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Staff are the key to success

Proper investment in staff development and information sharing will be key to the success of the Green Paper, according to chief education officers.

Andrew Seber, chair of education officers' association Confed and director of education in Hampshire, says that management changes identified in the Green Paper will not be as important as its focus on children.

Hampshire's children's services are already rated as excellent, an accolade, Mr Seber says, which is a result of focusing on children's needs.

"Whatever happens to the structure you have got to show people working with children that you value them, that you are prepared to invest in their skills," he said.

Mr Seber denied that chief education officers feel under threat as a result of these changes. "People have not been talking to me about their own jobs.

The focus has been on how these proposals will impact on children."

Although Hampshire has not yet begun the transition towards a children's trust, Mr Seber said that it was prepared for the changes.

"We knew the Green Paper was coming and the issues are the same as we were tackling anyway. Flexibility is important. A big authority like ourselves will come up with different solutions to a small one.

"The good thing about these reforms is that they will bring together a whole range of previously separate developments into one place."

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