Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Looking at the panel (4)

Before we start looking at the fourth member of the panel:

I need to go back to yesterday's post and say something more about Delroy Pommel. I've now found his name, on Googling, spelled three different ways: Pommel, Pommell and - thanks to a heads-up by email from Shirl - Pomell. It now transpires that he is a member of the London Safeguarding Children Board, and if that sounds familiar it might be because their response to the draft EHE guidance in 2007 [opens Word.doc] and subsequent position WRT elective home education:

§ Consultation on elective home education

Mary Kuhn had drafted a response based on the discussion at the last network meeting. Following approval by network members the response had been submitted. The document had also formed the basis of a London Regional Partnership response and other Regional Partnerships had used it as a basis for theirs so there had been a good cascade effect from the work.

It was agreed that elective home education should be be kept under review by the network. A further issue arising was that there was no way of tracking home educated children when whole families move on without informing anyone. This had happened in Hounslow, Waltham Forest, Enfield and Wandsworth.

Action: MK to raise with DCSF [Source: Meeting Notes 26.09.07]

For further reading about "the labyrinth that is the network between The London Regional Partnership, The London Schools Safeguarding Leads Network, The London Safeguarding Children Board, The London Child Protection Committee, London Allegations Management Advisors, London Councils, The Association of London Directors of Children’s Services, Care Services Improvement Partnership and others, [being] a frightening illustration of how hearsay can be dangerously ignited to become a bushfire," please see AHEd's letter to Ed Balls on the subject.

Incidentally (and thanks again to Shirl for this) Graham Badman himself appears to be on the London Local Safeguarding Children Boards in the same network. (Scroll down to Haringey.)

But these different variations of the same names are fascinating to me. So far we've looked at Stephen Heppell - referred to as 'Steve' in our list, Edward Melhuish - seen on our list as plain old Ted, and Delroy Pommel/Pommell/Pomell.

The fourth name on the list is "Steve Hart (HMI, Ofsted)". I will be running searches for a number of variations on his name!

He wasn't in the original line-up, but only three out of those five still remain, now joined by eight more.

I'm not finding an awful lot about him, but there is the following bio on this data-heavy pdf about Camden’s Joint Area Review:

Steve Hart - Safeguarding
Steve Hart has been employed for most of his 32 year career in social work in Children's Services but has also worked in the disability and substance misuse fields. He has extensive experience of field and residential work and has practiced and managed in both sectors. Since working for the inspectorates (SSI, CSCI and most recently OFSTED) Steve has been involved in inspecting all service sectors but his predominant work has been with children and he has extensive experience of inspecting Local Authority Children’s Services. He has led the Secure Care Inspection Service and was CSCI's national lead for child protection until its merger with Ofsted. He has worked extensively with other inspectorates, most recently as part of the national team charged by the Prime Minister with carrying out an inspection of actions taken to reduce street crime. Since taking up post as an HMI in Ofsted, Steve’s work priorities have focused upon leading JARs, and he is currently part of the Joint Chief Inspectors review of safeguarding arrangements.

And he is mentioned as the lead inspector of Richmond's Joint Area Review [opens pdf], as well as being listed as part of the inspection team on the Wolverhampton one [opens pdf].

It seems he was a part of the Commission for Social Care Inspection, but what is 'social care', and what does it have to do with elective home education? Wikipedia redirects the query to its page on social work, but again, I fail to see what that has to do with elective home education. Inspired by some of the compelling threads on UKHE, I'm inclined to suspect that it's connected to the old "A child unseen by the system is a child at risk" chestnut. But, as a very wise person pointed out there, the words 'by the system' sort of slip in unnoticed and help, along with other factors, to turn what looks like a simple truth into the blatant lie that it is.

The factor that's hardly ever picked up on is the risk involved of being regularly 'seen by the system' and the inherent damage that this causes to the natural, healthy development of a child's senses of trust, security and curiosity. It seems (and this term came from another discussion group - you know who you are!) that the political drive to nationalise our children is devoid of conscience and unwilling to bear close inspection. Much more about that to come in future posts here and elsewhere, no doubt.

Now we're off to our home ed meeting, and then a picnic in the park with friends. I've got some very fast sandwiches to make first!

PS If anyone finds more about Steve Hart, please add to comments here or email me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So it seems that the panel so far comprise a disproportionate number of London's Local Safeguarding Children Boards people, including the actual leader of the review.
They are anything but impartial. Having just read the Lisa Blakemore-Brown article on insider dealing in combination with this fact does indeed fill me with disbelief.
Kajsa x

12:03 am, April 23, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

Yes. When I've finished blogging about all 11 panel members I will try to write some kind of overview to map out these links, tall order though that is!

7:52 am, April 23, 2009  
Blogger cosmic seed said...

Frankly the fact that the LSGB tried to stitch up HEers at the last consultation - as well documented and complained about by AHEd, make this review panel a bloody (sick) joke, it should be in the papers.

10:43 am, April 23, 2009  
Blogger Barry said...

Not that you'd wish this on anyone else, but I wish this was something happening far away from me and my family, perhaps if it was a modern fable as to the dangers of excessive state control. The list of all those organisations put me in mind of the Popular People's Front Of Judea in Life of Brian.

Sure there was a quote somewhere about these things not being a sudden obvious loss of liberties, but countless imperceptibly small losses. The state machinery chugs on, what was this review *actually* for again? Was it about education or welfare?! Weren't EHE'ed children children found to typically be safer and receiving a better education than their schooled peers? People there to represent safeguarding will see safeguarding issues. People there to represent schools and curricula will favour schools and curricula over homes and autonomy. For a panel 'reviewing' home education, there seems to be a dearth of people experienced in home education involved.

To finish on another quote - "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you".

4:35 pm, April 23, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should we be asking the panel exactly what they are there for?
They aren't experts in home education. They aren't expert interviewers or listeners. What are they there for? Except to get a lot of money for doing bog all apparently.

I also object to the comment by Badman who said he would read all A4 sized submissions by home educators (or something along that line). Didn't we just submit great tomes of protest, discussion and rebuttal to the DCSF a few weeks ago? If he was serious about chairing a panel of any kind, he would certainly stop interviewing his own school-loving mob and start reading what real home educators and their children had to say. If I were him, I would.

7:47 pm, April 23, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

Tech, it should - as should a lot of other things that aren't.

Barry, I wish that too, and LOL at the Life of Brian reference! It is like that! "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you" - yes, they really are the most terrifying words in the English language.

Anon, given the chance, I think we would ask them exactly that. And yes, I think Graham Badman should earn his review money by reading through every response to the DCSF questions but it's already been said that he's not going to. They're being 'processed and summarised' (or some such) for him by DCSF staff.

6:02 am, April 24, 2009  

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