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29th July 2016

Solace statement in response to the launch of the review into the role of local authorities in children’s services

On Wednesday 13 July then Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan MP outlined plans in a speech titled ‘Local Excellent Everywhere’ for a review into the future role of local authorities in children’s services and education. This is a response from Phil Norrey, Solace Spokesperson for Children and Families and Chief Executive of Devon County Council:

We welcome the broad scope of this review and the government’s commitment to exploring and tackling the issues facing the sector. The ongoing implications of the ‘Academisation’ policy and the continuing pressures facing the children’s social care system make this increasingly timely.

We are pleased that the importance and value of the local authority role in championing positive outcomes for children and families is recognised by the Secretary of State. We likewise welcome the commitment to local flexibility over local arrangements, balanced by a level of renewed clarity around these roles, relationships, and responsibilities, including how this is funded.

As local government and the broader public sector explores through devolution changed powers and responsibilities for different parts of the public sector, it is vital that services for children and families are firmly part of this mix. Solace looks forward to working further with the Department for Education as part of the review board.