Thursday, 12 December 2013

GIRFEC - Engage for Education

Marion Samson, headteacher at Westquarter Primary and Nursery in Falkirk, explained her role as named person as early as 2nd May 2013.
I’ve been an educator for over 30 years and it is great to be working in education – as a headteacher and named person – at a time when the momentum of Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) has reached a point where we have the procedures, processes, political will and mechanisms to be able to make a difference to children at an early stage.
GIRFEC is our job. It cannot be seen as something ‘additional’ to educating the child. If we do not get it right for the child they will not have chances or choices, and they won’t be able to access education throughout their life.
In school the named person is usually someone in a senior position simply because class teachers do not always have the time to liaise with other services. As named person I am there both to support and to challenge.
Engage for Education 
None of the comments were in agreement with GIRFEC or the headteacher and one parent particularly objected to the idea of being `challenged`.  How the Scottish Government believe they have a mandate for these sweeping changes is anybody`s guess. Here are some samples of the negative responses:
I too am an educator and work in the sector. Yet I think GIRFEC is quite a scary notion being pushed by the government and being passed off as child protection. Child protection already exists ... They already have a named health visitor, a midwife at birth, a GP (usually) and often childminders/nursery staff and of course the general public. Perhaps the Scottish government would be far better at tightening up the processes surrounding child protection for those who actually need help rather than not trusting the majority of families to do a good job...
All this 'help' you are speaking of is something that is already available through the health visiting service and other sources, it isn't hard to go to a P/midwife/schoolteacher etc for signposting to somewhere else. This 'help is not only unecessary in almost all cases but it comes at the expense of our families privacy and freedoms, at the expense of our trust in ourselves and trust from the government and community as parents... This is not help it is universal monitering of todays mothers and fathers!
GIRFEC is a bureaucratic nonsense dreamed up by people who have little concept of the precious and fragile nature of liberty.  
The giga-reams of data that it will generate will not come from nowhere, every last box will have to be ticked by someone who would be more gainfully employed concentrating their efforts on those who really need their help. The data will throw up false positives which will drown out the signals of those who are really in need. The false positives will be acted on and innocent parents who have lifestyles that don't fit the State's model of what is good will be marked out and harassed. This Orwellian nightmare is coming to a Scottish home near you now.
GIRFEC has encouraged practitioners to act illegally by mining and sharing children and families' data without their informed consent. While 'services' have been forced on those who don't need or want them, support has still been sadly lacking for those who do, leaving the most vulnerable children at greater risk.
Ms Samson states: "GIRFEC is our job. It cannot be seen as something ‘additional’ to educating the child." Sorry, but that is just nonsense. ... databases have frequently been shown to be unsafe when it comes to safeguarding the data. I have heard one described as 'a paedophile's address book' which is possibly over the top but they can not be regarded as secure. ... As for education, let teachers get on with their job, which is TEACHING!  

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