!). Then again if you want to comment and join in on the scone/cream/jam debate that’s fine too!

The next staff celebration will be on May 6th and I will look forward to celebrating more of the great work which you all do for the children and families in the borough. And if you feel a little sorry for me in all this – as I can’t ever be nominated for my own awards, well don’t – as I found a way to get my own slice of reflected glory in celebrating your successes. I use this quote from Arthur Conan Doyle’s book, ‘The Valley Of Fear’ …………….


………..Talent it is then!!!!!!!!!!!!!