Thursday, 24 January 2008

Every Child Matters?

The government in the UK has an ambitious programme of meddling in all aspects of child development to achieve the following aims for children.

(1) Be healthy
(2) Stay safe
(3) enjoy and achieve
(4) Make a positive contribution
(5) achieve economic well-being

Am I the only one who reads this list with anger? They obviously see children as little, isolated, emotionally shallow, consumers. Even in our totally secular society, there should be some mention of family/community, relationships with the elderly and people across the economic divide, awareness of their environment, literacy, emotional development, maturity and a growing sense of what adulthood entails. Not that I'm one for government meddling in such matters, though there should always be a safety net for the most vulnerable. I just find the document so horrifically bland and unloving of the very individuals they claim to be serving.

I'm also too cynical, I'm sure there are some in the corridors of power who will interpret the aims as follows:

(1) Be healthy (wear a condom)
(2) Stay safe (wear a condom)
(3) Enjoy and achieve (wear a condom- its all about pleasure isn't it?)
(4) Make a positive contribution (get your mates to wear condoms)
(5) Achieve economic well-being (wear a condom and make sure you don't have children)


WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

The meaninglessness of the aims is scary-they could mean whatever some tin pot tyrant decides they need to mean.
I do wander where this is all leading

AutumnRose said...

I logged onto the Every Child Matters website, and checked out sexual health advice. I am horrified at the way this country has gone, tbh. I work with young people, and will not offer contraceptive advice or refer for abortions, but I am legally bound to refer them to colleague/s who will.

At least I am not a hypocrite. Our sexual health nurse is a practising (?) Catholic! :¬( Errr...keep practising, and one day you might get it right!

ukok said...

my children attend catholic school where ECM classes have now been built into the currulum to replace the 'pastoral' session the children used to have once a week.

Neither of my children have had anything good to say about their ECM lessons thus far!

Rita said...

ukok, I'd be interested to see if it got any sounds like a nightmare and not particularly Catholic in outlook.

Joe said...

OFSTED, the organisation that inspects state funded schools in the UK, now structures its inspection reports according to the ECM outcomes framework. So: schools are judged, not on whether or not they provide healthy meals in the dining hall, but on whether or not the pupils actually take up the offer (under the "be healthy" heading). Headteachers are as worried about the school meals as they are about the teaching .... All a bit topsy turvy.

Rita said...

Joe: Further to this there is absolutely nothing in the OFSTED framework about looking at the welfare of staff. Schools with an unhealthy culture of sexism and bullying of staff can end up with outstanding OFSTED reports. Surely this cannot be in the interests of anyone, any culture inherent in a school will rub off on the children?