Monday, 9 November 2015

The collaborative workforce joined-up against parents

I was in conversation with my daughter who was complaining about the amount of homework her child in primary school was expected to do.

There had been no let up during the week despite there being a Halloween disco at school, Halloween itself and Guy Fawkes night. So as well as the regular clubs, there were these extras, too.

No allowance had been made regarding the level of homework; yet there would be no playtime at school on Friday if it was not completed. Her little boy always experienced that as an unjust punishment and got very upset about it. The pressure was on.

We reflected on the fact that my daughter had never had to do homework when she had been in primary school.

"It`s not that standards are improving," we agreed; families are having to run faster just to keep standing still.

To add to her irritation, when my daughter telephoned the secondary school to inform them that her eldest child had a high temperature and would be taking the day off, she was told that she must contact the `absentee unit` at the Glasgow City Council and was provided with their contact details.

"I couldn`t believe it."

"Who did you talk to in the `absentee unit`?" I asked.

"I`ve no idea who I was talking to," she said, "Just somebody in a Glasgow City Council Office."

I felt it was very intrusive," she went on, "They wanted to know the names, the school, the reason for absence - was it medical or for a dental appointment, or what?"

I was dumbfounded because this had come `out of the blue`.  "So when your child has to be absent from school you are obliged to provide personal information about your child to a stranger, and with no idea why, or what they will be doing with that information?"

"Yes," she said "I was told that the office would contact the school to let them know about the absence, but not why they were intervening."

The Collaborative - joined up approach

Glasgow City Council has a centralised unit in place to receive all information from parents about every child`s absence from school.

That data will prove very useful to them when they begin providing on-the-spot fines to parents for their children`s absences from school, a matter that used to be part of the Children`s Hearing system where the parents used to have the opportunity to put their side of the story across. On-the-spot fines remove the safeguards.

But the possibilities for on-the-spot fines are endless.

After all, they could start fining parents when children fail to complete their homework as part of the drive to narrow the attainment gap.

Get the drift.

Our children`s data has monetary value and it is what the Named Person and the collaborative approach is really about.

The Children`s workforce - making money out of children

Too many to reference: but these are groups making money out of children without actually doing anything FOR children.

 One group that has come under the spotlight and has been sneered at, and vilified, rightfully in my opinion, is a third rate group called Hopscotch who go around primary schools putting on plays and singing songs in order to indoctrinate children into approved government thinking. They have worked in conjunction with Education Scotland.

Their latest rendition has a song with this verse:

We can measure, pride and pleasure,
It`s the way we`re sure to win.
Let`s not tarry, we can do SHANARRI,
Let`s put the joy in joining in.

 SHANARRI are the wellbeing indicators - no definitions possible - which will be used to judge parents.

[SHANARRI will NEVER be used to judge any Named Person, or member of the children`s workforce. -  as for measuring `pride and pleasure`, that opens a can of worms.]

Children are being asked to celebrate - in song - the demise of their own parents` authority over them - and to celebrate their surrender to some other group whose purpose is not known.

If you feel like joining in, in this scurrilous world of joy, click the link below and sing along, otherwise join


  1. As a granny looking after my two primary schooled grandchildren I can empathise.

    I haven't been able to do anything with the kids after school (eg swimming) since the 5yo started primary one full time and has had nightly homework - don't get me started!!

    On the plus side the 9yo has much less homework than last year and much less than his wee sister but that somehow doesn't seem fair?!?

    And now, joy of joys, we also have in addition "family homework" CfE for all - life-long and life-wide learning (monitoring) - getting it right for every child, citizen and community.

    There are some really lovely well-meaning people working in schools but the system is toxic. As I've said before, your blog should be compulsory reading for teachers.


  2. Homework is not a concept I am against, absolutely.

    Homework is about taking yourself off and going through something in order to ensure you understand it.

    I would encourage homework.

    But homework in these terms is beyond the capacity of any primary school child.

    Homework in primary schools is a way to control parents.