Naace Think Tank on Every Child Matters: About the Event
Wednesday 5th April 2006, Stevenage
Every Child Matters is one of the most important developments to affect education in recent years, but its implications for ICT in education have hardly been discussed. The overall purpose of this event is a means whereby Naace members and “officialdom” can explore the issues in a spirit of mutual trust and collaboration. In other words, we have not invited the presenters to address us as experts as such, but to say, in effect, “This is what we think it means from our perspective, and the implications could be …. What do you think?”
The formal aims of the event are to:
a) Examine in depth the key themes, ideas and principles of ECM;
b) Debate the changes in the way we will need to work to accommodate ECM and what it means for the ICT Community that serves schools, extended services and multi-agency partnerships; and
c) Seek a consensus view on how best to facilitate multi-agency collaboration to ensure effective partnership.
Hoped for outcomes and follow-up
My intention is to produce a paper for discussion which does the following:
• Draws together in one document the various perspectives outlined above
• Summarises the views/concerns expressed by delegates
• Suggests further steps to be taken
• To establish the Naace position as we move forward in this important area
This document will be made available for Naace members and will be sent to the presenters and the agencies they represent.
Of course, in order for the day to work as planned, we need you to engage in the discussion and ask lots of questions!
You will find details of the programme downloadable as an attachment on this page.
The notes which follow are taken from “Every Child Matters and the ICT Teacher”, by Terry Freedman.
What is Every Child Matters?
Every Child Matters is an initiative which stems from the Children Act of 2004. In essence, it aims to ensure that services provided to the child, such as education and health, are joined up, so that abused and other vulnerable children don’t “fall through the net”, with the potentially disastrous consequences that might follow.
Under the new agenda, children and young people will be able to benefit from a wide variety of services. In keeping with the spirit of the child at the centre, choice should (ideally, and as far as possible) be exercised by the child, rather than have “it done to them”.
The main changes brought about by Every Child Matters are:
• Quality of service is to be measured against 5 outcomes:
- Stay safe
- Be healthy
- Enjoy and achieve
- Make a positive contribution
- Achieve economic well-being
(This is in a different order to the order in official documents, but has the advantage of being easy to remember because it spells the acronym SHAPE.)
• Organisational changes: Local Education Authorities (LEAs) are to be replaced by Children’s Services by 2008.
• As a logical consequence to this, the Education Development Plan which LEAs produce every year is to be replaced by a Children and Young Persons Plan by April 2006.
• Directors of Education, Health 1 Downloadable from http://www.terryfreedman .org.uk/cgiscript/CSDownload/forms/frmsamples.htm . Child or Young Person Education Health Social Services Other Services
(children) and Social Services (children) are to be replaced by Directors of Children’s Services by 2008, with most Local Authorities doing so by 2006.
• A Lead Member for Children’s Services is to be appointed in each Local Authority, and to be accountable at a political level. Again, all Local Authorities have to appoint a Lead Member by 2008.
• Multi-agency working: Health, Safety, Economic in particular.
• Co-location: the physical proximity of professionals.
The bigger picture
It would be useful to look at what else has been going on in education in the UK so as to be able to see ECM in a wider context.
Whilst there have been many different initiatives, they do, for the most part, have something in common. The key point about all the different initiatives is that they represent a different approach, from organisation-centred to person-centred. Think of this as the equivalent of a company becoming customer focused. This is so fundamental a shift that even the term “initiative” is probably inaccurate. This shift is indicated by:
• Multi-agency working, e.g. Joint Area Review of Local Authorities.
• The new inspection arrangements: Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) inspections are now based on the Self-Evaluation Form (SEF), which now includes references to the 5 outcomes of Every Child Matters.
• Ofsted to have a common inspection framework for all services to children, looking at all 5 outcomes.
• The emphasis on personalized learning (which is insufficiently understood by many), which could be regarded as the adaptation of working methods to meet children’s needs.
• The development of Extended Schools, which provide, under the same roof, many other types of service for children besides education.
• Lead professional: single named person with responsibility for each child.
• Workforce reform: this has already started in schools, and will probably have to be extended to other services.
• In addition, it is now regarded as essential to include parents and carers in education, to help ensure that services to which the child is entitled are accessed as required.
• There are other important changes, such as the “single conversation” between School
Improvement Partners and schools, but detailing them here would merely serve to divert attention from the main issues concerning the teacher of ICT.