Monday, 29 February 2016

Bring back silos; end joined up working

Most parents believe their children are going to school for an education. Recent disclosures suggest otherwise. For instance, the Telegraph, amongst others, has an article about the surreptitious assessment of children in Scottish schools. It seems that the Scottish Government wants to know everything there is to know about parents and families.

"Teachers across the country are being trained how to assess pupils, with some using a tool called "What I Think" designed for children up to the age of eight, including those at nursery. Information can come from a variety of sources such as conversations, drawings, photographs and recordings."

"Named Persons are advised to obtain the data in a `natural` way so that youngsters do not suspect they are being targeted, for example discovering who prepares a child’s meal at home using a casual conversation at snack time."

"The system also provides a number of sample scenarios that suggest a child could be at risk, such as them not missing their mother when they stayed overnight elsewhere or them being shouted at by their father after having an accident when playing alone in a park."

"However, Maggie Mellon, vice-chairman of the British Association of Social Workers and a former director of the charity Children 1st, told the Mail on Sunday: "The fact that these actually very biased and partial anecdotes will be going on a national database is extremely worrying and should make everyone sit up and say ‘no’."

Despite systems supposedly being in place to protect vulnerable children - which will not be changed - THAT is not good enough according to the Named Person legislation. Databases are going to have to be flooded with private and sensitive information about ALL children and their families. We have to ask, in what way, are vulnerable children going to benefit from that ?

I can`t think of one reason.

All I can see are the endless child abuse inquiries which expose how vulnerable children have already been abused by the system.

Do we need to go on fishing trips to find more ?

Or should we be cleaning up the system we already have  ?

I say, it`s time to bring education back into schools and to leave a reformed social work to social workers, not teachers, or other untrained professionals.

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