The connection between fixing a leaking roof and implementing the Every Child Matters (ECM) programme may not be immediately obvious. But US performance management expert Mark Friedman will today tell children’s services’ leaders that the two challenges are essentially the same. Not that society’s ills will be put right by a few tiles or rolls of duct tape, but the problem-solving techniques are fundamentally identical.
Friedman’s approach – simple, common sense, jargon-free – may be exactly what is needed to kickstart the ECM agenda where take-up is still sluggish. A crisis of confidence in the programme in Downing Street may have been headed off, but too many schools have yet to buy the idea that working collaboratively with other agencies to improve children’s wellbeing can improve their academic attainment. Indeed, say enthusiasts, such collaboration is essential to it.