Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Does Every Child still Matter?

The 10 year anniversary of the murder 10 year old Damilola Taylor in Peckham last week reminded me of that is also it was also the 10 anniversary of the death of 8 year old Victoria Climbie. There were film crews in Peckham asking what has changed in 10 years. It is worth reflecting what has happened since Victoria's death through neglect.

In 2003, the Government published the Green Paper called Every Child Matters alongside the formal response to the report into the death of Victoria Climbié. In 2004 the Children Act became law. This legislation is the legal underpinning for Every Child Matters, which sets out the then Government’s approach to the well-being of children and young people from birth to age 19.

The aim of the Every Child Matters programme is to give all children the support they need to:

Be healthy

Stay safe

Enjoy and achieve

Make a positive contribution

Achieve economic well-being.

The Every Child Matters agenda was further developed through publication of the Children's Plan in December 2007. The Children's Plan was a ten-year strategy to make England the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up.

In February this year the then Shadow Secretary of Education Michael Gove gave tabled an early day motion saying:

"That this House notes with sadness that 25 February 2010 marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Victoria Climbié in Haringey and that, had she lived, she would now be 18 years old; welcomes the conference being held on that date in Portcullis House by the Victoria Climbié Foundation; commends and congratulates it on its excellent work over the past decade, particularly the opening of the Foundation's school in the Ivory Coast and its project work to raise child protection awareness both in the UK and in Africa; and hopes that further lessons will be learnt from the tragic deaths of Victoria and other children"

I was some what surprised there was not even one mention of Every Child Matters in the 95 page Schools White Paper last week.

Personally we embed the five principles of E.C.M. into all our governing body meetings. After every full governing body meeting or committee meeting we ask ourselves the questions linked to Every Child Matters.

We ask what have we discussed during the meeting that keeps our pupils healthy, keeps them safe, allows them to enjoy and achieve and enables them to make a positive contribution.

We find it is an interesting self evaluation exercise at the end of all governing meetings.

Could a Victoria Climbié case happen again?

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