Saturday, January 24, 2009

NSPCC and government: hand in glove?

Our government's department for children, schools and families repeatedly suggests that home educating parents need to be checked, vetted and monitored to ensure we are not abusing our children. (This is despite the only case of home educating abuse being cited - Eunice Spry - being regularly monitored and assessed by her local authority for years, though apparently none of her professional visitors noticed the blatant abuse of her foster children.) The call for this latest attack on home educating freedom apparently originates from the NSPCC, specifically its Child Protection Policy Advisor, Mr Vijay "We.. the inf.. We don’t have the evidence there statistically, no," Patel, but the NSPCC is so dependent on government funding now that it's difficult (but not impossible!) to work out which one of them is actually coming up with the ideas.

And yet two years ago the same department ran another consultation to decide whether the paid childcarers of children over the age of eight should be Ofsted-checked and monitored. This particular decision has to be seen in the light of the recently announced abolition of Income Support, which means that single parents, including home educating ones, will soon be obliged to earn money to pay their rent and bills, using whatever childcare arrangements they can access. This means that there will be some cases in which home educating parents have no choice but to leave their children with childminders who, due to that decision, will not be vetted, checked or monitored.

So by this logic, parents are to be seen as potential abusers, but random unregistered paid childcarers of children over eight, are not! How can we parents be deemed fit to select a non-abusing childcarer, all by ourselves (or have one foisted on us by DWP at risk of losing our income) and yet not to be left alone with our own children?

We understand that it's just easier for the powers that be if we all, without exception, obediently send our children to school, go out to work and pay our taxes, thereby doing away with those pesky family bonds and so on, and that it's probably a bit of a pain that this has to be acheived by creeping increments in the form of 'consultations' in case too many of us notice what's really going on, but would it take too much effort to at least make the whole thing hang together with some kind of logic?

The NSPCC, incidentally, didn't like the plan to allow those childcarers to go unregistered. "All children must be afforded the same level of protection and safeguards, regardless of their age, the time they spend in childcare and by whom the childcare is provided," it said. (Does this, then, include children in schools? Apparently not, because we don't see any Full Stop campaigns about that, do we?)

[Many thanks to Elaine for pointing out the above incongruities to me. And if she can lay her hands on the relevant figures from the NSPCC accounts that we also discussed, I'll add those in as well.]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for all the work you're doing on this Gill, it's really appreciated.

8:06 am, January 24, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

Oh thanks Debs. It's very kind of you to say so!

8:15 am, January 24, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

PS - you now feature in my sidebar quotes!

8:20 am, January 24, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh blimey! *blushes* :)

8:26 am, January 24, 2009  
Blogger cosmic seed said...

I;'m not really here, but when I am can I add this to the *recent news* on FB group? Alternatively - i think you're admin? - you could do it :)

11:59 am, January 24, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

LOL, I probably could, but I wouldn't know where to put it! You do it ;-) When you're really here, of course ;-)

12:01 pm, January 24, 2009  
Blogger cosmic seed said...

LOL well ok, as I'm still not here when you replied so promptly ;-)

12:07 pm, January 24, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

LOL! You're very good at this 'not here' business! I'm impressed!

12:08 pm, January 24, 2009  
Blogger Elaine said...

This is the link to the NSPCC annual accounts I cannot copy grants etc over due to the formatting.
I will come back with more as I sort it.
The article is fantastic .

12:35 pm, January 24, 2009  
Blogger Elaine said...

sorry not the info you asked for will be back shortly with relevant info

1:01 pm, January 24, 2009  
Blogger Elaine said...

Here is the nspcc consultation response on the removal of childcare safeguards for children over 8 and yet they are not up in arms about that going through so they must believe parents to be a bigger risk than strangers

2:08 pm, January 24, 2009  
Blogger Elaine said...

Working families tax credits may under certain circumstances contribute to the cost of a stranger childminding but not a relative or somebody close to the child

2:10 pm, January 24, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

Thanks Elaine :-)

8:01 pm, January 24, 2009  
Blogger BaronessBlack said...

I appreciate this isn't going to be high on your agenda at the moment!
But if you do get a moment - you're tagged!

11:49 pm, January 24, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

Thanks BB ;-)

I'll do it over there, where I keep all the meme-type things.

8:37 am, January 25, 2009  
Blogger dottyspots said...

A friend of mine, whose children are in school, commented to me that perhaps social services should come out and visit ALL families during the 6 week summer holidays because it's known to be a stressful time for many parents and 6 weeks is *plenty* of time to abuse children - or failing that perhaps ALL children should be in some form of government inspected childcare during the holidays (why not just abolish school holidays?)

Failing that, why not just take children away at birth?

12:43 pm, January 31, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

Good point, but sshh! Don't give them ideas! :-(

- speaking as the daughter of a 'proper' Socialist, who thinks all children belong to the State from day one.

11:38 am, February 01, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a good thing childcare for children over eight doesn't have to be registered, don't attack that.

The NSPCC is the most evil organization in this country. I hope that the people in the home education community that have been supporting them learn their lesson.

7:40 pm, February 01, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

I agree wholeheartedly about the NSPCC.

As for childcare for children over eight not having to be registered, in normal circumstances I would agree, but I think this is just one instance in which government changes the rules to suit its own agenda. You can be sure that this decision wasn't made for the benefit of children - if any of their decisions ever are.

6:12 am, February 02, 2009  

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