Friday, 15 May 2009

News: School build in the dregs

Last month the contractor due to build Hackney schools went into administration - here's what happened, according to now its old projects are being cherry-picked by competitors with the Hackney school project left on the side lines, again according to which said: "The remaining Verry contracts could be bundled together and sold by administrator BDO Stoy Hayward, which is understood to be the preferred route. Its other deals include the Hackney BSF contract, the £11.5m Futures College in Southend and a £10.4m residential scheme in Aylesbury."

Hackney Council prefers to work with children in their homes rather than remove them - in the wake of Baby P its a policy that might concern the general public but which experts say is the most responsible way to approach the problem.

Community Care reports: Hackney Council says it has made sustained investment in family support services in Hackney in order to reduce its care population. There are now 330 children looked after by Hackney, compared with 470 three years ago. Steve Goodman, Hackney's deputy director of children and young people's services, says there is "much anxiety" about child protection in local and national government but says Hackney is holding its nerve. He emphasises senior managers must share risk with frontline social workers when making decisions.

"Children's services work is a risky area and the state cannot guarantee that parents won't harm their children, but we can reduce the risk," Goodman says. He told the select committee that bad social work training and bureaucracy in children's social care led to poor, risk-averse practice." Although this looks like old news:

Another hackney gang story - the alleged ringleader of a gang of four who broke into a house in an attempt to steal a large amount of cocaine.

The Times reports a Hackney developer selling luxury flats to students - James Pullan, of the estate agent Knight Frank, says: “This was a purely economic decision. The student market is a relatively steady one right now.”

Community Care also reports a Hackney GP has written a book about autism saying that hype about early diagnosis is making life hell for parents.

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