‘Schools left out of debate on future of children’s services’

More discussion is needed on the role that schools should play
in the proposed changes to children’s services, according to
the Confederation of Education Service Managers (Confed).

In a consultation paper, Chris Waterman, executive director of
Confed, says that given the central role that schools will have,
head teachers, staff and governors should be more involved in the
policy discussions.

He says that schools are the only universal service regularly in
contact with children and young people, and that school staff “are
closer to children’s social and educational development than
any other professional”.

His paper, Every School Matters, says: “The school has
the greatest potential, among local services, to be the hub for the
co-ordination of education, health and social services to children
of statutory school age”.

But Waterman says that the green paper Every Child Matters was
not widely distributed to schools and that the Children Bill lacks
reference to schools, and their staff and governors.

He adds that schools must recognise their responsibility for the
education and well-being of every child, and that they must be
integrated into the whole range of children’s services.

Every School Matters, published by The Education
Network, states that the school workforce will be critical to the
success of the new agenda and says that staff roles will need to
change in order to deliver integrated services.

Even where staff numbers and job titles remain unchanged “there
will need to be an explicit focus within some roles on the liaison
with other agencies”.

– Every School Matters available from The Education
Network at www.ten.info

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