It has been a privilege to work with Salford since the genesis of the Youth Justice SEND Quality Assurance framework.

Salford was one of the first area partnerships to embrace the process in 2017, reflecting deeply (from front-line professionals to Councillor representation) on the identified areas that required development, then managing change with passion and vigour on a journey of continuous improvement.

Quality Mark status was secured in February 2018, and it is now, with admiration and delight, that Achievement for All acknowledges further sustained and evidence-based improvement leading to the Quality Lead Award.

Of particular interest is the introduction and functioning of the Education on Track Panel, supported by a dedicated Complex Case Officer. This is a multi-agency approach to supporting children, and their families, who are not accessing full-time appropriate education provision.   As a core member of the group, the YJS member works collaboratively with a range of professionals in order to create solutions towards removing the educational barriers/restrictions faced by children and families.  Cases are discussed and local resources and support are allocated. The speed of response, as evidenced in the meeting minutes and pre-consultation work carried out by the Complex Case Officer, is exceptional.

Another key development of note has been a VRU (Violence Reduction Unit)-funded Choose for Change initiative, where identified vulnerable and at-risk children are given intensive support during the Yr 6 into Yr 7 transition years. The assigned youth workers have the full youth offending service resource (SaLT CAMHS etc.) at their disposal.

This work sits within wider education policy, practice and culture which drives accountability for inclusion into every level of education and service delivery. This is the very essence of Child First practice: other Area Partnerships will have much to learn from Salford!