Tag Archives: Carew

“There May Be Trouble Ahead….And It’ll Need More Than Moonlight And Love and Romance To Recover……….

…………But before anybody gets concerned, the trouble ahead is the England v Scotland football at Wembley tomorrow. At home and with family I’m full of optimism, hope, belief. If I’ve said “I think Scotland will surprise you!” once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Alas no matter how often I say it, I know in my heart we’ve no chance! While I’ve been spouting that upbeat rhetoric for weeks out loud, in my head all I can hear is the voice of Private Fraser from Dads Army “We’re doomed! Doomed I tell you!”. (At last I know what it feels like to be a QPR fan!) So please be gentle with me if we meet any time from Thursday morning onwards!!!!!
There is fortunately an antidote for me to those feelings of depression and suffering that follow a defeat by England at football, rugby, anything. This does it for me every time!!!!!

If Only William Wallace Still Played For Scotland!!
If Only William Wallace Still Played For Scotland!!

Sponsored Academy Developments
Work on the proposed conversions of Carew Manor and Camden Juniors have been continuing during the summer. The legal and financial work for Carew is almost complete, and subject to Secretary of State decision, it is still on track for converting on September 1st. We received the external agency report for the Camden consultation at the end of last week. Response rates were very high at almost 550, and almost 98% of those respondents were in favour of Greenshaw becoming the school sponsor rather than the Harris Federation as the DfE would prefer. The rest of the consultation feedback is similarly in favour of the Greenshaw option. This is certainly validation of the local communities view. It’s been supported by letters from elected members, local MP’s and Tolis, all sent to the minister, Lord Nash, who will make the decision. We hope that this will help secure a decision in favour of the local solution, but to be honest I’ve no way of knowing how much, if any, notice will be taken of local views and the consultation outcomes. I guess it’s just a “wait and see”. We’re expecting a decision on Camden this week one way or another.

At a previous DMT we agreed a new approach to recording short notice urgent contracts in CYPLD. These are often used for urgent placements for children, particularly in social care. The new approach will need to be used for any spot purchasing arrangements managers in our division make when there is no formal contractual arrangement in place.
At yesterday’s DMT we focused on the overall CYPLD budget and in particular how to approach the cost implications of some of the changes in social care, like the new Public Law changes and to also plan out where we may need additional funding in the future. We also agreed to use an extended DMT day on September 20th to work further on the longer term detailed implementation of the redesign in Children’s Services.

Divisional Budget
At the end of Month 3 our divisional budgets are generally on line. There are some small predicted under spends in a few budgets but these balance out a couple of areas of slight over spends. We have also identified a significant proportion of our contribution to the overall CYPLD budget savings for Smarter Sutton and we will be finalising these in the next few weeks. However,we know that improving our budget management is an integral part of ensuring we make efficient and maximum use of the resources available to us. So, we will also be running a series of workshops for Education and Early Intervention budget holders, which will be be delivered by Nia Lewis, Jacky Bulbrook, Sarah Alderman and I. We’ll focus on budget reports, adding monitoring commentaries and respond to queries. All our budget managers will be required to attend the short workshops so we will plan them for the Autumn and offer a variety of dates so that we can be as flexible as possible.

And the moral of the story is....Leaving booking your summer hols till the last minute might just mean you end up wearing a furry waistcoat!
And the moral of the story is….Leaving booking your summer hols till the last minute might just mean you end up wearing a furry waistcoat!

That Cliff Richard Feeling!

As in, we’re all going on a summer holiday!!!! The schools are of course on summer break. Theoretically it’s supposed to make work quieter but that’s not how it looks at my end and I’d reckon that’s not how it looks to any of you either!!! There are of course lots of you off at some point on leave. Personally, I’m off to Rhodes for a few days from August 26th. In my absence Claudette will be the Head of Service covering for me. I’m due back, ideally with a golden brown hue, though more likely to be a bright-red glow, on September 5th!!!!! If you are taking leave yourself over the summer, enjoy it!

Performance Management
I know most of you will either have recently completed or be in the process of finishing off appraisals. These should be on the system now and managers should have signed off – so if you’ve not completed it please do so as a matter of real urgency.
For Children in Need monitoring Jackie and I finished drafting up the data on CIN that we will use on performance a couple of weeks ago. The Research and Intelligence unit is working up the reports for us on the dataset we have drafted. R and I are also working up changes to the monthly performance report to DMT. Up till now it’s understandably focused largely on the social care data set but going forward we will be including more of the key data from education and early intervention and prevention services.

The last Children’s Services Improvement Board included a summary paper on the Sutton population profile based on the last census return. It’s an interesting and easy read and may be of use for managers as part of your planning for service delivery. I’ve posted it on the ISYP Intranet and there are details of how to access it below. Among the things which the next Improvement Board will focus on will be a report from us on the performance of the Youth Offending team in Sutton.


Wildfire Burgers!

The annual JAS Barbeque took place last Wednesday and was a great success, attended by 10 families known to the service – all of the food went like wildfire! There was an egg and spoon race, Hoola Hoops, Giant Snakes and Ladders, Giant Connect 4 to name but a few of the games and Nail Painting in the marquee. In addition, a number of young people contributed to a wall mural “What’s JAS about”, which offered some interesting reflections. All of the team who were present took part in what was a most enjoyable afternoon.

New Faces in CYPLD
Jonathan Williams started as the Head of Service for Quality Assurance in Sharman’s Division last Monday and Richard Nash started as the new Exec Head for Safeguarding on the Tuesday, replacing Ann Goldsmith who after the handover to Richard, will be leaving Sutton at the end of this month. I’ve met both of them this week as part of their induction and I’ve no doubt you’ll all get to meet them in due course.

Staff Survey Response Plan
I will very shortly be asking for nominations and volunteers to host me doing back to the floor sessions. I’ve asked the Heads of Service to nominate one from each of their areas and for the others I will be asking for volunteers. I will also be writing to you in the next couple of weeks looking for volunteers to join a divisional staff sounding board with me.

And Finally………………

One of my favourite tracks at the moment in “Tongue Tied” by GroupLove. Now this might be another of those you think you’ve never heard of – but I know you have – for it’s the track for the current “Coke” adverts! As well as going around singing “Take me to your best friend now, I loved you then I loved now, oh oh yeah!”, I also spend time desperately looking for a “Share a Coke With….” can / bottle with my daughters name – so far to no avail! So if you are out and you see a “Share a Coke (or Diet Coke) with Frankie (or Francesca) can you please, please, please, buy it for me, let me know and I’ll re-imburse you! And in advance of my thanks, here’s a quick burst of Tongue Tied!!!!

And Finally, And Finally……..
………………………In the past I’ve commented in these blogs on the strange and unusual sights I come across in my daily commute. Today though I want to share the joys of the new platform announcer who frequently does evening rush hour on the Victoria Line. He’s got this fabulous West Indian accent, a real warm, deep, rich lilt in his voice. This is how he greeted us last night. “Hello you beautiful sunshine people. Take it easy on the platform. Just relax, slow it down and smile at the other passengers. And good news today is that Christine Ohorugu won the 400m at the Athletics. She smashed it up man!”. The train pulls in and he sees us off with ” Respect and One Love to all of you tonight! Be good to one another!! Mr Driver, Take these lovely people where they want to go!!! !”. And I swear the whole sardine-style rammed carriage is smiling. I’ve no idea if this is TFL policy – but it should be.
Respect and One Love to you for the rest of the working week!!!!


This Is Misfortune Not Carelessness – Yet!

I think what Oscar is thinking is "Remember when you had long hair too Colin?!"
I think what Oscar is thinking is “Remember when you had long hair too Colin?!”

It was Oscar Wilde who said (although I’m misquoting slightly!) “To lose one PA may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose another looks like carelessness” And I mention it, not just because Oscar is always good for a quote, but because I’m about to lose Hilary as my PA!

Up till now the Exec Head PA role in our division has included an element of time working on Elective Home Education. Nigel has now reconfigured that work and brought it together with support for pupils who are excluded, or are at risk of exclusion and/or missing education. It means the Home Ed part of the role has been extended and so Hilary will be moving across to pick up this Home Ed role full time. So i need to recruit a temporary replacement for Hilary this week – in fact I’m interviewing tomorrow and Jackie’s PA Nia is helping me out with those. Hopefully I’ll have a new temporary PA confirmed by the end of this week and in place pretty soon thereafter.

In my last authority, the departure of a long standing and highly effective PA left me needing a temp – I then went through 5 in 8 months!!!! I know it won’t happen this time – if it happened a second time I’d get the message – it’s me not misfortune!!

Academy Conversions

These are continuing as previously mentioned. This week there are TUPE consultation meetings for the staff involved at Carew Manor and there are consultation meetings at Camden Juniors for parents and other interested parties with both potential sponsors, Greenshaw High and the Harris Federation. The parents at Camden have set up a Facebook site about the academisation proposals and although they have a clear preference (it’s called Go For Greenshaw!) it nevertheless gives a flavour of some local views about the school’s next stage of development. You can find their parents campaign Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/groups/480541998681907/

Half Term Holiday

I know many of you were on leave for all or part of last week so this will be the first day back for you. I hope you enjoyed the break and at least there’s a bit of sunshine to ease you back into things. For me last week wasn’t leave but my calendar had more spaces in a day than I normally get in a week! So not leave, but a kind of half-leave for me! This week – back to normal!

Response To The Staff Survey

I’ve not forgotten about this! I have taken the feedback you all gave me when we did staff briefings in March and used those ideas, and some of my own (well, maybe not my own, but those that I personally stole from other people and places!!!) and turned these into an Action Plan. It’s currently being reviewed by Nigel, Jackie and Claudette and then we’ll get the final version published here so you can see it.

As part of the Action Plan, I’ll be looking for volunteers to give me on-going feedback about how we are doing in making changes where they are needed and in letting me know what works and what doesn’t! (That will of course be a case of “ideas that work – mine! Ideas that don’t work – someone else’s!”). I’ll send the details for this feedback group (it’ll be a staff sounding board for our division really) in due course but I thought I’d give you an early “heads up”.

As you’d expect, it won’t offer you money, but it will offer you a cup of coffee – if you’re really lucky, you might even get your coffee in a……………….Contact Point Mug!

Locality Team Visits

Some of us have been visiting other LA’s where they already have locality based teams up and running. It’s given us a number of different perspectives and ideas, some of which have been really thought provoking. Ann, Sharman, Annette and I are meeting on Friday morning to look at some of the lessons we’ve learned and plan out a forthcoming workshop with some of our managers and some managers from partner agencies to further explore how locality teams might work in Sutton and what they might look like.

And Finally…….

………..Shame on you QPR fans who chose not to send in a comment to the last blog update, thereby missing the only chance to win a cup that you’re likely to get in the next 10 years!

Related to that, I was wondering, with QPR relegated, who I’ll get to tease next year about their lack of success in the Premier League – and then up pop Crystal Palace through the playoffs!!!! Oh joy! I’d be grateful if all you Palace fans could leave me your names so I can send gloating e-mails etc during next season!!!!!!

And Finally, And Finally………..

……………..I bought my daughter a trampoline on Sunday morning. We dragged it home in the car late Sunday morning. It said on the box – this will take approximately two hours to fit together. Like any kid she wanted it put together then and there! And doting Dad that I am, I obliged, even though it was nearly lunchtime! My daughter finally got to use it around 8:00pm!!!!! There was blood on the grass, my fingers are blistered, my throat is sore from muttering under my breath and I’ve got at least 2 bolts left over!!!!! DIY is clearly not one of my talents!!!!!