Wednesday, 10 June 2015

A teacher criticises GIRFEC

The teacher points out that although the job is changing constantly teachers are rarely galvanised into action unless it is over pay and conditions. GIRFEC and changes in the child protection protocol raise ethical issues that have not been considered by the profession as a whole.

"Surely the title ‘profession’ suggests that teachers would debate the key moral, ethical and learning issues before pay and conditions. Certainly, the Standard for Teaching states ‘Teachers working with this standard are expected to develop deep, critically informed knowledge and understanding to enhance skills and abilities in relation to the key areas of career-long professional learning:"

"Educational contexts and current debates in policy, education and practice.’ They must ‘actively consider and critically question the development(s) of policy in education… develop and apply political literacy and political insight in relation to professional practice, educational change and policy development.’ (GTCS Standard for Career Long Professional Learning)."

"Individually we may do that in staff rooms but as a profession we do not. The GTCS has no statement of position about the recent Children and Young People’s Bill, which has been met with fierce opposition from home education groups, children’s charities and most importantly the Parent Council Association of Scotland."

"The Children and Young People Bill puts GIRFEC policy into law. It means that teachers will be legally obliged to share personal and sensitive data about all children in their care with health professionals, police and social workers amongst others. We will be required to assess ‘each and every’ child’s wellbeing (surely this is harder than assessing progress against the CfE outcomes?) as well as assess families’ ability to support, care for and interact with their children. We must, by law, share this information with other professionals; and are being actively encouraged to do so without parental consent., ‘there is no requirement to seek consent’ (A Practitioner’s Guide to information sharing, confidentiality and consent to support children and young people's wellbeing ). Indeed at least one Local Authority goes onto say that if parental consent is sought and refused then,  this could be considered as a factor in the overall assessment of risk, meaning that all parental rights can be overruled by GIRFEC and the Named Person..."

"When education becomes everything it ceases to be education. Education needs to be saved from those who want to turn it into an all-purpose institution for solving the problems of society." (Furedi, 2009, p6)

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