Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Parenting Classes in School for Parents

NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the body which decides which drugs the NHS should prescribe has this to say on their website:
How we work
We develop our guidance and other products by working with experts from the NHS, social care, local authorities, and others in the public, private and voluntary sectors - including patients and the public.
Our recommendations are based on the best available evidence of the most effective care. Our guidance is produced openly and transparently, and we make sure that those that use our guidance, as well as those it affects, are involved every step of the way.  More HERE
It struck me as odd that NICE claim to develop their guidance and other products by working with experts from the NHS, social care, local authorities, and others in the public, private and voluntary sectors. Because they then feed their guidance back to these same bodies which does beg the question: is this extra layer actually necessary?  They also appear to have a wider agenda. In the NICE Charter they have this to say:
We work openly and transparently with the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries to evaluate their products, facilitating access to the NHS market for those products which are found to offer the best value for patients, and making a clear case for their adoption in the NHS.
Facilitating access to the NHS market? That seems more management speak than care speak. 

An example of their guidance in the social care field appears in the Telegraph where they suggest that schools should be running parenting classes because negative parenting puts children`s mental health at risk. Teachers should measure happiness levels according to NICE to prevent children going off the rails. As far as secondary schools are concerned they recommend that schools should systematically measure and assess young people`s social and emotional well-being.  Are teachers not for teaching?  Who says they are qualified to assess emotional wellbeing, apart from NICE?

Compare this to GIRFEC,  Getting it Right for Every Child.  In place of the statutory `named person` overseeing the wellbeing of children in Scotland, we have NICE guidelines in England and a softer approach. But in both cases teachers are to get closer to children and be alert to any little indication that something is a amiss with a child`s wellbeing. This does involve quite a bit of data gathering by teachers. Meanwhile parents are to be rushed with services (early interventions) or parenting classes all of which undermine parents and the natural child/parent bond.  Here`s another frightening article in the Daily Mail.
Adolescence no longer ends when people hit 18, according to updated guidelines being given to child psychologists.
The new directive is designed to extend the age range that child psychologists can work with from 18 years old up to 25.
It is hoped the initiative will stop children being 'rushed' through their childhood and feeling pressured to achieve key milestones quickly, reports the BBC.
The Directive comes from the Tavistock Clinic. So young children must hit their developmental targets or they will arouse the concern of early years practitioners and trigger early interventions, but the older adolescent can take all the time they need. 

So many guidance bodies!   

Schools told to run parenting classes and measure
happiness under new official guidelines Photo: ALAMY