Thursday, February 26, 2009

The real team around the child

Now, bear in mind I'm no artist and I do not have DCSF's budget at my fingertips with which to employ one. I just have me, my old computer, and my pathetic little copy of MS Paint. But in answer to the old 'Get out your magnifying glasses to spot where the parents are' ECM 'Team Around the Child' diagram:

I wanted to make one of my own. Here it is:

You can enlarge these images and thus read the text by clicking on them. Mine has the beloved child in the centre (only there by implication in theirs) followed by people in concentric protective rings as follows:

  • Parents and siblings
  • Other relatives
  • Close friends
  • Neighbours
  • Other acquaintances
  • Professionals with whom we *choose* to consult, and
  • Passing strangers

In its Staying Safe: Action Plan [opens pdf], the government does include parents in a small section way over to the right of its picture, and I have extended the same courtesy in my own picture: there is the government, in a little grey power pyramid over to the right of our protective circles around the child and yes, that's the Eye of Sauron on the top.

Here are some more pics of my children with their 'teams':

Lucky? No. It takes effort and self-reliance over time to build teams like that. We can't rely on the government to do it for us, or we get relegated to the little strip on the right, from where have to stand on our tiptoes or beg to even catch sight of our own children. And it's us that they need, not a bunch of teachers and social workers whose faces change every year.

Tomorrow I'm planning to start trying to work out which bits of ECM are statutory and which aren't. Today, we're apparently playing Spore (if it wasn't for this review business, I'd be writing about the educational value in that game) and meeting with friends at a playgym. The boys are at their club; the business is starting to take off. Busy busy! But still too cold for gardening.


Blogger Allie said...

That's a cool diagram, Gill. I'd probably say that our children's team is very similar in composition.

I do agree that self-reliance and effort are important in life but I have to say that I think luck plays an important part too. If you have no family, or no family that will acknowledge you, that wipes out a ring. If circumstances mean that your friends are all far away, or your neighbours think you are the spawn of the devil, there go another couple of rings. Such circumstances may be under your control but, equally, they may not. I am glad that our family has the social support network that it does but I wouldn't like to claim that this is all down to self-reliance and effort. I do think that a lot of it is down to luck.

10:45 am, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

Well, my family has had bad luck too in that respect, but we just kept plodding on and rebuilding etc, when we had to. I know, not absolutely everyone is in a position to do this, but ECM is not a better alternative.

I loved reading about your mum's social work back in the 70s(?) and I wish the 'system' was still like that for the people who really need it.

10:55 am, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Augustin Moga said...

Just a note about online games. Your little ones may like this one: Professor Fizzwizzle. I know mine does.

(Professor, school... oh, well... :-))

6:28 pm, February 26, 2009  
Anonymous Ruth J said...

I've stared and stared at the DCSF's diagram (not yours - I understood yours straight away, it wasn't written in political babble), and I can't actually work out where the child is supposed to be. I can see the "TAC" huddle in the middle, but I think that's professionals, isn't it? Where's the actual child in all this? I'm not sure they're on the graph at all.

8:12 pm, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

Augustin, thanks very much for that. We'll be sure to check it out.

Ruth, I've struggled with that too, and they're definitely absent on the book cover, aren't they? I wonder why..

9:28 pm, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Annkrozeika said...

I'm in agreement with Ruth here, your diagram is sooo much easier to understand, why couldn't theirs have been so simple?!

2:34 am, February 27, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

Zoe, they're welcome to use mine instead if they like.. ;-)

7:03 am, February 27, 2009  
Blogger mamacrow said...

love it. We especially like the eye of sauron :D

We're loving Spore too btw. I had planned a great post with loads of pics (you can take pics of game play - how cool?!) showing how all the kids had chosen to evolve their creatures... But I've been drafting a letter to my MP instead :p

8:47 pm, February 27, 2009  
Anonymous suzyg said...

Interestingly, if the 1944 Education Act had a diagram of the Team Around the Child, it would be exactly like yours, Gill.

In the 1944 Act, the child's age, ability, aptitude and educational needs are central, the parent has complete freedom to choose a suitable education, and so does the person/people teaching the child, if that person is not the parent. Local authorities would have had a look-in as far as schoolchildren were concerned because they supported schools, but their contribution would have been a peripheral one.

5:50 am, March 05, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

Mamacrow, it was nearly the usual Eye of Horus, but I thought Tolkien said it so much better!

Have you got to the space level of Spore yet? Boy, that's complicated!

Suzy, I thought it might be. I suspect that's why my parents' generation still think school must be a good place to be.

8:01 am, March 11, 2009  

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