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goodenoughcaring.com is an arena for the discussion of  issues of interest to parents, foster parents, residential child care workers, counsellors, youth support workers, social workers, teachers, mentors, social pedagogues,  educateurs  and to young people who are, and adults who have been, in care. If you are interested in, or involved in the care,upbringing and education of  children and young people or in the nurturing of children and young people who are unable to live with their own families  goodenoughcaring.com  is a site for you. The website welcomes  thoughtful views – personal, practical or theoretical –  about the care of children and young people.  If you want to comment about  child care or about goodenoughcaring.com  then  e mail:  goodenoughcaring@icloud.com

The goodenoughcaring.com site is archived at the British Library.

The goodenoughcaring journal is an online publication which invites anyone wishing to publish papers and articles about  parenting, nurture, child care work and related fields or those wishing to write about their child care experiences to submit as e mail attachments  papers or articles for publication to the editors at goodenoughcaring@icloud.com.

The members of the editorial group are Cynthia Cross, Evelyn Daniel, Siobain Degregorio, Jeremy Millar, Jane Kenny, Ariola Vishnja, Mark Smith, John Stein and Charles Sharpe. The current issue was published online on 18th, June, 2014 and  the next issue will be published on December 15th,  2014. The Journal index can be found at http://www.goodenoughcaring.com/the-journal/

Child Care History Network Annual Conference, October 2014 : Healing the Wounds of Childhood

 

The Child Care History Network’s annual conference will take place on October 3rd, 2014 from 9.00am to 5.00pm at the Buckerell Lodge Hotel, Topsham, near Exeter. The theme of the conference is  -Healing the Wounds of Childhood  The Medical and Psychological Care of Children : Historical and Current Perspectives. 

To learn more about the conference and to book a place,  follow these links –

 

Keynote Speaker: Professor John Stewart, Professor of Health History, Glasgow Caledonia University

supported by: The Centre for Medical History, University of Exeter and The Wellcome Trust

Online registration and payment

CCHN Conference Registration Form

CCHN Conference Programme

CCHN conference poster

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Separation and Reunion Forum 15th Annual Conference, London

So that we can put the date in our diaries, Dr Elaine Arnold the Director of the Separation and Reunion Forum  has written to give us advance notice of the forum’s 15th annual conference “Maltreatment of Children and the Effects on their Attachments”  which will be held on  Friday 28th. November 2015 at the London Voluntary Resource Centre356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA.

More details about the conference will appear on this page in the very near future. Visit the Serefo website at http://www.serefo.org.uk

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Join the SIRCC Scottish referendum Child Care debate here

 

On September 1st, 2014,  the latest issue of the Scottish Journal of  Residential Child Care , edited by Laura Steckley on behalf of the Scottish Institute for Residential  Child Care invited Garry Coutts (against independence for Scotland)  and Mark Smith (for independence) each to provide an article expressing their views about the potential impact on child care in Scotland should the Scots vote to become independent on September 18th, 2014. Each author was also given an opportunity to write a riposte to each other’s original article The format of the Scottish Journal does not allow for immediate readers’  comments and the goodenoughcaring website has offered  a place for comment in response to these articles on its home page.
Which ever way the vote goes there is no doubt child care issues will remain of consequence but  there is also   – given how imminent the referendum day is   – an immediacy about these  issues and people may wish to comment and to ask others to consider and weigh up views and opinions right now.
To read Garry’s and Mark’s articles and their ripostes visit

http://www.celcis.org/resources/scottish_journal_of_residential_child_care_vol_13_no_2

To comment or join in discussion click on Comments on the banner line at the top of this page and email us.
Comments will be published on this page as we receive them.
Garry Coutts  is  Chair, NHS Highland, Assynt  House, Beechwood Park, Inverness, IV2 3 BW

Dr Mark Smith Senior Lecturer and Head of Social Work in the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh

The Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care is now a part of CELCIS, the Centre for Excellence for the Care for Looked After Children in Scotland.

 

Comments

Charles Sharpe writes

Read Mark Smith’s article “How would social care be different in an independent Scotland?” published in The Guardian on 17th September, 2014. Link to article http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2014/sep/17/scottish-independence-referendum-social-care?CMP=twt_

From Jonathan Stanley

More thoughts on Scottish independence and English Residential Child Care.

That the Government has chosen to see Residential Child Care as an island is a block to integrated practice. This is one shadow cast but it provides openings too. It allows us to see the distinctive contribution residential options can bring to young people’s lives, individually and collectively, and as part of children’s services.

We will be able to make that progress when we are able to go beyond the current worry over a future for the sector. Even being corralled into a corner has its benefits for the sector. Through our identification as a concern for the fate of the group there has been a ‘gathering of the clans’.

We have been forwarding the ambition for a wider nuanced discussion on the appreciation that we need sophistication not simplification, sadly the Government reforms are small tweaks and follow from the latter. You get positive children’s homes in positive children’s services. What happens in children’s homes is a correlation of many factors within but crucially surrounding them. A supportive context for homes comes with a supportive response for all children. Perhaps the fact that in most cases we use children’s homes as a last resort is more obvious elsewhere in the lives of children too? This would suggest that the sequential use of interventions is widespread, leading to hierarchical thresholds to access the next step. This would suggest we do not make the right placement at the right time for the right child but other factors intervene. It would suggest that the ‘most appropriate’ placement principle is not being held. It would suggest we are needs-led in our response to children. It suggests we are a long way, maybe drifting steadily further away, from making the right placement first time.

English discussions have not recently addressed the ‘good society.’ However in any impending separation this often becomes the topic uppermost in minds. What are the values we desire for children’s services? The ADCS position paper ‘What is care for?’ [1] is more a command paper than an exploration. It is at odds to the values seen as the foundation for children’s homes in the future written by ICHA and TCRU[2] and agreed with by the DfE in their response to the Education Select Committee [3]. If they are at odds they ought not to be. A strong culture[4] demands that we are all on-task, no off-task or anti-task behaviour needs talking out. That the discussions all too easily are reduced to territorial claims and counter claims. Such ‘boundary skirmishing’ perhaps shows us there is something needing discussing? Our children’s services culture is variable, not in a reflective way, but prone to defences and resistances. Despair is not uncommon if you are at the bottom of the pile. Positively connoting this one could say that resilience has been demonstrated, not much Hope when suffocating and the shortage of breath looking like it will continue.

We have to get beyond the binary position. Splitting is a defence whereby our good/bad feelings can be projected into another person or group who become idealised or hated. So such ‘winners and losers’ perspectives might stem from the dread of being ‘found out’? Reports like Alexis Jay’s on Rotherham propel us to confront our Present.

In a set of scales developed by psychologists Jon Haight and others, moral values tap preferences for minimising harms/maximising fairness (often termed ‘individualising’), and concerns over group norms and rules (often termed ‘binding’). Graeme Brown and Gary Lewis used these to study some data exploring how psychological factors might predict Scottish independence sentiment. They found stronger moral sentiment for valuing individual rights and less concern for group norms appear to drive preferences for independence. Maybe this holds for Government thinking about children’s services?

Residential Child Care in England has nothing to lose by speaking out on the need for ethical values in to underpin child care/social work practices. It has been placed in a position where it can offer many pertinent observations.

The small voice is often the one we need to hear loudest.

[1]http://www.adcs.org.uk/download/position-statements/2012/ADCS%20Position%20Statement%20What%20is%20care%20for.pdf

[2]http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jonathan-stanley/values-and-principles-rol_b_5116813.html

[3]http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmeduc/305/305.pdf p5

[4] http://www.ncb.org.uk/media/521176/whatworksinrccsummary_ncbhighlight.pdf

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Sandra Brown comments

I don’t know what the future holds for children in Scotland if it becomes independent, but I see that this debate was set up by the SIRCC which is concerned with residential child care. I know something about residential child care and my experience is that it is excellent when it is provided by people who really care about you and pretty awful when the care workers just see it as a job. So what Evelyn Daniel and Jonathan Stanley write makes the future look bleak. Will residential child care in an independent Scotland be better as Mark Smith says or is it all about money as Evelyn Daniel and Jonathan Stanley are saying ?  if it is just about money I think the whole existence of residential care needs to be questioned. If it is just a money saving exercise to deal with young people who are difficult to place in foster care then it will never work.

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Charles Sharpe writes

I am sure Garry Coutts wants better care, education and health services for children and their families in Scotland but his dismissive approach to the referendum, (and therefore to 50% of the Scottish electorate), along with the dearth in his writing of ideas and proposals for the future of Scotland and its children suggests a smug contentment with the status quo. Yet here was I thinking that even the most ardently unionist argument must concede that the United Kingdom’s current political and economic system is failing to change the prospects of children from very poor and not so well off families and indeed it is making their situation worse.

In fact I am saddened how little Garry actually mentions children and families. He seems much happier submerged in the politico/ bureaucratic language that is a smokescreen hiding a void.

Mark Smith,  does spend time writing about children and families as if they are real people and I think he is right to ask us to consider Scotland’s culture and history as an inspiration for the way we would want all our children nurtured.

Scotland has always been ready to learn from, and seek  inspiration from, child care and education approaches in Europe and further afield.  Adding to this mix original and creative practitioners, writers and thinkers in the field of childhood, education, nurture and relationships like, for instance, John Aikenhead, Jane Arthur, John Burnside,  W.R.D. Fairbairn, James Kelman, R.F Mackenzie R.D.Laing, John MacMurray, Anne Mathams, Isobel Menzies Lyth, A.S. Neill, Aunty Phylis of the Aberlour Child Care Trust, Flora Stevenson, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Iain Suttie, it can be seen that the large group of talented individuals currently working in different fields with children and families in Scotland have an abundance of historical and cultural sources and resources upon which to draw to sustain their already strong sense and passion for democracy and community.

As Mark implies, the Scots took Europe’s first steps towards local democracy (and I am not taking a sectarian stance here) when, from the early 18th century, the congregation of the church of each parish through its presbytery voted in its minister who in turn was responsible not only for  his congregation but also for supporting and educating the children of the parish. The ministers and the presbyteries appointed dominies who taught in the new parish schools. In this way the Scots had, in the 18th and 19th centuries, the most literate and numerate population in Europe. My view is that this democratic culture still imbues the whole of Scottish life, and it can still reach out to the wide margins of poverty. It is reasonable to argue that an independent Scotland, as a country small enough still to know itself as a community, will be in a better position at both a local and personal level to serve all its children and their families. Here I am not talking about “throwing money at problems” – though money is needed – but about a community which is in relationship with, and cares for, each one of its members. The United Kingdom signally fails to do this.

Charles Sharpe is a psychodynamic counsellor and psychotherapist. He also helps edit the goodenoughcaring.com website.

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Ni Holmes comments

I cannot consider the opportunities that may emerge or be stifled on 18th September as a sideshow.  Now that better together are offering a timetable to plan for additional powers it seems to me that there is a clear direction of travel toward restructuring our society.  We will vote on 18th September to indicate how far we aspire to travel down that road.

Ni Homes is a consultant to a Scottish local authority’s Social Work Service working at all levels from policy to practice and across the full spectrum of social work and care services and also provides support externally to partner agencies.

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Jonathan Stanley writes

The papers prompted me to reflect on the place of Residential Child Care in the English national conscience.

Though it was not our past more recently England has concretised individualised, responses to social problems. None more so than the ‘split off’ way children’s homes have been discussed with an attendant burgeoning policy framework that sees them as almost another country, and one without independence or self-determination allowable. [1] As created by English policy and practice the children’s homes sector provides last resort options for young people – young people arrive on average at 14.6 years old with many previous placements, staying a few months. [2] There is no space allowed for the positive use of residential options that might stem for example from asking the question, ‘What would Children’s Services look like if Residential child Care was seen as a positive’?

The discussions in England struggle to any interrogation of substance and are artfully and successfully kept only ever at the surface, policy and regulation are increasingly being separated from needs and provision.[3] Residential Child Care in England increasingly has neither choice or alternative, without the liberty to determine its own professional discourse or practice, its ability to be creative is prescribed and proscribed[4]

The understanding that had an appreciation of the need for collectively inspired provision has been consciously broken, further distancing looks a consequence of localism – Westminster from LAs, and LAs from LAs, LAs from providers. I am often reminded of Winnciott’s remark ‘the scatter of interested parties.’ We have not been successful even with the building blocks that might support a return of collaborative planning through the needs-led data collection that can underpin strategy to meet need. The right child in the right place at the right time, (first time even) requires data and an informed conceptual framework applied by everyone. In its place the peculiar English application of market economics has us focus on the instant of a placement/transaction. We have lost the space to consider social construction and context.[5]

Moving to the daily concerns regarding meeting the needs of young people I have raised with the DfE the matter of what happens after independence but have gained no interest as yet. It can be appreciated that given their tsunami of reform regulation [6] there is not an urgency that a new situation affects the historical relationship.

Throughout the reforms there is little appreciation that some young people’s needs are elemental. These young people may know no boundaries, international or emotional. In every sense our provision for them has often been a shared enterprise.

Recently we have been asked to assist local authorities in searches for young people with high level needs who have been in Scottish placements. For many reasons they had not been placed in provision in England. Their return southwards is to a sector already a scarce resource being made scarcer through attrition by regulation, regulator actions and a downward drive on fees by LAs.

The past has seen shared provision. I recall looking after Scottish young people in English provision. With independence can this continue as it has before? Let me explain.

The Children’s Homes and Looked after Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2013 came into force in January 2014.[7] These Regulations amended the Care Planning Regulations. The main changes introduce requirements for local authorities to consult and share information before placing children in distant placements and for the Director of Children’s Services (DCS) to give approval of these placements.

There will be circumstances where a distant placement will be the most suitable for a child, such as where the child concerned has complex treatment needs that cannot be met by services within the area of the responsible authority. There will also be children who require an out of authority placement to ensure they can be effectively safeguarded. Such placements will require effective planning, engagement and information sharing with the services likely to be responsible for meeting the child’s needs in the future.

The guidance for LAs concludes ‘the principles of effective planning that apply when considering out of authority placements in England apply equally to any placement by an English local authority in Wales.’ Nothing perhaps needed about Scotland when written. In what might be new circumstances the following current position would need affirmed as still being applicable :

Schedule 2, Para. 19 of the Children Act 1989, specifies that:

“(1) A local authority may only arrange for, or assist in arranging for, any child in their care [i.e. subject to a Care Order under Section 31] to live outside of England and Wales with the approval of the court” OR (2) … with the approval of every person who has parental responsibility for the child …”

There are additional requirements, set out in Paragraph 3, that a court will not grant approval unless satisfied that to do so is in the best interests of the child; that suitable arrangements are in place for where the child will live; and, the child capable of giving consent agrees to living in that country.

Any decision of a court to give or withhold its approval is subject to a right of appeal, and a court could rule that any approval it may have given does not have effect until the appeal has concluded.

By reason of Section 85 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, none of the above provision apply in respect of a local authority placing a child for adoption.

Jonathan Stanley is the CEO of the Independent Children’s Homes Association and Principal Partner of the National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care

Notes

[1] See Huffington Post blogs http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jonathan-stanley/

2 DfE data set https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/315376/Data_Pack_2013_UPDATED_June_2014_as_published.pdf

3 See forthcoming consultations on Quality Standards and later Ofsted inspection framework

4 Home Truths http://www.icha.org.uk/uploads/files/icha_report_final_v3_1.pdf

5 See Children England papers http://www.childrenengland.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Correcting-a-History-of-Market-Failure.pdf

6http://www.icha.org.uk/uploads/files/icha_briefing_first_provider_evaluation_of_reform_programme_july_2014_31714_onweb.pdf

7https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/339312/Out_of_authority_placement_of_looked-after_children.pdf

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 Evelyn Daniel comments

I know that in the kind of political campaign that has gone in Scotland a lot of hot air is talked,  many doomsday prophecies are made and a great deal of blue sky thinking is aired but before I make my response to Garry Coutts’s and Mark Smith’s articles and ripostes, I confess that my knowledge of child care and health services in Scotland is limited but if, as Mark Smith seems to imply, Scottish independence means that a Scottish government and Scottish local authorities are committed to purchasing and providing the major part of their own child care resources through the public purse I would want to hear more.

In England there are a number of excellent voluntary and private providers of child care services, but we have witnessed a trend in the last decade in which local authorities have gradually withdrawn from the provision of services and have encouraged private commercial organisations to take them over. Now that this is a well established project, we watch in despair the process of local authorities driving down the fees they are willing to pay to the private organisations they had in the first place persuaded to become providers. In this Dutch auction, economies have to be made and these reduce the quality of the service provided. This has meant that many excellent small providers previously offering a good quality of service could not sustain that level. Either they join the rush to the bottom or they withdraw because they are unwilling to provide a second rate service. There are always overly competitive commercial and less altruistic organisations (often quite large ones) willing to fill the vacuum this creates, and who, for the sake of  making sufficient profit to keep their shareholders content, lose site of the fact that their primary task is to provide good nurturing care for children and young people. These types of organisations increasingly dominate the scene.  In this way services to the most needy and the poorest of our children and young people have inexorably declined. Services to the poor just get poorer. There may be a place for small private enterprises to provide services for children but in my view the bulk of these services should be  funded and run by local authorities. In this way, even if it involves extra cost, all children will receive the care and support they need. This it seems to me is a more equitable way of doing things and from my distant perch I had thought that this is the direction of children’s services in Scotland.

I found Garry Coutts’s attitude towards dealing with inequality in all its forms at best sardonic. It is as if he’s saying that whenever attempts are made to deal with redistributing wealth little is achieved apart from actually widening the gap between rich and poor. I wondered why he doesn’t put forward new ideas which would address improving the life experience of poor and troubled children and their families in Scotland. He suggests structures are already there to deal with these issues. My experience in recent times is that structures and machinery are no help to troubled children, but committed loving adults, supported by a sympathetic community, are.

There is a measure of idealism in what Mark Smith writes but I feel myself more sympathetic to his tone. Drawing from its history and culture he suggests that an independent Scotland will be in a good position to spread wealth more equally and so provide a consistently high quality of child care services. He speaks of “individuals” and “relationships” rather than distant phrases like “curriculum for excellence”. If  Mark Smith’s prognostications about child care, health and education in an independent Scotland are right, I would wish the Scottish independence cause well and be concerned that we in England should learn from the way an independent Scotland cares for all its children.  What a time it is for Scotland and the United Kingdom !

Evelyn Daniel is a Child Care Services Manager in London

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Significant relationships in growing up : the principal theme of the next issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal

The next issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal goes online on December 15th, 2014. It will have as its principal theme  “Significant relationships in growing up”.  There is such a wide variety of relationships which can play a part in growing up. There are relationships which in general are important to all children, young people and adults, while there are also unique relationships that are and have been important to specific children, young people and adults.

Over the years the goodenoughcaring Journal has built up a significant body of informative, reflective, imaginative and entertaining writing about so many aspects of the nurture of young human beings. This writing is freely available for anyone. We are not alone in providing this kind of the resource as our links page demonstrates. Nonetheless we wish to acknowledge that the writing in the goodenoughcaring Journal  is a symbol of the generosity and thought of authors from all over the world and from all kinds of backgrounds. We hope the next issue will continue in this spirit.

We invite authors of every age and ilk – our readers, past contributors or those hearing of the goodenoughcaring journal for the first time  –  to submit articles, papers,  essays, stories, poems, recollections and memoirs which relate  to the theme of the upcoming issue. We will be grateful  for them.

We will also be thankful for the submission of articles and ideas dealing with other aspects of growing up.

If you wish to submit a piece of writing or if you have an idea for an article, contact us at

goodenoughcaring@icloud.com

We welcome thoughtful criticism as well as messages of encouragement !

Over the next few weeks further news of the forthcoming issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal  will appear regularly on this page.

A pause for thought : Single Mothers

Pause for thought : Single Mothers

 

The following is a short extract from an extensive and intense essay, “Mothers” written by Jacqueline Rose and published in Volume 36, Number 12 of the June 19th, 2014 issue of the London Review of Books p17-22. The full text of the essay can be accessed at http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n12/jacqueline-rose/mothers

This autumn Jacqueleine Rose becomes the Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Professor of Gender Studies at Cambridge University.

 

A single mother stands as a glaring rebuke to the ideal. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the number of single mothers in this country rose faster than at any other time in history, seemingly unaffected by an increasingly strident Conservative rhetoric of blame. The most pervasive image was of an unemployed teenager who had deliberately got herself pregnant in order to claim benefits, although as Pat Thane and Tanya Evans point out in Sinners? Scroungers? Saints?*, their study of 20th century unmarried motherhood, she was ‘very rarely to be found’. Over the past century single mothers have variously been one or other or all three of those epithets, the first and last stringing them between opprobrium and holiness (neither of this world), the second more prosaically casting them as objects of moral contempt. The single mother, it seems, was the original ‘scrounger’ the terms which allows a cruelly unequal society to turn its back on those it has thrown on the scrapheap. This manipulative, undeserving mother was the perfect embodiment of the ‘dependency’ culture, an idea which is being revived today in order to justify an ever more thorough dismantling of the welfare state. It is also worth noting how far her vulnerability and her needs, not to speak of those of the children for whom she has sole responsibility, seem to count against her   –   lone parents, especially unmarried mothers, are still today one of the poorest groups in Britain.

 

 

* Sinners? Scroungers? Saints Unmarried Motherhood in 20th Century England by Pat Thane and Tanya Evans (Oxford, 240pp., August 2013, 978 0 19 968198 3).

“Home Truths” about the struggle for survival of children’s homes

Jonathan Stanley, the Chief Executive Officer for the Independent Children’s Homes and of the National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child care has written to us about a new report which Children’s homes providers have published, ‘Home Truths – The state of independent residential child care 2014.
He suggests, “No other report has ever contained such a level of concern for the present and future of Residential Child Care.  It looks at the current situation, records experiences and charts the potential futures of what the authors see as an ‘unprecedented culture of anti-residential feeling.’”
In launching the report Jonathan  said, “The sector meets extraordinary needs with extraordinary responses yet is under-estimated, under-valued and under-funded.  Though providers have embraced reform, the report shows our nation’s homes do not have the necessary firm foundation for their future.  To change this situation will require Government-led clear strategic direction, commitment, creativity and courage.  We need people to step up for Residential Child Care.”
He believes “Alarm bells must start ringing. It has to be of major concern that this vital sector is experiencing demoralisation and fears irrevocable damage through its further diminution and contraction, even collapse, as providers disappear.  We are very far away from the one common shared future for Residential Child Care that is needed, to ensure the continuation of the specialism, safety and choice our young people need.”
The report sees children’s homes as necessary and needed, highly regulated, with a workforce of experienced, knowledgeable and committed professionals offering versatility, diversity and flexibility, in the very complex and difficult task of meeting the needs of the most vulnerable and challenging group of young people in the UK.
Providers report fees from local authorities being driven down to unsustainable levels, regardless of the quality of the provision and call for an end to what they call local authorities ‘in-house-ism’, where their own resources are used first often leading to increased moves for a young person.  The report makes the call for new thinking, collaborative work between local authorities and providers to get the ‘right child in the right place – first time!’  The providers see costs frequently being prioritised over care considerations.  They also see that standardised benchmarking for needs/behaviours across all local authorities will assist in giving an accurate indication of the needs of the young person.
The providers seek a new partnership with Ofsted away from what is reported as a ‘toxic environment,’ arising from experiences of individual inspector interpretation and adversarial and attritional inspection.  One result given in the report is of providers acting to maintain good or outstanding ratings, by reducing the level of needs they previously admitted, resulting in some young people not having access to the services they need.  The report calls for inspections directed to improvement.
The providers call for an ambitious review of qualifications, radically changing the current requirements and delivery, and look to something similar to the professional teacher’s qualification.
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Goodbye, Mr Gove

It is a relief of sorts that Michael Gove has become the former Secretary for Education. Mr. Gove may have talents in a number of  fields but surely most with a thoughtful approach to how children might be reared and educated would not see his talents as lying in the field of children’s growth and learning. The post of government Chief Whip seems more suited to him.  Mr Gove has presided over many cuts to children’s services and driven through such reactionary changes to the education system as the free schools and the academy programmes. It is evident these last two have tended to be anything but free and are there only to support the needs of special interest groups, to provide fat profits for private companies and to serve those who have a vested interest in maintaining privilege and wealth for the powerful few.
Freedom has not been served by Mr. Gove’s  support for “conned by rote” learning, a method free of imagination and creativity which serves  to dull the mind and rear more zombies for an economic system which pays them just enough to keep quiet about the gravitation of undue wealth towards less than 10% of the world population while an increasing number live in abject poverty in an environment which is all too often “free” of education.
Perhaps, in relation to education in England, as we say “Goodbye,Mr. Gove,” we should not forget, that though he may have been one of the most divisive and destructive of education ministers, the seeds of what he allowed to grow were planted by the previous Labour government. It is to be hoped that with Mr.Gove’s departure  those in all political parties with a responsibility for the education and nurture of our children will now heed more considered, better informed counsel and that soon all our children services will truly meet the needs of each child, encourage imagination and creativity rather than serve the threats of a selfish discredited economic system.

CELCIS 2014 conference: “We are Family”

The Centre for Excellence for looked after children in Scotland has written to us to say that Early Bird booking for the CELCIS 2014: We are family is available until 30the June, and there is still have time to book at the discounted rate, with a saving of over 10%.
The conference aims to explore the question ‘how can we ensure looked after children and care leavers feel part of a nurturing family?’. It will consider the reality of what ‘family’ means to looked after children and care leavers; including birth families, adoptive families, foster / kinship / residential families and wider corporate families.
It will also explore what it means to be a corporate parent in Scotland from 2015 and will examine the practical implications of the Getting It Right for Every Child agenda, the new Children and Young People (Scotland) Act and the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act.
Keynote speakers are Dr Tony Bates, Founding Director of the National Centre for Youth Mental Health in Ireland and Frank Cottrell Boyce, screenwriter and novelist. Parallel sessions include contributions from Aberdeen City Council, St Roch’s Secondary School in Glasgow, and Foster Care Associates. Scotland.
The conference takes places on Wednesday, 8th October, 2014 at the Perth Concert Hall.
Cost: Early bird rate for three or more delegates £100, early bird single delegate £120.

For further information visit the CELCIS website.

Another View on the Intentions of Scotland’s 16 and 17 years old voters

 

More High School Wins For Yes

Yes Scotland continued to notch up more high school debate wins, with a trio of successes, including victories in Scotland’s biggest cities.

A debate at St Mungo’s Academy in Glasgow  saw the Yes side win 59% of the vote, with No on 23% and 18% undecided.

Michael Gray, an activist from the city emphasised Scotland’s firm financial foundations at the Bridgeton school, including how we’re the 14th wealthiest country, ahead of the UK, France and Japan.

Alison Johnstone MSP and Kenny MacAskill MSP led Yes Scotland to overturn a pre-poll shortfall of 17 points into a 56% victory.

Ms Johnstone told her audience that an independent Scotland could create a written constitution, enshrining many of the country’s values and fundamental policies.

Alison Johnstone, Lothian’s Green MSP said: ‘I was delighted to speak at Gracemount High. The pupils had clearly done their preparation so it was a lively and engaged debate, just as it should be.

“The speakers for No kept repeating that we don’t have to change the UK’s constitution to see progress, but I argued that one of the big opportunities from independence for young people was to enshrine values like free education in a modern, written constitution. More and more young people are realising that they can be part of a generation that votes Yes to take control of Scotland’s future.”

This morning, Gavin Lundy, a member of Generation Yes, defeated local MSP Margaret McDougall at Garnock Academy in North Ayrshire.

Gavin increased the Yes vote by 24% to see the pro-independence side win the post-debate poll by 54% for Yes and 46% for No.

Sarah-Jane Walls, Yes Scotland’s Operations Manager said: “David Cameron blundered by saying that Yes hasn’t won a single school debate, which simply isn’t true. These comprehensive victories add to the steady flow of young moving over to Yes.

“Many of Scotland’s young people are realising that we can continue with free higher education and secure the powers needed to grow the economy and create more jobs with a Yes vote.”

 

Source http://www.yesscotland.net/news/more-high-school-debate-wins-yes

Limbus Critical Psychotherapy Conference

 

Challenging The Cognitive Behavioural Therapies : The Overselling of CBT’s Evidence Bases

 

 

November  1st and 2nd, 2014

 

Untitled

Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon, England

Programme

Jonathan Shedler – Where is the Evidence Based Therapy?

Hannah Sitter Randen – The Story of CBT  in Sweden: Its Rise and Fall

Del Loewenthal – NICE work if you can get it: Evidence and Research as Cultural, Politically Influenced Practices

Oliver James – Happiness, CBT and Apple Pie

Farhad Dalal – Statistical Spin, Linguistic Obfuscation: the Art of Overselling

Sarah Wollaston (MP  for Totnes) – Chair of Panel Discussion

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Register now for £115; full fee after June 30th, £130

at  www.limbus.org.uk/cbt

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