Children's services restructuring could save £163,000

By Emily Pearce

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


MANAGEMENT costs spent on services for children and families — including the Island's highly rated children's centres — could be cut by ten per cent, following a proposed restructure by the Isle of Wight Council.

The council cabinet on Tuesday agreed to launch a consultation on plans to remodel children's centres to incorporate a wider range of services, including parenting classes and targeted support for troubled families.

Although there are no plans to close any of the Island's eight children's centres, all of which have been rated by Ofsted as good or outstanding, they would be managed across three localities or clusters.

Services currently cost some £1.63 million to provided and the proposed restructure would reduce management overheads by £163,237.

The proposed restructure would provide a seamless service for families and children, up to the age of 19, and make better use of children's centre buildings, according to the council.

Cabinet member for children's services Cllr Richard Priest said: "We are proposing to bring together the excellent work of our children’s centres with the important early help support services to strengthen the services offered to families on the Island. It is important we gather as many views as possible from service users, providers and partner agencies before we make a decision.

"We think change will be necessary but I want to be clear I see this as change which will be very much in line with our general improvement journey for all children’s services on the Island. That improvement remains my top priority."

Consultation sessions will be held with parents and providers, and at children's centres. They will be advertised at



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by Michaela White

14th March 2014, at 09:44:05

Maybe he is blessed to have had children who haven't needed that support .... or maybe I am blessed to have children who rely on me just that little bit extra; 1 child who needs me to read what it says as he can just about form the letters, but not necessarily be able to pronounce them properly and another child who watches the rest of his class start learning their 6 times table whilst to him the whole concept of multiplication just does not make sense, frustrating him beyond belief. We spend hours in this house "parenting" with school work and the boys have extra support at school to help them there. No they may not grow up to have high paid jobs or even their own mortgages as the concept of financial responsibility may be daunting to them for many years to come ... but one thing I can assure you is they will be happy in whatever they do and they will be loved .... to me that's good parenting

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by Steve Smith

13th March 2014, at 15:59:13

It's no good telling him Michaela, he has his own blinkered view. It worked for him so it must work for everyone. No such thing as special needs only bad parents. Don't waste your time with him!

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by Michaela White

13th March 2014, at 09:54:42

Mike I have children that should be able to form basic letters and words, but they can't. I understand completely what John is saying and if right I think he is implying that Children with SEN in mainstream schools are being let down, and that there should be more suitable locations for these children to learn but unfortunately there isn't as spaces are incredibly limited to any of the special units. Therefore the remainder of these children have to endure mainstream schooling and the results are not always positive.

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by Jack Woodford

12th March 2014, at 20:43:16

When they say 'cutting management costs' do they mean 'making children centre managers redundant'?

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by Mike Crowe

12th March 2014, at 18:24:20

........ and it seems to have cottoned on with my children as well, I only have one grandchild but his mother has ensured that he has all the right attributes to such a degree that at 18 he has a superb job with a pension with more besides

Just what ARE parents there for these days? Producing children for someone else to care for?

I can answer that one myself when I look at the superb example Joanne and John have set on these pages. Off their backsides, both with jobs and heading for THEIR OWN home with a mortgage and thus their own responsibility.

I think a lot of youngsters need to look at their priorities these days.

(I suppose that posting will be removed because it is toooooooooooooo near the truth.)


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by Mike Crowe

12th March 2014, at 18:16:59

John, I always thought that was the responsibility of the parents in the first instance. Certainly was in my days as a parent.

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by John James

12th March 2014, at 17:12:48

Lets hope this is the start of something better although I doubt it. Children on the island have been let down appallingly by successive councils. Right now there are children in secondary schools who cant even form basic letters or spell basic words and yet they get zero support from the council. They shouldn’t even be in main stream schools but the council aren’t interested.

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by Michaela White

12th March 2014, at 16:21:26

I find it quite interesting that until I had my last child I was unable to access the services of my local children's centre as none of my children were under the age of 5.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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