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November 2013

I’ve only been here since 1978, with no idea that this would be home for the rest of my life. But an adopted Brummie like me feels no less outraged than the Birmingham-born by the remarks of Sir Michael Wilshaw, the OFSTED Chief Inspector.

He came to Birmingham on 15th October to present their report on the critical state of national child care services. No one pretends that they are working well here, despite the utter commitment of social workers, care staff and Peter Hay, the current director. Along with schools, the Sweet Project and so many others who work tirelessly to protect and nurture young people, they deserve and need our prayers and support, as of course do the children in their and our care.

But Sir Michael took no account of the stark fact that our major cities, Birmingham among them, contain more and more who bear the cost of recession in reduced incomes and blighted opportunity. (Many more children in poverty here have working parents than not. Click here for a full picture)

He failed to mention the growing numbers in poverty, the difficulty in recruiting experienced social work staff here or the drying up of spending on programmes to support voluntary groups for family and children’s support. Instead, he took the opportunity to call our city ‘one of the worst places to be born in the western world’...

Read more in From the Rector.

Extracts

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