Filed under: Education and the new government | Tags: accountability, Education Minister, Emperor's New Clothes, Green Paper, Guerrilla Dad, Holding the government to account, SEN, Transparency, Transparency website
Dear Dave (may I call you Dave – you may call me Grrrr it’s short for Guerrilla Mum)
Well, gosh! Thank you so much for the new Transparency Website. I opened it this morning at the section I am interested in – number 6: Improve support for children, young people and families, focussing on the most disadvantaged. Here is the link. http://transparency.number10.gov.uk/transparency/srp/view-srp/37/46. Incidentally Dave why is this number issue number 6 and not number 1? Number 2 or 3 would be better…
It’s fair to say that by the time I had got to 6.1 ‘Review and reform provision for children with special educational needs, disability and mental health needs’ I was fairly bursting with anticipation. Opening the next section 6.1.i. ‘Develop and publish a Green Paper on special educational needs and disabilities’, I couldn’t wait for the update on status, as not only did I comment on the Green paper, I spent a lot of time encouraging others to do so. I knew you would appreciate that. So I clicked, with baited breath.
In Progress? I’ll write it again. In Progress? I haven’t worked in public service recently but the Guerrilla Dad who has, and has written a few business plans in his time, reliably informs me that if anybody arrived at a meeting with an update of a plan which said ‘ In Progress…’ everybody knew that it meant one of 3 things …
1. Ooh I haven’t done this yet, there are so many more important things to do and I haven’t really had time to think about this.
2. I know this isn’t on the important part of the agenda and only gets asked about at the end of the meeting.
3. Oh! So that’s why my boss sent me to this meeting …….(note to self consider alternative career development).
Guerrilla Dad also said that if he had used any of these excuses in meetings he would have got his butt kicked soundly, and witnessed this happening to others.
So Dave, back to Transparency. This is proof conclusive that your government thinks we are stupid and able to be fobbed off with vague performance statements and unsatisfactory updates. You have made one thing very clear though, Free Schools (allegedly in great demand but actually only about 30 groups have come forward) are right at the top of the agenda.
One fifth of pupils in Britain will have Special Educational Needs (SEN). One in a hundred will have an Autistic Spectrum Condition. Other children will have a wide variety of other SEN or disabilities. Transparently the government does not care about these children and I am angry and upset. It is offensive to me that you think this is in any way satisfactory. How does this make you accountable? Where is the Accountability button? How do we hold this government and the Education Minister to account? Transparency? Frankly Dave we can see right through this, and I’ve changed my mind it’s MRS Grrrr to you!