Exclusive research reveals frontline backing for key reforms

Government plans for a single qualifications framework for the children’s workforce and the creation of children’s centres and extended schools have been given a massive vote of confidence by frontline staff from across the sector.

Almost three-quarters of 200 respondents to a survey by 0-19.co.uk think a single qualifications framework would aid recruitment to children’s services, help improve the status of those working with children, and help break down professional barriers.

Two-thirds would have preferred to do a course based on transferable core and specialist modules, as set out under plans for a single qualifications framework, with more than four out of five predicting such a move will make it easier for people working with children to switch jobs and progress their career.

Worryingly though, a third predict that, in the long-term, common core training will result in the blurring of professional boundaries and the loss of expertise.

Three-quarters of respondents believe extended schools and children’s centres will improve the delivery of children’s services, and almost two-thirds think they will improve joint-working.

However, almost three-quarters of staff are concerned that the multi-agency hubs will only benefit those children and families already engaged with the mainstream education system. There are also some worries about the proposed speed of change, with just under half describing the timetable for extended schools and children’s centres as unrealistic.

Ambitious goals under the 10-year child care strategy have also been called into question, with almost half of respondents warning that plans to offer 15 hours a week free high quality care for 38 weeks a year for all three- and four-year-olds by 2010 are not realistic.

Log on to 0-19.co.uk tomorrow for more exclusive survey results revealing frontline opinions on antisocial behaviour orders for children and young people and the impact of current legislation.

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