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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Children`s conversations are to be reported to Named Persons

"TAXI drivers have been ordered to spy on child passengers and report conversations to their `state guardian`."

"The chilling move, part of the SNP`s controversial `named person` plan, was last night branded a `Stasi-like` interference into family life."

"The Scottish Daily Mail can reveal the instruction has gone out to more than 600 cabbies in the Scottish Borders, who have a contract to drive youngsters to school. The local authority will introduce state guardians in 2016, with other councils set to follow suit."

"Last night, a Scottish Government spokesman claimed that `proportionate, sensitive sharing of information is necessary, but critics reacted with horror and said it will terrify parents."

The National has covered this topic too:
Effectively taxi drivers with contracts for transporting children will be expected to alert the authorities if they hear children talk about abuse or anything else worrying.
The Scottish Daily Mail is more specific: information obtained from conversations with children should be passed to `state guardians`. But these are the recipients of wellbeing concerns, otherwise child protection is the relevant agency to contact about welfare.

How are taxi drivers meant to make these fine distinctions? Should they be expected to be able to determine proportionate, sensitive sharing of information about wellbeing? And what about a child`s right to have a private conversation, or does that not exist any more in this Brave New World?

Recall the decision of the judges in the Court of Session:
Refusing the appeal based upon the Article 8 right to respect for a private and family life, the judges observed that all that the legislation does, and is intended to do, is "…to provide for every child and his or her family a suitably qualified professional who can, if necessary, act as a single point of contact between the child and any public service from which the child could benefit".
http://www.scottishlegal.com/2015/09/03/human-rights-challenge-against-named-person-legislation-refused-by-appeal-judges/
Potentially, the Named Person - that single point of contact - has informants everywhere and this is encouraged by the legislation. It does not say much for the learned judges that they missed that. But they were very confused about the distinction between welfare and wellbeing.
Within the context of the GIRFEC approach, everyone who has contact with children, or adults who care for children, should have regard to their wellbeing and may need to raise a wellbeing concern with the Named Person.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Psychometric questionnaires to assist teachers

Expect more of this to be rolled out along with `digital learning`.

"Some schools are using personality tests to target pupils who struggle to learn by traditional `written` methods of teaching."

"But psychology experts say such tests don’t provide `meaningful or useful information`."

"Education consulting firm, Bright Field, use an online psychometric questionnaire, developed by Insights Learning and Development Ltd, that determines what `energy` group a student belongs to, and encourages teachers to alter their pedagogical approach to better engage with them."

"The approach is said to help pupils who `prize social interaction` and thrive in creative activities."

"But Nick Rose, leading practitioner for psychology and research at Haileybury Turnford Academy in Hertfordshire, said personality tests provided `no greater insight about the individual than astrology … they don’t actually give you anything meaningful or useful.`"

"Education consultant and former teacher David Didau, who has challenged educational fads in his latest book, What If Everything You Knew About Education Was Wrong?, also said this type of learning was `not a good idea`."

"The model used by Bright Field costs between £30 to £40 per student about £1,000 for a typical class..."

Mr Didau said: `If you are an introvert you probably don’t want to be doing any group work, but do you really need to pay £40 to find that out about a child?`"

http://schoolsweek.co.uk/how-the-sun-keeps-shining-in-southend/?utm_content=buffere25dc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

The early interventionists have had a nice time


Merry Christmas & best wishes from the Education ministers!
Posted by Aileen Campbell for Clydesdale on Thursday, December 24, 2015
 


The Scottish Government has announced that £12 million is being provided to charities that support children, families and adult learning.

The way adult learning is lumped together with support to children and families it appears that parenting classes are high on the agenda.

Look at this mouthful:

"The Children, Young People & Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund was co-produced with voluntary sector representatives who gave advice to the Scottish Government on streamlining the existing funding arrangements."

Yes, I bet they did.

Among the recipients are the usual GIRFEC supporting charities and many adoption and fostering agencies. When it is considered that Barnardos and other large children`s charities are also involved in adoption and fostering, the adoption industry has done very well.

None of this inspires confidence in the future of early intervention.

http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/-12-million-for-families-and-communities-20a8.aspx

Cross-party agreement in Westminster for early intervention


If this is not an admission that the care system is hard on children, I don`t know what is.

Mr Wanless, head of the NSPCC, thinks early intervention is part of the answer but bases his theory on debunked brain science. It does not matter how many times this theory is knocked down it keeps resurfacing.
"The 1001 Critical Days Manifesto takes its title from the period of conception to age 2 when a baby's brain is developing fastest and he or she is most susceptible to forming strong bonds of attachment with a primary carer. This period has a lasting impact and certainly sets a child up for the best start to life, in school and into adulthood."
"Following its relaunch in Parliament, a record number of MPs from all sides of the House have put their names in support of adopting it as Government policy across a number of health-led departments."
https://www.nspcc.org.uk/fighting-for-childhood/news-opinion/1001-critical-days-manifesto-to-help-prevent-child-abuse/

Dr Jan Macvarish in Spiked: 
"As the MPs spoke of the need for ‘secure attachments’ between parents and children, it was hard not to think that the real attachment anxiety emanates from the funding-hungry third sector, desperate to suck on the teat of the state. And when the manifesto claims that a child’s life from birth to the age of two represents a ‘critical window of opportunity’ when parents are ‘especially receptive to offers of advice and support’, it seems that this is a window through which numerous social entrepreneurs, self-styled as parenting experts, would love to get paid by the taxpayer..."
"What has been called the First Three Years Movement in the US is a campaign designed from the outset to challenge what was called the ‘family bubble’ the idea that the early years of a child’s life are primarily the business of parents. Using ‘brain claims’ as ‘killer facts’ to make their case, the latest advocates of early intervention seek to avoid a political or moral argument about the rights of families and the limits of the state."
http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-state-is-bad-for-your-baby/17743#.VoNcZMvnnIU 

 See also The myth of the first three years revisited

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Scotland`s wellbeing will be the envy of the world

 
This rubbish was published on 25 July 2014 but it`s the holiday season and like the BBC we`re allowed repeats, and repeats of the repeats. (Sky anyone?)

Sir Harry Burns who was the Chief Medical Officer in Scotland is in big TEDx mode but does require a screen in front of him as a prompt. Never mind, he only has a few minutes and could probably write a book about it, and will.

He pontificates about how meaning and purpose can contribute to wellbeing and how it impacts on the most disadvantaged members of our community....

His well planned final statement is:

"What we need in this world is a compassion that stands in awe of the burdens that the poor have to carry rather than stands in judgement in the way they carry them."

For which he gets the usual big TEDx applause.

COMPETITION

Listen to Sir Harry. I have picked out one flaw in his argument which I will tell you about later. How many can you find, and what are they?

Ten  conspiracy points for the best answer.

Massive gas leak in California

(Truthstream Media)


This would be amusing if it wasn`t so serious:

(RT. 24 December 2015)

"A court ordered SoCal Gas Company to provide temporary housing for thousands of Porter Ranch, Los Angeles, residents made sick from fumes from a massive gas leak. An infrared camera captured the size of the gas plume that's been leaking for two months."

"The court order issued on Wednesday will come as a relief to more than 2,500 families in Porter Ranch, a northwest San Fernando Valley community, who have been waiting to be relocated by SoCal Gas since the leak began spewing methane into their homes and schools on October 23."

https://www.rt.com/usa/326942-massive-methane-leak-relocation-california/

Intensive parenting + 1


"Kate McGill, 30, was stunned when an official advised her that Mya, five, needed adult supervision."

"The little girl had been playing outside their semi in a quiet cul-de-sac with big brother Calvin, ten, as single mum Kate watched through a front-facing window."

"But after a report from a resident who Kate labelled "a busybody with nothing better to do" a social worker called at their home in Devizes, Wilts."
"Kate insisted: `I believe that children should be outside getting exercise in the fresh air. which I thought the Government was trying to encourage.`"

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/6787943/Social-services-called-over-child-playing-in-garden.html?CMP=spklr-_-Editorial-_-FBPAGE-_-TheSun-thesun-_-20151207-_-News-_-297626398-_-Imageandlink

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Scottish vision

Part of the vision for Scotland is that "children grow up treating dying as an inevitable part of ordinary life."
http://www.gov.scot/resource/doc/924/0105610.pdf
Yes, that is why schools are being encouraged to introduce death, dying and bereavement in the classroom.
The Strategic Framework for Action on Palliative and End of Life Care is Scotland’s direct response to the resolution passed in 2014 by the World Health Assembly the governing body of the World Health Organisation, requiring all governments to recognise palliative care and to make provision for it in their national health policies.
The World Health Organisation is behind the policy. Who would have guessed? 
Launched by Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport Shona Robison MSP on December 18, 2015, it builds on many actions and policies already in place and sets out the goals, challenges and direction for future improvement...
The Framework will also work to drive a new culture of openness about death, dying and improvement:
http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Health/Quality-Improvement-Performance/peolc/SFA
Openness about death, dying and improvement. That is a strange combination.
Providing a framework that is not overly prescriptive will enable everyone to identify the actions needed to deliver changes and improvements. These will contribute collectively to change by ensuring that everyone in Scotland – infant, child, young person or adult - no matter where they live and no matter what clinical condition(s) they have will receive care from a health and social care system that recognises when time is becoming shorter, and involves people who matter to them in the dialogue.
Notice what change and improvement actually means: to recognise when time is becoming shorter. It is a `becoming` that takes time. How much time ?

That takes us to predicting death which Professor Pullicino has said is not an exact science. We are back to the horrors of the LCP and all the other death pathways.

But worse. Each child in Scotland will have their Named Person. When time for the child is recognised as becoming shorter, will the Named Person sit with the family and be involved in the dialogue ?

That`s got to be the last straw.
 

Children are not permitted more than one day to grieve

Lessons in death, dying and bereavement, and now this. When are schools going to be allowed to stop ruling with an iron fist and cut out the phoney psychotherapy classes?

An Open letter to Nick Gibb

Dear Nick

"You spoke on Radio 4's Today programme, and said children are not permitted to take more than one day off school if a family member dies. I think we were not the only people who sat open mouthed as these words came from your mouth."

"The rules say you can't take leave from school during term time except in exceptional circumstances."

"If it's something like a funeral or something, then the head teacher would be able to give permission to attend the funeral, but not to have an extended holiday on the back of that funeral or other compassionate circumstances."

"I can only presume you have never seen a child in grief to make such remarks, and that makes you a very blessed person."

Read more http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/zoe-clarkcoates/nick-gibb-children-grief_b_8780860.html

The final solution



Thinking about death and loss in advance of it happening is an early intervention approach.  Where is the evidence that this benefits children ? There is none, but that matters little to enthusiasts.
"Children see the world very differently to adults; their imaginations are still unprejudiced. Why not tap into this through education? "
"‘To die will be an awfully big adventure.’ J.M. BARRIE, Peter Pan "
"Dying Matters, together with the National Council for Palliative Care, believes all secondary school pupils in England should be taught about issues relating to death and dying as part of the national curriculum."

http://www.edubuzz.org/observe/2012/05/14/dying-matters-awareness-week-14-20-may-2012/

Actually lessons in death, dying and bereavement are going on in some primary schools throughout the UK, with distressing results for young children.

In 2009, the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) set up the Dying Matters Coalition to promote public awareness of dying, death and bereavement which is now going into schools.

The National Council for Palliative Care - care of the dying - has a worrying link to the scandalous Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) because it used to promote the practice. The LCP euthanased thousands of vulnerable people in NHS hospitals.


As campaigners will tell you:

"At its demise, the LCP was on version 12. The critics were used to a familiar pattern by now. Every time the papers caught on to concerns that the LCP was being used to hasten death in unnecessary and inhumane ways, a new version would be released, and for a while criticism would die down under the banner: "

"Everything’s OK now, there’s a new version, and it’s fixed everything."

"And then the criticism would come back..."
"So when it was announced on the 13th of July, 2013 that the LCP would be phased out over the following six to twelve month, it marked a small victory, but not an overwhelmingly optimistic one."

"(It`s) hard to be optimistic without real proof things were going to change, not after 12 versions of the same nightmare."

"These are the key issues: "

"The culture of the NHS needed to be changed. It could no longer be normal to mistakenly put people who are not dying, or who (have) time left, on a pathway that would see them (to) a certain death within days. It could no longer be normal to not seek informed consent before making life or death decisions on behalf of a patient."

"The accountability needed to change. No one at this time has ever been arrested for misuse of the LCP. The law protects the doctors and nurses, not the patients."

"And finally the linchpin: food and water should never be withdrawn completely from patients. Food and water should be given with the comfort of the patient in mind, and should never be used to end life. It is a painful and inhumane death."
http://noliverpoolcarepathway.com/is-it-over/

The National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) has welcomed the latest NICE guidelines on end of life care. These guidelines are reminiscent of the LCP and the practice has been extended into homes and care homes.
"But Professor Pullicino claims the new proposals mimic many of the LCP`s key problems, including how hospital staff decide who is actually dying...."
"A professor of clinical neuroscience at the University of Kent, Professor Pullicino had a patient survive 14 months after being taken off the LCP. He recommends a return to `ordinary compassionate care`. "
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3183396/New-end-life-care-rules-worse-death-pathway.html
I would not want the NCPC, its partner organisation Dying Matters and their cult of death to tap into any child`s imagination.  

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Trusting relationships

According to a recent OECD report which reviewed Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), the Scottish system has the potential to be among those leading the world. Yes, that again !

And they say: "Trust towards teachers and the formative emphasis, with diverse methods to collect information, are very positive aspects of the system."

They think so ?

I believe `trust towards teachers` will decline as soon as the Named Person legislation rolls in; and why shouldn`t it ? That always happens when state officials become part of a surveillance system but it is a topic that the OECD does not address.

Then consider this from the Daily Record which goes to show that there are some pretty dodgy characters within the surveillance team itself:

"A TEACHER is under investigation by police and council chiefs after making a torrent of bigoted posts glorifying the IRA on Twitter."

"Anne-Marie Clements, 24, is supposed to be a role model for her Primary 7b pupils but made a series of hate-filled messages on social media."

"The tweets, which praise the Provisional IRA and refer to "Orange b********, stunned parents at the school where she works,...St Mark`s Primary in Barrhead, near Glasgow...."

"Council chiefs are investigating and police are also probing the posts."

"Last night, a spokeswoman for East Renfrewshire Council refused to say if Clements had been suspended."

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/provo-princess-teacher-who-glorifies-7053966

Now what? A PREVENT strategy for teachers, perhaps. Where would the madness end?

How many families will be homeless at Christmas ?

"Between July and September of this year almost 70,000 families were housed in temporary accommodation including hostels and hotels. In the same three-month period, councils throughout the UK accepted some 15,000 new applications for “statutory homeless,” according to figures released by the Department of Communities and Local Government."

https://www.rt.com/uk/326795-homelessness-austerity-housing-corbyn/



Tent cities

"We aren't going to have anywhere to go," said JoJo Valdez, 40, who said she had been among those sobbing as police cleared the camp. See what it's like being homeless in one of America's tent cities. Find out more: http://reut.rs/1RtIwbw Posted by Reuters on Friday, December 18, 2015."


"We aren't going to have anywhere to go," said JoJo Valdez, 40, who said she had been among those sobbing as police cleared the camp. See what it's like being homeless in one of America's tent cities. Find out more: http://reut.rs/1RtIwbw
Posted by Reuters on Friday, December 18, 2015

Monday, 21 December 2015

The BBC revelation moment that fizzled out

For those who are not up to speed with the Madeleine McCann case, the three year old girl who went missing in Portugal, a BBC Crimewatch programme in 2013 - sticking to the abduction theory - blew the McCann story wide apart. The original abduction theory had rested on Jane Tanner`s testimony that she had seen the `abductor` crossing the road in front of her.

No she hadn`t - because the innocent father carrying his child from the creche at that particular time and in that particular place had been traced and his testimony had been corroborated.

In the programme Kate and Gerry McCann can be seen in the Crimewatch studio like two frozen rabbits caught in the headlights.

Why?  Since their friend Jane Tanner had not seen the abductor, the whole story that the McCann`s and the Tapas seven had built around this evidence had fallen to pieces.





When I watched the BBC programme and their dramatisation of Gerry visiting his children in the apartment, I noticed that the door was hinged on the wrong side of the door frame and therefore opened in the wrong direction. (I mean, why would you design a door to swing only 90 degrees to hit the wall) I was not the only person who noticed that, and it does not tally with the evidence from the Portuguese police.

You see, the direction in which the door swings determines what the witness can see and is absolutely crucial in determining the validity of witness testimony. No small matter.

Did the BBC just make a simple mistake? You bet they didn`t.

Whatever the BBC and Redwood were up to - and the UK taxpayers have had to pay for - it has had nothing to do with solving a crime.

All of this is in preparation to my introduction to the recent post from Blackwood which is excellent, and begins:
Impossible Consistency
Those who so unwisely put their names to the written statement of events provided to the Portuguese police committed themselves without reservation to the existence of a single abductor seen fleeing with a child in his arms.
http://blacksmithbureau.blogspot.co.uk/

I would say that the Government is committed  to the view that these parents are innocent, no matter what the evidence shows.

And I ask why ?

Santa rescued from monument


"A man dressed as Santa has been removed from the top of Glasgow's famous Wellington statue."

"A crowd gathered to watch as workers using a cherry-picker removed the apparently inebriated man from the top of the monument."

"The Duke of Wellington statue is famous for the prized traffic cone on the top of the city centre monument."

"The incident comes almost a year to the day since a man was fined for an almost identical stunt."

"He was believed to be a father campaigning for access to his child."

http://news.stv.tv/west-central/1336796-man-dressed-as-santa-removed-from-the-top-of-famous-glasgow-statue/

Sunday, 20 December 2015

GIRFEC delusions

When your sparkle evades your soul
I`ll be at your side to console
When you`re standing on the window ledge
I`ll talk you back, back from the edge
I will turn, I will turn your tide
Be your Sheppard and your guide
When you`re lost in the deep and darkest place around
May my words walk you safe and sound

When you say I`m no good and you feel like walking
I need to make sure you know that`s just the prescription talking
When your feet decide to walk you on the wayward side
I will turn, I will turn your tide
Do all that I can to heal you inside
I will be the angel on your shoulder
My name is Geraldine, I`m your social worker"

https://talkingsocialservices.wordpress.com/

Which of these risk factors apply ?

No recognition of the problems

Has a different perception of the problems

No or limited/tokenistic capacity for change

No or limited awareness of impact of own behaviour

Lacks understanding of what is expected of them
 
http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2012/11/7143/9


 

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Proposal to register home educators

"The Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, has asked officials to review home schooling amid fears that thousands of children are having their minds `filled with poison` by radicalised parents."

"Between 20,000 and 50,000 children are thought to be educated at home - but the Government has no idea of the exact number because parents are under no obligation to inform their local council."

Ms Morgan has already announced a crackdown on unregistered schools and `weekend madrassas` after some were found to be promoting extremist ideology. But senior government sources have revealed that home schooling is now `on the radar`."

"Under proposals being considered in Whitehall, parents and teachers will be given a specific point of contact at local councils in order to raise concerns about a child.  Officials will also try to discover how many children are being taught at home, beyond the reach of inspectors..."

"The new Conservative chairman of the Education Select Committee, Neil Carmichael, has endorsed proposals for more safeguards for children educated at home. He told the Tory party conference in October: `I find it absolutely amazing people who are home educated are not registered as being home educated.  It`s an absolute scandal that should not be allowed.`"

I like what Fiona Nicholson of the Home Education Consultancy had to say:
"`You can disagree with lots of ways parents bring up their children but until a crime has been committed, or there is a substantial child-protection issue, I don`t think it`s anybody`s business. It`s more than a slippery slope, it`s off a precipice really.`"
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/nicky-morgan-orders-review-on-home-schooling-amid-fears-children-having-minds-poisoned-by-a6779886.html
Sad and shameful, that all families in Scotland have already been thrown off the precipice.

As far as extremist ideology is concerned, who knows what that means?  Recall that potential radicalisation also includes domestic extremism and examples include:

"Animal rights, environmentalism, far right politics, far left politics or emerging trends i.e any activity that unduly and illegally influences or threatens the economic and community cohesion of the country."  See Channel Duty Guidance

With a definition as wide as that, who`s going to be off the radar?

Lord Jenner passes away peacefully at home

 
"Lord Janner, the former Labour peer ruled unfit to stand trial over child sexual abuse allegations, has died."

"He had been suffering from dementia and died peacefully at his home on Saturday aged 87, his family said."

"The peer had been accused of 22 counts of sex offences against boys allegations his family denied."

"A `trial of the facts` set for April will no longer take place. A lawyer representing alleged victims said they had been denied justice."

"Liz Dux, who represents six alleged victims, said: `This is devastating news for my clients. They have waited so long to see this case come before the courts, to be denied justice at the final hurdle is deeply frustrating.`"

"The Goddard inquiry, which is examining child sexual abuse claims, may now examine the allegations, the BBC’s Tom Symonds said."

"It had set aside the case while it was being dealt with in the courts."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35142675

Carrie Ruxton of Food Standards Scotland found no relationship between sugary drinks and obesity

"Coca-Cola has spent £8.9 million over the past five years funding top British scientists carrying out research on healthy-eating. "

"An investigation by the Times found the soft drinks giant has funded or given "professional fees" to several prominent scientists and researchers, some of whom have cast doubt on the widely acknowledged link between sugary drinks and obesity."

"As part of this, some 27 British scientists received £350,000 (US$520,000) from the multinational corporation."

"Coca-Cola disclosed data on its website on Friday morning showing that eight scientists who advise the government on healthy eating also received fees or travel expenses from the company. Not all of the researchers denied sugary drinks are linked to obesity..."

"Carrie Ruxton, who is now on the board of Food Standards Scotland, co-wrote a study sponsored by industry group the UK Sugar Bureau in 2010 which found no proven association between sugar intake and obesity."

"She states separately on her website: "When I correlated sugar consumption with obesity levels, there didn’t appear to be any relationship."

https://www.rt.com/uk/326441-coca-cola-obesity-research/

Friday, 18 December 2015

Play and child development

Should formal schooling be delayed?  David Whitebread from the Faculty of Education thinks so:

"In England children now start formal schooling, and the formal teaching of literacy and numeracy at the age of four. A recent letter signed by around 130 early childhood education experts, including myself, published in the Daily Telegraph (11 Sept 2013) advocated an extension of informal, play-based pre-school provision and a delay to the start of formal ‘schooling’ in England from the current effective start until the age of seven (in line with a number of other European countries who currently have higher levels of academic achievement and child well-being)."

"This is a brief review of the relevant research evidence which overwhelmingly supports a later start to formal education. This evidence relates to the contribution of playful experiences to children’s development as learners, and the consequences of starting formal learning at the age of four to five years of age."

"There are several strands of evidence which all point towards the importance of play in young children’s development, and the value of an extended period of playful learning before the start of formal schooling. These arise from anthropological, psychological, neuroscientific and educational studies. Anthropological studies of children’s play in extant hunter-gatherer societies, and evolutionary psychology studies of play in the young of other mammalian species, have identified play as an adaptation which evolved in early human social groups. It enabled humans to become powerful learners and problem-solvers. Neuroscientific studies have shown that playful activity leads to synaptic growth, particularly in the frontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for all the uniquely human higher mental functions."

- See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/discussion/school-starting-age-the-evidence#sthash.OS12bdtl.dpuf

Canada acknowledges abuse

"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has officially recognized Canada’s historical abuses toward aboriginals, and he is now calling on the pope to apologize too. Posted by AJ+ on Thursday, December 17, 2015."

Canada Acknowledges Abuse to First Nations
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has officially recognized Canada’s historical abuses toward aboriginals, and he is now calling on the pope to apologize too.
Posted by AJ+ on Thursday, December 17, 2015

Government ignores food poverty

"Food poverty in the UK represents a crisis of vast and devastating proportions but it goes untackled because the government is ignoring the problem."

"There are currently no measures for adequately gauging the extent of hunger in the country because Tory ministers do not want to acknowledge it, claimed campaigners at a major meeting on food poverty held in Glasgow."

"Hosted by the Poverty Alliance, the conference featured testimonies from academics and activists, including those who have suffered the real effects of hunger."

"It heard that despite civil servants suggesting a way to establish a much more accurate picture of food poverty as defined by a specific set of criteria, government ministers have refused to agree to the work."

"An accurate picture of food poverty would include not just physiological signs, but the nutritional value of food consumed, the amount eaten (whether, for example, people skip meals or don’t fill themselves up to save food), and anxiety caused by worrying where meals will come from."

Read more at http://thirdforcenews.org.uk/tfn-news/food-poverty-scandal-a-hidden-scourge-the-tories-want-to-ignore#7xVPgPomsx3i6PZu.99



Shrinking the welfare state and shifting services to not-for-profits and the voluntary sector is also an abnegation of responsibility.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Message Exchange Hub: a bridge for GIRFEC related messages

From the Scottish Government`s Top ten named person facts:

No. 4 - A Named Person will not directly access personal information.

FALSE

---------------------
 
"A secure messaging system developed to support GIRFEC ‘named person’ communication is being developed and piloted by the Improvement Service (IS)."

"The Message Exchange Hub (MXH) will act as a bridge between national systems, such as SEEMiS and NHS systems, and local ones to allow partner organisations to transfer GIRFEC-related messages securely and automatically."

"The introduction of new duties under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act in 2016 is expected to lead to a significant increase in the volume and complexity of GIRFEC-related messages. This will make any manual support processes increasingly difficult to define, agree and manage."

"Education is a major participant in the delivery of the new duties, providing a named person for every child when they start school. With SEEMiS already providing education management systems to all 32 Scottish local authorities, it has been given the task of delivering a solution to support named person communication across local authorities."

"SEEMiS approached the IS myaccount team because of its position as an existing Scottish-Government-sponsored national service provider. A technical prototype for the new Message Exchange Hub (MXH) is now under development. The prototype MXH takes messages from source partner organisations and uses routing and indexing data to ensure secure delivery to a destination partner organisation."

"A range of partners including Scottish Government, Police Scotland, Health Board representatives, SEEMiS, National Records of Scotland and the Information Sharing Board, are working with the Improvement Service to provide input to the technical prototype’s development. It is hoped that the learning from the prototype will be used to inform a permanent solution."

http://www.improvementservice.org.uk/girfec-secure-messaging-prototype-calls-upon-myaccount-expertise.html

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Indoctrinating children in schools

"There was a standing ovation as 195 countries adopted a historic deal to keep global warming "well below" 2C and "signal the end of fossil fuels"
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/paris-climate-change-conference/12047133/Final-text-of-climate-deal-to-be-released-imminently.html
Great. So they would push us back into the Little Ice Age, perhaps?

Only they won`t - forget the pollution of war - and their carbon expensive trips around Paris  - they would frack the world to bits while they preach to our children about climate change.
 

If anybody doubts that a global elite have designs on the world`s children, they only need to look at the indoctrination programme - in the name of science -  that is going on in schools concerning climate and sustainable development.

For instance, in Australia:

"Wow. Just wow. Tony Thomas has uncovered the material the AAS  (Australian Academy of Science) provides to thousands of Australian teachers and students under the guise of science education resources."

"As far as climate science goes, they might as well have hired Greenpeace. Mining is a questionable activity, Bob Brown is a hero, students should be lobbyists, and climate activists are champions. Forget the calculator, just whip out the placards. Science is not about evidence or thinking, but about following "reputable web sites" (which is code for "give me your brain and I’ll tell you what to think"). Coal is not so much a combustible mineral, as the number one "climate killer". Not quite the dispassionate, logical path we used to think an Academy of Science might pursue."

"Ask students if they have ever taken action or advocated for a cause." AAS advice to teachers.

Or how about this:

"Lesson outcomes: At the end of this activity students will … appreciate the need to lobby at all levels of government to ignite and lead change even if it is unpopular with the voters."

http://joannenova.com.au/2015/12/australian-academy-of-science-trains-school-children-to-be-lobbyists-and-teachers-dont-mind/#comment-1771146

 
My hypothesis - and it is only a hypothesis ready to be knocked down, - is that the main driver for climate change is the Earth`s position in relation to the Sun, and the Sun`s variable activity. (Think sun spots)  I could be totally wrong, but I do think that there should be a scientific discourse about that, instead of song singing and lobbying without evidence, which is hardly the way to do science.

However, here is what Eco-schools have to say:

Eco-schools "The programme’s greatest achievement is arguably the fact that it produces generation after generation of sustainably minded, environmentally conscious people. These individuals will carry the behavioural patterns they uptake under the auspices of Eco-Schools with them through life, in turn teaching the next generation the habits to make a difference."

http://www.ecoschools.global/

In other words they would rather work on people than engage with climate science.

If you think this is not going on in Scotland, think again:
"Young Reporters Scotland (YRS) aims to empower young people to take action towards an economically, socially and environmentally just world. Taking part in YRS," they say, " is an exciting opportunity for young people to build life-changing skills and to be part of an international group of young people creatively raising awareness of sustainability issues within their communities."
http://alicemooreuk.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/environmental-catastrophes.html

The Duplessis Orphans

"A special edition of In the Now: A story of an atrocity against children, a cover-up, and the sheer strength of survivors. One Canadian `Duplessis Orphan` shares what she had to go through in her childhood."


Towards a New World Order


Amongst other topics, the UK Column News goes into some detail about the threat to Freedom of Information.

Towards the end of the news, Brian Gerrish points to an article that went up on their website yesterday which he invites parents and grandparents to read and share: The former Children`s Commissioner in her own words by Martin Edwards.

Brian Gerrish says: "In her own words - this lady is giving more than a glimpse into what the government plans for children... We, the state, own your children. I believe it is up to nineteen."

Mike Robinson adds that that is not far away from the Named Person scheme.

Read the article HERE

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The Scottish experiment

Sir Harry Burns ,who was Chief Medical Officer for eight years, left the Scottish Government in 2014 to become Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Strathclyde. He is very enthusiastic about early intervention and prevention.
"Transforming the health and wellbeing of Scots is the single most important thing we can do and at the heart of that process is doing things for children, getting children off to the best possible start in life. The Bookbug programme is a critical part of it. Getting children to read and getting parents reading to children and sharing that experience will have a very significant impact on their future health and wellbeing."
Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health, Strathclyde University
http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/files/bookbug_awareness_session_for_health_staff_2015.pdf
According to this view, all Scotland`s woes and inequalities are due to their negligent parenting. No wonder he thinks all children in Scotland need a Named Person !

Here he is talking at the Raising Attainment For All conference.


RAfA LS 10 - Sir Harry Burns from Raising Attainment For All on Vimeo.

Sir Harry begins his talk by introducing the audience to Nina, his little granddaughter, who was filmed in a bookstore selecting a book. He says: "So Peppa`s just been joined by her little brother just two weeks old whom she calls George. That`s not his name but Peppa Pig`s little brother is George. So Peppa now knows that every little brother is called George. So what you`ve been doing has certainly worked in my family."

Has it ?  Sir Harry has just confused his granddaughter with Peppa Pig !

But having softened up the audience, he then explains that he has been doing a lot of international things with the World Health Organisation, World Bank and the United Nations who all favour early intervention and a life course approach. No doubt, they will be very interested in the social experiment going on in Scotland.

He goes on to say: "We`re on the verge in Scotland of having a very complex linked dataset that will allow us to detect, I hope, the pattern of social pressure in homes that might lead to significant adverse events. Are you ready for that ?"

"Are you beginning to think how you might respond to that ?"

"Because this is children`s lives we`re talking about; not just deaths of children in childhood but the way in which they live their lives thereafter. And beginning to plot it all; beginning to use intelligence to protect abuse and neglect we need to up our game in the course of the next year or two."


As he said at the beginning of his speech: "It`s become clear to me that the kind of insights that you`re gathering...the approaches that you`re developing - actually the rest of the world needs them."

The Rest of the World be warned.

Brain games


From Scientific American

"If you’ve spent more than about 5 minutes surfing the web, listening to the radio, or watching TV in the past few years, you will know that cognitive trainingbetter known as "brain training"is one of the hottest new trends in self improvement. Lumosity, which offers web-based tasks designed to improve cognitive abilities such as memory and attention, boasts 50 million subscribers and advertises on National Public Radio. Cogmed claims to be "a computer-based solution for attention problems caused by poor working memory," and BrainHQ will help you "make the most of your unique brain." The promise of all of these products, implied or explicit, is that brain training can make you smarterand make your life better."

"Yet, according to a statement released by the Stanford University Center on Longevity and the Berlin Max Planck Institute for Human Development, there is no solid scientific evidence to back up this promise. Signed by 70 of the world’s leading cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists, the statement minces no words:"

"The strong consensus of this group is that the scientific literature does not support claims that the use of software-based "brain games" alters neural functioning in ways that improve general cognitive performance in everyday life, or prevent cognitive slowing and brain disease."

"The bottom line is that there is no solid evidence that commercial brain games improve general cognitive abilities. But isn’t it better to go on brain training with the hope, if not the expectation, that scientists will someday discover that it has far-reaching benefits? The answer is no. Scientists have already identified activities that improve cognitive functioning, and time spent on brain training is time that you could spend on these other things. One is physical exercise. In a long series of studies, University of Illinois psychologist Arthur Kramer has convincingly demonstrated that aerobic exercise improves cognitive functioning. The other activity is simply learning new things. Fluid intelligence is hard to change, but "crystallized" intelligencea person’s knowledge and skillsis not. Learn how to play the piano or cook a new dish, and you have increased your crystallized intelligence. "

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/brain-training-doesn-t-make-you-smarter/

I am quite sceptical about the claims being made for digital learning and the article, which criticises the idea that digital games can improve cognitive function, is quite suggestive.

Of course, children need to learn digital skills, coding, and so on - but the Scottish Government is looking for more than that.
A well-defined strategy will help to make sure that digital technology is embedded in learning and teaching across the curriculum.
That is the problem: digital technology is to be embedded across the curriculum -  and despite what they say about problem solving and collaborative learning and all the rest of it, there is no evidence that doing this will improve learning in general. On the contrary, it could mean time wasted and the loss of traditional skills.

There is a public consultation about the Scottish Government`s digital strategy which closes 17 December 2015.


 
https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/learning-directorate/digital-learning

Monday, 14 December 2015

Peace and love

What happened ?


Hospitals fail to investigate deaths

The failure of the NHS to investigate the unexpected deaths of nearly 1,500 patients with mental health and learning disabilities was reported by the BBC. A leaked report blamed the culture of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and its leadership.

Although it is the case that some groups fare worse than others, such as the learning disabled and the elderly, failure to properly investigate deaths is widespread across NHS.


From the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (08 December 2015)

"Nearly three quarters of hospital investigations into complaints about avoidable harm and death claimed there were no failings in the care given, despite the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's investigations of the same incidents uncovering serious failings."

"The wide-ranging review of the quality of NHS investigations into complaints about avoidable harm or death by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, found that inadequate hospital investigations are leaving distraught patients and families without answers and delaying much-needed service improvements..."

"Cases highlighted in the report include:
The parents of a baby girl, who was left with permanent brain damage due to errors with a blood transfusion, had to wait three years to find out what happened to their child. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman found that the NHS's investigation was carried out by a close colleague of the paediatrician in charge the day the mistake happened.
In another case a young mother had her life cut short because of serious failings by a hospital trust to carry out tests to diagnose breast cancer and begin treatment. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's investigation found that the trust failed to fully investigate the case and did not acknowledge the extent of the failings or the impact on the patient."

http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/news-centre/press-releases/2015/devastated-families-left-without-answers-as-avoidable-death-and-harm-incidents-arent-being-investigated-properly-by-hospitals-across-england2

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Operation Notarise uncovers 100s of offenders

"A huge police investigation, led by the National Crime Agency, has led to the arrest of almost 700 child abuse image offenders, and the protection of 100s of children."

"Operation Notarise was set up 9 months ago to respond to the threat of online abuse and child sexual exploitation in the UK. Since its launch, the NCA and police forces have collaborated to uncover hundreds of offenders unknown to the police."

"Jon Brown, NSPCC lead on tackling sexual abuse, said: "

"This excellent police work has uncovered a dark underbelly of child abuse crime that, frighteningly, only reveals a part of the picture. The operation clearly shows the vast scale of the problem and the serious risk posed to children by offenders within all elements of society."

"The number of offenders identified in positions of trust health workers, teachers or in those in caring professions is deeply disturbing. And equally worrying is the fact that nearly all of those caught were not known to police."

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/fighting-for-childhood/news-opinion/huge-online-child-abuse-operation-catches-100s?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=tweet&utm_content=news_organic_tweet&utm_campaign=twitter_generic

Will Katrina Percy resign ?


Katrina Percy, Chief Executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust was celebrated as one of the most inspirational women in healthcare in the Health Service Journal...

"In November 2012 Katrina beat tough competition from other NHS leaders from across the country to win ‘Chief Executive of the Year’. "

http://www.southernhealth.nhs.uk/news/archive/2013/hsjwomen/

Recently Ms Percy`s climb to stardom has taken a downturn. There have been an avalanche of protests since the Mazars report was leaked to the BBC about the 1000 and more unexplained deaths in the care of Southern Health NHS Trust.

From ITV.com

Statement from Katrina Percy, Chief Executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust:

Does Ms Percy feel that, considering the comments of Jeremy Hunt - "The Government is profoundly shocked by the findings of the report which are totally unacceptable" - she should resign as Chief Executive?

Do other senior members of the Trust feel they should 'step down' over the comments by Mr Hunt of "a lack of leadership"?


"It is my job and that of the Board to continue to lead on the comprehensive programme of improvements which we have been making over the last 18 months. We owe it to the people we support to make these improvements and it is this that we are focussed on."


_Does Ms Percy and the Trust feel they have let down the most vulnerable members of our society?_

"We apologise to anybody who feels let down by any aspect of our service. The safety and welfare of the people we support is of utmost importance and we take seriously any part of service which has not met the high standards we expect. We have accepted that our processes have not always been as good as they need to be and are committed to improving them."


What does she say to the families of the 1,454 people who have died unexpectedly between April 2011 and March 2015?


"I say that we have already made significant improvements to the way we report and investigate unexpected deaths, and are working extremely hard to encourage other organisations to do the same. "

The full report - not the leaked one - will be released before Christmas...


http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2015-12-10/statement-from-chief-exec-of-southern-health-nhs-foundation-trust/


Some families are speaking out:

What a difference a day makes

David-Goliath-Katrina

GMP: genetically modified percy

Friday, 11 December 2015

Safe record keeping


Are you a parent due to watch your child become a shepherd, a king, Joseph, Mary or even a donkey - in a school nativity...
Posted by Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

 


"A recently published article in Community Care raises the issue of whether or not parents can record meetings with social workers, and serves as a good reminder to those who may not yet know the position. Whilst local authorities and social work professionals often try to discourage the practice, citing confidentiality, data protection and human rights principles, there is in fact nothing in law or policy preventing families from audio recording child protection meetings they attend. "

"A Freedom of Information request revealed that most councils do not have proper policies in place to deal with the practice of recording sessions, both overt, and covert. When we assist parents, our advice is always robust – by all means record the session. Whilst it is good practice to ask for the agreement of all involved in the first instance, if that agreement is not forthcoming, covert recording, (recording done without the other parties’ knowledge or consent) is a method of last resort."

"As CAFCASS guidance points out, social workers who remain professional and carry out their duties competently, have nothing to fear."

Read more http://researchingreform.net/2015/12/10/parents-can-record-child-protection-meetings/

It`s good to know that we can record important events in our lives.

I mean, what kind of society would we be living in, if only the official version of family events was allowed ?

This should apply to meetings with Named Persons as well.

Deaths were not properly investigated

"The NHS has failed to investigate the unexpected deaths of more than 1,000 people since 2011, according to a report obtained by BBC News."

"It blames a "failure of leadership" at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust."

"It says the deaths of mental health and learning-disability patients were not properly examined..."

"The trust covers Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, providing services to about 45,000 people..."

"The culture of Southern Health, which has been led by Katrina Percy since it was created in 2011, `results in lost learning, a lack of transparency when care problems occur, as well as lack of assurance to families that a death was not avoidable and has been properly investigated,` the report says."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35051845?SThisFB

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Child predator escapes jail sentence in Dundee


"A CHILD sex attacker whose horrific abuse caused one of his victims to try to kill herself has walked free from court after a sheriff opted not to jail him."

"Gibson Dunbar - nicknamed Creepy Gibby - was facing up to five years in jail after he was convicted of abusing Jodie Turnbull, who earlier waived her right to anonymity, and another girl in the mid-90s."

"Miss Turnbull, 28, said the `disgusting` abuse at the hands of the so-called family friend had led to her trying to take her own life as a teenager."

"The mum-of-four faced her abuser in court during a jury trial and said she had hoped Dunbar was handed the maximum sentence possible."

"She also urged anyone else targeted by him to come forward."

"Fiscal depute Vicki Bell told a jury at the trial that Dunbar was a `repulsive person who abused the trust of children.`"

Bell said: "Crime has no sell-by date in Scotland, a person can be prosecuted at any time if there is sufficient evidence."

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/crime/paedophile-dodges-jail-despite-being-6970547#ICID=sharebar_facebook