Sunday, 31 January 2016

Another video from the Scottish Liberty Forum

Dr Stuart Waiton has useful things to say about the altered relationship between the individual and the state but I do not agree with his view about why the Named Person has been put in place. True, we live in a risk averse culture but this culture did not arise in a vacuum and has been designed and long in the planning. The children`s workforce has been attending meetings and conferences so that by the time parents caught up with what was going on, they found the workforce was speaking the language of SHANARRI. That does not mean these ideas came from them as stakeholders. They were led by the nose at conferences run by other people; for instance, see Sir Harry Burns.

It is not the case, necessarily, that the children`s workforce believe they are doing their best and are shocked that parents take a different point of view. Many of them are parents themselves. When they discussed Curriculum for Excellence, mature teachers in particular, were very negative in the Tes forums about GIRFEC and all the rest, and could see right through it. Over time their preoccupations have changed. Worries are more about how to implement these changes. When your job depends on it and you have a mortgage people tend to acquiesce.

I would suggest that those in power want to maintain their grip. The Named Person has been put in place to get the data and so the idea of the autonomous individual and privacy rights had to be undermined.  Risk culture can do that. Computing power and big data analytics are at an advanced stage. So the time was right.

English teenagers ranked lowest in literacy

"Young people in England are the most illiterate in the developed world with many students graduating with only a basic grasp of English and maths, an in-depth analysis by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has found."

"The OECD report rated English teenagers aged 16 to 19 the worst of 23 developed nations in literacy and 22nd of 23 in numeracy. In contrast, pensioners or those close to retirement were among the highest-ranked of their age group."

"England had nine million people of working age with low literacy or numeracy skills, it said."

"The number of low-skilled people aged 16 to 19 was three times higher than in top-performing countries such as Finland, Japan, Korea and the Netherlands. South Korea came top of the list for literacy assessed by the ability to read and answer questions on a text and numeracy."

"The report, based on 2012 data, said although half a million students had started degrees last autumn, money would be better spent cutting the number of undergraduates and investing in basic education."

"About one in five young university graduates could manage basic tasks, but struggled with more complex problems. The report concluded: "University teaching gives limited attention to low levels of literacy and numeracy. Graduates with low basic skills gain modest returns from their qualifications and will often not be able to repay their student debts. England has a large university system relative to a poorly skilled pool of potential entrants."..

"The report did acknowledge that reforms by Michael Gove, the former education secretary, and Nicky Morgan, his successor, are expected to improve standards."

"Teenagers must now stay in education or training until they are 18 while tougher GCSEs have been introduced and dozens of vocational qualifications, such as nail technology, have been abolished."

"But critics said that the OECD report exposed the failure of governmental education policies."

"Alan Smithers, director of the centre for education and employment at Buckingham University, told The Times: "Education in England has been blighted by the beliefs of progressive education. The older generation did English and maths in a formal way but progressive beliefs took over and the children's grasp of basic skills declined."

Progressive ideas are sweeping through Curriculum for Excellence.

See How progressive education gets it wrong

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Tracking devices on show

Everyone is very excited at the BETT show where technology for education was put on display. The boy on the left is learning to find an escape route and the girl on the right said that she is learning she can help other people by using Minecraft. That has got to be impressive.
Nicky Morgan, Education secretary, appeared earlier and made a speech about all the benefits this technology can bring to education.
"So where do we see technology impacting teaching outcomes?"
"One exciting area is assessments. The instant nature of online and computerised testing has obvious potential to lighten teacher workloads as well as collect data. The analysis of that data can be invaluable to teachers and system leaders in their pursuit of excellent educational outcomes. Informing them which parts of the curriculum they are teaching well and signalling where there is room for improvement."

"What’s more is that these assessments are becoming more intelligent, allowing the tests to grow with the students. This is really exciting because it means assessments can be tailored in real time to the needs of students..."

"There are established market leaders in this area such as GL Assessment and the Centre for Evaluation Monitoring but there are exciting new prospects, too. "

Here is what GL Assessment has to say about itself:  
GL Assessment is the leading provider of formative assessments to UK schools. For over 30 years, we have provided scientifically rigorous assessments and services for children's education, mental health and wellbeing.

Formative assessments track children as they work on a task. It provides very useful information about cognition, motivation, perseverance, and so on -  for those who want to know.  

As expected when you look at the list of assessments, there are assessments for numeracy and literacy - but Behaviour and Attitudes is also on the menu -. and this is from a company which provides scientifically rigorous assessments for mental health and wellbeing.

All of that looks highly intrusive to me, potentially.

The problem with technology is that it may be used for good or ill, so it is very important to know how all of this is going to be put into practice, and especially important to know what is going to happen to all the children`s data collected. If it goes the same way as the US it will end up in a huge government data storage facility.

Keeping Children Safe in Education Questions on the Consultation and Use in practice has plenty to say about safeguarding children from cyber bullying, extremism and risk of harm - for which data will be collected -  but has nothing to say about keeping children safe from intrusive technology and overzealous practitioners. On the contrary, it emphasises the importance of early help and data sharing.

The consultation, which fails to mention parents, is open until 16 February 2016.  See below.

Friday, 29 January 2016

The transatlantic collaboration

As if the Named Person scheme, joined-up governance arrangements and the total view of the citizen were not big enough impositions on individuals in Scotland, these systems are only a small part of a much larger plan.

Here`s one example: Sitra are building a successful Finland for tomorrow`s world, they say. Actually their ambitions go much further than that, as documented in Governing the welfare state and beyond: Solutions for a complex world and uncertain future written by Eeva Hellström and Mikko Kosonen [The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra]

They advise: "Support the transition of the ‘welfare state’ towards a ‘welfare society’, with more shared responsibilities and coordinated activities by public, private and civil society actors for the best solutions as a whole." That has more than a bit of Carnegie and John Elvidge about it.

They are not lacking in confidence either. By following their ambitions and recommendations, they claim that the EU and its member states have the potential to become forerunners in modern governance. [That is, `scientific management` and rule by administrative and unelected boards.]

Sitra has a lot to say about education as well.

"How do we enable students, schools and communities to become building blocks of a sustainable well-being society? Meet the authors of Sitra’s Education for a Changing World research project..."

"At Sitra, we have developed a societal model organised around the central theme of sustainable well-being. Building on the achievements of the welfare state, the sustainable well-being society will be oriented toward the central aim of human well-being. Planetary limits will form the basis of all human activity while robust systems of human and social capital will be realised alongside more efficient economic and governance models. A structural transition such as this is immensely complex and will touch every sector, organisation and institution including education..."

"The project is organised as a transatlantic collaboration, combining interdisciplinary Finnish and North American perspectives on teaching and learning. One of the project goals is to produce a high-value publication that is timely and applicable to the international, interdisciplinary discourse through an interactive process. The project will also seek to form an international network of thought leaders working to renew education for the future."

I think people in Scotland are beginning to see what a trap the well-being agenda is. I mean, who believes that a Named Person for every child and a single police force with guns and surveillance cameras, is improving anything ? Well-being, sustainability, climate change, global citizenship and all the paraphernalia that goes along with a dumbed down education system are fundamental elements of the indoctrination programme called Curriculum for Excellence. Put the pieces together and it is easy to see what this is. How come a party which proclaims to be for Scottish independence is preparing Scotland`s children for the New World Order when that means all autonomy will be lost? How come the opposition parties do not point out the audacity of the SNP doing that?

Rather than the silence which is deafening !

At one time those who spoke out against Agenda 21, the UN action plan for sustainable development, were accused of being conspiracy nuts. Strange that, when it is being rolled out according to plan and the evidence is there in the policies and in the multiplicity of documents sprouting from all directions.

Rosa Koire gives a very clear exposition of what Agenda 21 is about.


The Zika virus

"The recent outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil is now being linked to genetically modified mosquitoes developed by the British biotech company Oxitec, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. "

"Oxitec has been releasing the genetically modified Aedes mosquitoes into the wild in Brazil since 2011 to battle dengue fever. The company produces up to two million genetically modified mosquitoes a week in its factory in Campinas, Brazil."

"The Aedes mosquito is the world’s most dominant variety of mosquito, and the only two countries in the Americas that don’t have this mosquito are Chile and Canada. The Zika virus, which has been detected in 18 of the 26 states in Brazil, is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito."

"Over 4,000 babies have now been born in Brazil with shrunken brains since November 1, 2015."

"Brazil normally gets approximately 150 cases of this type of birth defect each year, which means abnormal births of this type have increased by approximately 13,000 percent."

"While the Brazilian government rushes to blame the Zika virus for this huge rise in abnormal birth defects, the facts remain clear."
"Only a small number of babies with birth defects, who died, had the virus in their brain. This means a large number of the babies who died had no Zika virus in their brain."
"In late 2014, the Brazilian minister of health announced that a new Tdap shot would be mandatory for all expectant mothers starting in 2015. Records now show that all mothers with birth defect babies received this newly formulated vaccine while pregnant. The timeliness of the Tdap vaccine and the rise in birth defects is more than just a little coincidental. The consequences of this untested vaccine is what is being swept under the rug. Which brings us once again to Bill Gates, the King of Eugenics and Vaccines..."

"Now in addition to this just have a look at who first gathered and retained a sample of the Zika Virus back in the 1940’s:"

"That`s right no other than the Rockefeller foundation."

Immunisation session suspended due to unforeseen circumstances

"Paramedics had to be called to a secondary school when pupils fell ill and fainted after being given their vaccinations."

"Around 10 to 15 students from Year 10 reportedly keeled over after getting their jabs at Northampton School for Boys on Tuesday."

"One parent, whose son saw the drama unfold, said children were seen 'on their backs on the floor with their legs up on chairs'."

"In the note, the school said it is not known what caused the pupils to fall ill but said the vaccine was withdrawn 'as a precaution'."

"The letter, sent by the nursing team, reads: 'Dear Parent/Carer, please be advised that the immunisation session your child attended today was suspended due to unforseen circumstances."

"'Some of the vaccinated children have become unwell shortly after vaccination.'"

Read more:

Teacher accidentally exposed pupils to pornography

"A teacher who accessed a pornographic website during a lesson then accidentally projected it on the walls of his classroom has been struck off."

"Stephen Lawrie, 56, admitted accessing the site during a computing class with S2 pupils at Coatbridge High School in North Lanarkshire on 27 April 2015."

"Pupils as young as 13 saw the site when Lawrie accidentally projected in onto the classroom smart board."

"He was struck off at his own request by Scotland's General Teaching Council."

"Following a procedural hearing, the council's fitness to teach panel ruled: `In light of the respondent's consent to removal from the register...the panel decided to direct that the respondent be so removed.`"

" `Once the respondent has been removed from the register, the respondent remains so removed unless and until an application for re-registration is made by him and a fitness to teach panel directs that the application be granted.` "

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Improving services in Scotland

The Deming cycle is also described as Plan/Do/Study/Act and is being used in Scotland on a grand scale.

For instance: "The Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) published the Care and Permanence Planning for Looked after Children in Scotland report in March 2011. This report considered the pathways and decision-making processes through the care and court systems in Scotland for 100 looked after children from the point they were first identified as at risk, to the point of adoption or permanence. The report highlighted the following key areas for improvement:"

"Decision making and implementation"
"Practice of the Children’s Hearing system"
"Improvements to court processes"

"The Scottish Government responded to the SCRA report in June 2011 outlining clear expectations for improvement across permanence practice in Scotland. The Centre for Excellence for Looked after Children in Scotland (CELCIS) was commissioned to recruit a Permanence and Care Team (PaCT), charged with the development and delivery of a transformational permanence improvement programme."

What they mean by the development and delivery of a transformational permanence improvement programme is one that pushes children more speedily through the system towards permanence. For children, that could mean adoption, kinship care or a return to their parents, although the latter is the least likely outcome.

I noticed that the Permanence and Care Team (PaCT) used a Plan/Do/Study/Act cycle to achieve speedier outcomes.

Lesley Scott, TYMES Trust representative, had a lot to say about the Deming model in her recent talk given to the Scottish Liberty Forum.

"These plan/do/study/act cycles actually replicate a process that was developed in the 1950s by W. Deming, the American statistician, educator and consultant. Deming pioneered his plan/do/study/act cycles within the manufacturing industry in the hope of improving quality control based on a systematic tallying of product defects which includes the identification and analysis of their causes. Once the causes of defects are corrected, the outcomes are tracked to measure the effects of these corrections and subsequent product quality. Therefore management gains more and better knowledge about the processes and products."

"The Scottish Government has engaged an American company called the Institute of Healthcare Improvement or IHI to educate practitioners throughout all relevant public, private, and voluntary community bodies on this model for improvement."

"And then we have the family sector being subject to the same quality control methods as are used by the manufacturing sector; with the Government identifying what they consider to be defects and forcing corrective measures .... with, if necessary, threats of compulsion through GIRFEC and the Named Person legislation in order to ensure that children and families meet the state approved outcomes...."

"Children, therefore, if we are to apply the Deming management and improvement method principle as the Early Years Collaborative promotes, are viewed in the role of product and consequently families and the state must be a system working together on the production. However, if the family and the state are a system why is it only the state component that involves the setting of aims in the plan/do/study/act cycles? Why is it only the state which carries out the assessment of the knowledge and data collected and only the state which decides if any change was a success?"

"Parents and families it would seem are, in fact, being used as the problems or barriers that are built right into the system. The GIRFEC list of risk indicators reflects such an argument giving as it does a checklist of defects, errors or mistakes that require rework by the state in order to improve product quality. "

Dehumanising is the word that comes to mind.

Of course, all of this has already been set in a much broader context as explained in The 3-Step Improvement Framework for Scotland’s Public Services which was discussed by UK Column at about 33.20 minutes. The plan/do/study/act model is being used throughout one massive joined-up Scottish Government body.

It looks like the blueprint for a totalitarian state and we need to start worrying about what they have in mind for our children. The document can be found below.

Named Person struck off teaching register

"A teacher appointed one of Scotland’s first "state guardians" faces a lifetime ban from working with children."

"Dayna Dickson-Boath was yesterday struck off the teaching register for sharing fantasies about abusing youngsters."

"Scotland’s teaching watchdog also recommended that Dickson-Boath be placed on a list of persons deemed unfit to work with children in any capacity."

"The guidance teacher was appointed 14 months ago to be Named Person for 200 secondary pupils under the Scottish Government’s controversial scheme to provide every child under 18 with a `state guardian`."

"Dickson-Boath, who taught most recently in Elgin, consented yesterday to being struck off by the General Teaching Council for Scotland..."

"Hugh Paton, convener of the panel, said: `The registrant should be removed from the register in view of the facts admitted.` " 

"The panel has also decided that it is appropriate that the registrant’s name is referred to Scottish Government ministers for consideration in connection with inclusion on the list of those barred from working with children and vulnerable young adults."

"If the Scottish Government agrees, Dickson-Boath will be prohibited from working with children for the rest of her life..."

"Moray Council was one of a string of local authorities that were operating an early version of the scheme when Dickson-Boath’s offences came to light."

Read more:

The relationship between character and work

Yesterday, UK Column had a look at Osiris Educational who claim to be the UK`s leading independent training provider for teachers.

They have a Building Character Conference  in March 2016.
"At a time when exam results are so important, the DfE and Ofsted’s new focus on character education may seem odd.."
"However, research shows character education leads to higher attainment."
Conference speakers include:

Professor Guy Claxton

"Guy is the UK’s leading authority on developing pupils’ learning and creative capacities. His Building Learning Power programme helps students become better learners, in school and out."

Professor Mick Waters

"Mick is a highly influential figure in national policy and has pushed through key agendas, including the 14–19 strategy and the employment and skills dimension."

Richard Forte from McDonald’s

"Richard is the Chief Operating Officer at McDonald’s who has commissioned a report calling for soft skills to be embedded into the school curriculum."

What I found interesting was the juxtaposition of `soft skills` for learning, and employment and skills development. It appears that schools are to prepare children for the future workforce. (McDonalds ?)

In Scotland, workforce learning is part of Curriculum for Excellence. There are also foundation apprenticeships which can be taken while at school. They are made to appear a useful preparation for work, but are they ?

"Starting on S4 or S5, the Foundation Apprenticeships takes two years to complete and is one of your subject choices."

"As you work towards an industry recognised qualification you will spend time out of school at college and with a local employer."

Mel Kelly has made the link between the drive for free schools and the introduction of foundation apprenticeships. The way I see it is that unemployment is rising, particularly for the young, and education is being stripped of education. It looks more like some children are being prepared for workfare.

Free schools for Scotland ?

" 'STATE-FUNDED autonomous schools'; 'meeting the needs of local communities'; making Scotland a 'world leader' once more. The rhetoric certainly sounds good, but - when it comes to recently revealed plans for a new schooling model in Scotland - it is also deeply dishonest because, although those behind this campaign are eager to avoid the 'baggage' of reality, the correct term for their plans is very simple: 'free schools'."

"Why the reluctance to be up front and honest? Because we already know that the Free School model is designed to serve right-wing ideology, not communities, a fact underlined by such schools forming a key part of Michael Gove’s educational reforms south of the border."

"The idea was largely inspired by the introduction of the same model in Sweden, with Gove offering public support as far back as 2008. We now know that the quality of Swedish education has suffered a devastating decline since free schools became a part of their education system, while serious problems have also been encountered not just in England, but also in America (where charter schools follow a similar model)."

"Supporters of such a change in the UK tend to argue that this new set-up devolves far more power to communities, but this conveniently overlooks the fact that the education secretary would have to assume ultimate responsibility for individual institutions, thus transferring power from local authorities to central government. No matter how you spin it that's a bizarre approach to localism."

"And it gets worse: as Commonspace has now revealed, proposals currently on the table would allow headteachers to set their own employment policies (destroying national pay bargaining arrangements for teachers) and decide which organisations, including profit-making businesses, play a role in the school’s educational provision."

"There is also talk of effectively privatising, through a tendering process, areas such as sporting activities and art education. The schools themselves may not be allowed to make a profit, but plenty of vested interests will profit through their existence."

The Hometown Foundation is a Scottish registered charity which is working to push through this policy.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Children`s home and respite centre could be closed

"Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, who is Scottish Labour’s Care and Inequality Spokesperson, has said she is deeply concerned over the reports that the Hillcrest childrens’ home and respite centre in Stornoway could be closed. The reports of the proposed closure of the facility has left parents of children with additional support needs uncertain of their childrens’ future care provision and respite needs. This closure threatens the jobs of 52 people if the proposal goes ahead."

"Commenting today (Tuesday), Rhoda Grant said `I have been in contact with parents whose children use the facilities at Hillcrest and they are really concerned about what this could mean for their childrens’ future care needs. It is not clear at this stage what alternative provision would be put in place.`"

"Mrs Grant continued `I absolutely appreciate the unprecedented cuts that are being wielded on councils throughout Scotland from the government at Holyrood and councils are being asked to do the impossible. However parents are deeply concerned about this news and I am seeking an urgent meeting with the Leader of the Comhairle to discuss these concerns and to ask what discussions are being held with parents, service providers and affected staff.`"

The Scottish Government prioritises a Named Person for every child whilst essential services for children with additional support needs are under threat.  That makes no sense.

Early appointments advised for pregnant women

"Women in the Borders are being urged to make an appointment with their midwife as soon as they find out they are pregnant."

"NHS Borders is promoting that message across the region as part of a drive to encourage the best start for pregnant women and their babies."

"All pregnant women, including those who have given birth children already, are being encouraged to book themselves into their local maternity services before 12 weeks."

"This will mean they can to benefit from the full range of screening options available and have their individual health needs met."

"NHS Borders stressed this week that the first two trimesters following conception are a critical time."

"This is when the fetus finds itself most vulnerable to damage caused by the use of tobacco, drugs and alcohol, maternal stress and poor nutrition."

Read more:

The sooner they get started with the parenting capacity assessment the better I suppose. There`s a lot of personal data to collect.

Foster carer jailed for six years

"A smiling foster mum has been jailed for more than six years after shaking a 23-month-old baby to death and blowing £27,000 of ill-gotten child care fees on a holiday and car."

"Wendy Hardy, 46, assaulted Harry Aspley just months after taking him into her home in December 2012."

"When he struggled to eat without vomiting on March 26, 2013, she lost her temper and shook him so violently he suffered massive brain injuries."

"Hardy then dumped him back in his crib at her home in Stoney Stanton, Leicestershire, only calling an ambulance when her husband David returned from work two hours later."

"Harry was rushed to Leicester Royal Infirmary but died of his injuries five days later."

"Hardy was yesterday jailed for six-and-a-half years after admitting manslaughter and fraud."

"She was initially charged with murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter when she appeared at Leicester Crown Court in November."

"At that appearance, she was seen grinning outside the court room."

"Sentencing her at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday, Judge Jeremy Baker said: 'Harry was a very vulnerable child....."

"The couple were also charged with cruelty due to neglect as Harry lost more than a quarter of his body weight during the three months in their care."

"Those charges were ordered to lie on file and could be proceeded with in the future."

Read more:

Connor`s parents should take comfort

A report was "commissioned by NHS England (South) following the death of Connor Sparrowhawk in July 2013 in a unit in Oxford run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust."

Following another Southern Health Board meeting, Mark Neary is angry and who could blame him ?

"Mencap have a representative on the Southern Health Board of Governors. Her name is Liz Hall. It should be good. The `Voice of learning disability` has an input and could offer an important insight in addressing the zillions of issues raised by the Mazers Report, Monitor, the CQC, Several Coroners, the Health Secretary, NHS England, etc etc..."

"Here is Liz Hall’s minuted contribution to the latest Southern Health Board Meeting:"

"This sad affair with Connor Sparrowhawk has triggered off, at last, the enormous training issues that are still prevalent in society, including general hospitals, education establishments, training of the public, schools, the police force, etc. Shall I go on? However, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good and indeed one feels that perhaps Connor’s parents can take some comfort from this tragedy that has at last shown up the enormous ‘gap’ in training that has been shown up. It’s not only in Hampshire and Oxfordshire sadly it’s still there all over England and in many other countries in the world. So here is our opportunity to begin some very exciting training of the public, police forces, nurses, doctors, school teachers, social workers and above all hospital staff on how to communicate with those with learning disabilities and involve their families more effectively in their care and life styles which we as a health authority, along with the rest of England begin to understand how one communicates, protects, and includes more of us all in their lives. We have achieved it better with other groups or so called disabled people so let’s begin to engage in training we could make some money out of it too."

See also

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Sustainable development is a moral issue

From `Steven Rockefeller: "The Earth Charter at 15: A Spiritual Lens on Sustainability," interview by Allen White, Great Transition Initiative (December 2015)`

"My family also had a strong interest in foreign affairs and a long tradition of thinking internationally in business and philanthropy. My father, who served in government positions under four presidents and as governor of New York, had a passionate interest in international affairs. He and my grandfather played an active part in helping to establish the United Nations in New York City, and my family has been a supporter of the UN ever since. In short, I was raised to think broadly and to view the world’s big social, economic, and political problems as moral challenges. What I observed in my family was that a sense of moral purpose and responsibility is a powerful motivating force, and shared moral values bind people together and promote partnership and cooperation. Without a common purpose, people and society lack clear, strong direction and cohesion. Developing and internalizing a sound moral compass is fundamental to a healthy spiritual life. A sense of the sacred can deepen moral conviction..."

"At Columbia University, I wrote my doctoral dissertation on John Dewey, the American philosopher and intellectual leader of the Progressive movement. I was drawn to Dewey’s democratic humanism and his ideal of `a common faith` in the form of shared moral values and principles that unite and guide society."

- See more at:

Part of the Rockefellers` strong moral compass includes an obsession with population control.

Exposure of Planned Parenthood backfires

"HOUSTON, January 25, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) The lead investigator behind the undercover Planned Parenthood videos faces up to 20 years in prison after a Houston grand jury decided on Monday not to charge Planned Parenthood with any wrongdoing and instead indicted him for offering to purchase human organs from the abortion provider."

"Center for Medical Progress lead investigator David Daleiden faces a second-degree felony charge of `tampering with a governmental record,` and a misdemeanor charge for violating the state's `prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs.`"

"That is, jurors in the state of Texas are accusing David Daleiden of trying to illegally traffic in aborted babies' body parts."

"The jurors pressed the same charges against Sandra Merritt, who claimed to be `Susan Tennenbaum,` the CEO of BioMax, on its incorporation papers."

"Texas state law only allows someone to be charged with such a serious felony `if the actor's intent in committing the offense was to defraud or harm another.`"

"That felony charge alone carries a punishment of not less than two, and not more than 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000."

"Ironically, the investigation began after Daleiden and Merritt posed as business associates eager to pay Planned Parenthood to furnish human body parts that its fictitious company would use in scientific experiments - something they hoped would expose the abortion industry's criminal wrongdoing."

"Their cameras caught the director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Melissa Farrell, seemingly admitting to multiple felonies and ethics violations, including making a profit from human organ trafficking and altering the abortion process unnecessarily in order to get `the best specimens.`"

Gender bending in Ontario

"TORONTO -- Ontario lawmakers have approved a motion to remove the words 'mother' and 'father' from all government forms to "reflect the diverse nature" of families in the province."

"Glenn Thibeault, the Liberal member of the Ontario legislature for Sudbury, asked that 'gendered' terminology be replaced with gender-neutral and inclusive language on 10,000 different provincial government forms."

"Birth certificates already allow two same-sex adults to be listed as parents, and all government forms should use inclusive language, said Thibeault."

"His motion, which was approved Thursday in a voice vote, said gender specific words `including -- but not limited to -- mother and father` could be replaced with `parent or guardian` to better recognize the rights of LGBTQ parents."

" `This motion isn't about saying that using terms that indicate a gender such as mother or father are bad or offensive, just that they aren't always a reflection of today's Ontario families and more appropriate terminology ought to be used,` Thibeault told the legislature. `This is about being inclusive.`"

"Two Liberal cabinet ministers and the New Democrats spoke in favour of Thibeault's motion, which is not binding, but widespread support for such a move by a government backbencher often leads to action."

Monday, 25 January 2016

Lords vote in favour of poverty targets

"The House of Lords has voted to keep targets aimed at reducing child poverty, forcing the government to reconsider its plan to abolish them."

"The bishop of Durham, supported by Labour and the Liberal Democrats, led the effort to retain the targets, which measure material poverty, and were set to be scrapped under the welfare reform and work bill."


"Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, announced the proposals in July, prompting dismay among child poverty charities."

"He said the government would scrap its measurement of child poverty and the aim to eradicate it by 2020, while replacing it with a new duty to report levels of educational attainment, worklessness and addiction."

"Under his plans, the old measurement, based on the percentage of households with below-average income, would continue to be published as a government statistic but would no longer be seen as a target."

"However, peers voted by 290 to 198 to keep the targets, in a move to prompt the House of Commons to think again."

Psychotic medication for children is on the increase

From the US where the situation is much worse:

"When physicians (or medical paraprofessionals) prescribe psychiatric drugs to children without the parent or legal guardian’s fully informed consent, the prescribers could reasonably be charged with reckless endangerment and/or child endangerment because such drugs commonly cause a multitude of well-known adverse effects, including the following short list: worsening depression, worsening anxiety, sleep disturbances, suicidality, homicidality, mania, psychoses, heart problems, growth disturbances, malnutrition, cognitive disabilities, dementia, microbiome disorders, stroke, diabetes, serious withdrawal effects, death, sudden death, etc. We physicians (not only psychiatrists) normally only spend a small amount of our scarce time warning about a few of the dozens of potential adverse effects when we recommend drug treatment and apparently most American courts uphold this questionable action when the rare malpractice case manages to be heard in the legal system."

"And yet, Child Protective Services has the legal right to charge parents with medical neglect for refusing to give their child a known neurotoxic or psychotoxic drug that wasn’t adequately tested either in the animal lab or in long-term clinical trials prior to being given marketing approval by the FDA."

"This makes no sense to parents and can’t be explained by their lawyers, especially if the parents know more than their medical caregivers about the multitude of potentially serious dangers that such drugs could pose for their child. It is worth noting that psychiatrists admit that there is no scientific test in existence that proves that children deserve a permanent mental illness label (and getting brain-altering drugs for the rest of their lives)."

"Dr Kohls is a retired physician from Duluth, MN, USA. He writes a weekly column for the Reader, Duluth’s alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns mostly deal with the dangers of American fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, malnutrition, psychiatric drugging, over-vaccination regimens, Big Pharma and other movements that threaten the environment or America’s health, democracy, civility and longevity. Many of his columns are archived at "

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Drugs in Afghanistan


See also

Global 21st century learning !

The author of Tabula Rasa explains why she blogs.

"Sadly, education in the UK isn’t always good enough. Far too many children pass through the doors of our schools into the real world knowing little, unable to read, and incapable of expressing themselves. To me, this is a tragedy. Our education system is flawed and we need to do something about it urgently."

"I find myself in a system that punishes me for standing up and teaching, and that tells me I ought to prioritise relevance and engagement over the enriching, vitally important cultural capital that, at present, is reserved for the wealthy. I find myself feeling angry that the poorest children in the country are so often treated like fools, and are not given access to their birthright: the collective thinking of thousands of people, the thinking that has moulded and shaped the way we look at the world and must be handed down to the next generation if we are to have any chance of preserving it."

Tabula Rasa

Another breath of fresh air comes from David Livingstone in the Vancouver Sun:

"An ambitious new public school curriculum produced by "educational experts" is set to be unveiled in every B.C. school affecting every student in every grade. Yet few parents I have talked with know their children are about to become the subjects in a very ambitious social experiment based on some questionable hypotheses."

"The new curriculum is designed for the "21st century learner" for whom, we are told by the Ministry of Education, learning facts will become less important."

"Now, as a university professor, I happen to notice quite a few students in my introductory classes arrive knowing very few facts about Canadian history or government. Nevertheless, the new curriculum will "emphasize higher-order concepts over facts to enable deeper learning and understanding" ("Enabling Innovation: Transforming Curriculum and Assessment," 2012). Facts would seem to get in the way of 21st century learning."

"`Big Ideas` will be emphasized, even though the Social Science 10 draft curriculum, covering the incredibly rich and complex period from 1919 to the present, culminates remarkably in only four of them."

"One such Big Idea is that "Development in Canadian society can be viewed in many different ways depending on an individual’s worldview or experience." But I’m afraid this idea won’t encourage learning or `discovery.`"

"First, it’s the conclusion to which the selected facts remaining in the curriculum must be marshalled. Students won’t be encouraged to discover any Big Ideas themselves; they will be led to idea already planted by the experts. It resembles a game of geocaching, not an honest search for truth."

"Second, it extinguishes the motive for learning. It declares an obvious fact people have different "worldviews" implying, furthermore, that each is equally valid. What’s the point of learning if we already "know" that every perspective is equally valid or (what amounts to the same thing) that each perspective is equally invalid? It won’t take long for students to "discover" the whole exercise is pointless."

"Our kids deserve what schools used to claim to teach: How to evaluate carefully and critically different perspectives, especially their own. And they need to know facts to support their reasoning. That used to be the point of a liberal education, which intended to free people from the "worldview" society imposes on them, not have them wallow in it."

For more thoughts about global 21st century learning see also:

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Poppi Worthington criminal case 'must be reopened'

"The toddler was buried in February 2013, precluding a further post-mortem examination, after her body was released by the local coroner."

"There is now said to be an `absence of evidence` to find out how Poppi died, or definitively prove if or how she was injured."

"The death of the toddler had been shrouded in secrecy, with a 2014 fact-finding civil court judgement being kept private so as not to prejudice any criminal proceedings."

"John Woodcock, Labour MP for Barrow, said he felt `sick and angry about the failures from social services and the police which have meant that poor Poppi Worthington has not had justice for her death`".

"He told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme: `I want the home secretary to step in now and give this case to another force to try to salvage some hope that there could be a criminal investigation after all of the failings.`"

Spring conference will not debate fracking

"Commenting on the revelation that a motion put forward by at least 20 SNP party branches calling for a complete ban on unconventional gas and fracking has been excluded from the spring conference agenda, Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Richard Dixon said: `It is disgraceful that the SNP have rigged the agenda of the spring conference to avoid a debate that would embarrass the leadership.`"

"Following a confused process at last year’s autumn conference, at least 20 branches backed a motion calling for a complete ban on unconventional fossil fuels including fracking. Judging by the mood in the room last autumn there is little doubt that had the motion made it onto the spring agenda the party would vote for a full ban. Community campaigners and party members across the country will be deeply disappointed with the SNP today."

Mother takes her own life on day of eviction notice

"A mother threatened with eviction from the house where her son took his own life was found hanged in the same spot, an inquest heard."

"Frances McCormack, aged 53, had been badgered for Bedroom Tax after the death of her 16 year old son Jack Allen in 2013, the coroner heard."

"The eviction notice arrived at her home the same day Ms McCormack's body was discovered on August 10 last year."

"A handwritten note was found in her bedroom, part of which was addressed to David Cameron on the hardship the Bedroom Tax was causing."

"It was dated 10 days earlier and made no mention of the eviction notice, the inquest heard."

Friday, 22 January 2016

Figures for Channel programme are rising

"A total of 415 children aged 10 and under have been referred to the government's deradicalisation programme in England and Wales over the last four years, the BBC has learned."

"National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) figures obtained by the BBC show 1,424 children aged 11-15 were also referred."

"The `Channel` scheme, set up after the 7 July London bombings, aims to steer people away from extremism." [See below and decide who the extremists are.]

"The government says the scheme has successfully deradicalised people."

"The BBC obtained NPCC figures, under a Freedom of Information request, which showed that a total of 1,839 children aged 15 and under had been referred over concerns they were at risk of radicalisation between January 2012 and December 2015."

"The figures show referrals are rising year on year. "

"The `Channel` programme, which is part of the government's counter-terrorism strategy, focuses on identifying people who are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism and providing them with support to stop that from happening. "

"Those at risk of right-wing extremism can also be referred..."

"Under laws brought in last summer, schools, prisons, the NHS, and local authorities have a legal obligation, known as the "Prevent Duty", to spot individuals who might be vulnerable to extremism and radicalisation."

"One parent, Ifhat Shaheen, told the BBC her 14-year-old son was interrogated by people working on the government's counter-terrorism strategy after he mentioned the word "eco-terrorists" in school..."

"`Channel` is the government's programme designed to stop vulnerable people from being drawn into violent and non-violent extremist or terrorist behaviour. "

"It is an `early intervention` scheme, designed to work with individuals of any age who are at risk of being exploited by extremist or terrorist ideologues."


Questions about Shaken Baby Syndrome

"Two major mainstream media sites (Washington Post and PBS) ran reports on the injustice of false Shaken Baby Syndrome diagnoses recently.  Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) diagnoses have been used for many years now to falsely accuse parents of shaking their babies, with the result of parents either losing custody of their children to Child Protection Agencies, or parents being wrongly convicted of murder and being sent to prison."

"While neither of these reports explored the vaccine connection to SBS, this is certainly a step in the right direction to stopping these false accusations against parents who love their children and never did anything to harm them."

- See more at:

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Early intervention will make Scotland a world leader says charity

Another depressing article has appeared in the Scotsman supporting the Named Person scheme. It comes from Jackie Brock, head of Children in Scotland, whose vision is that Scotland will become a world leader in securing the wellbeing of every child and improving the quality of every childhood. Personally, I find all this talk about `world leadership` more than embarrassing.

This lofty aim is to be achieved by the Named Person service and it could not be more absurd.
Today, we understand so much more about developmental milestones in children’s early years and the importance of responding as early as possible to address problems. Getting it Right for Every Child, the framework in which the Named Person service sits, has its foundations in prevention and early intervention

They understand so much more, she says, and yet would write off babies and toddlers as future failures, even before their lives have properly begun. It is eugenics in a different form. That is not the sort of world leadership that the world actually needs, I would suggest.
Evidence suggests that what appears to contribute most to poor outcomes for children is if their families face multiple vulnerabilities in combination, such as unemployment, poor housing, mental and physical health problems, low income and material deprivation. This is where our systems need to be geared towards prevention and early intervention based on excellent risk assessment to identify families with these vulnerabilities early and work to support them.

There`s no mention that the answer lies in providing good jobs and appropriate housing which could wipe out most of the other problems at a stroke. No, these issues must be seen as vulnerabilities and risk indicators and an excuse for early state interference.

It`s a myopic vision, and so is this:
I too have argued, and will continue to argue, that there is no evidence of increased state intrusion into family life.

There is plenty of evidence. How about the evidence from the Improvement Service.
"The Message Exchange Hub (MXH) will act as a bridge between national systems, such as SEEMiS and NHS systems, and local ones to allow partner organisations to transfer GIRFEC-related messages securely and automatically."

"The introduction of new duties under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act in 2016 is expected to lead to a significant increase in the volume and complexity of GIRFEC-related messages. This will make any manual support processes increasingly difficult to define, agree and manage."
For more spin and lies, read the full Brock article, link below.

Lesley Scott - Opposing the 'Named Person' Scheme - Scottish Liberty Forum

The law will be changed to make adoption easier

"The law will be changed so that councils and courts favour adoption over other forms of care for vulnerable children, the government has announced. "

"Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced an additional £200m investment in the adoption system over the next four years."

"The move is an attempt to reverse a trend that has seen the number of adoptions, and the number of children being placed for adoption, both fall in recent months."

"A statement released by the
Department for Education said government will seek to change legislation as soon as possible, `to make crystal clear that councils and courts must place children with the person best able to care for them right up until their 18th birthday rather than with carers who can’t provide the support they need over the long term`..."

Adoption UK chief executive Hugh Thornbery said the legislation and funding announcement is `extremely good news for all of those involved in trying to improve services for adoptive families and adopted children`..."

"John Simmonds, director of policy, research and development at CoramBAAF, said it is essential that the reform that accompanies the new law rebuilds confidence in professionals and judges and they have the resources and support needed to make the right decisions..."

"The drop in children being placed for adoption and the subsequent drop in the number of adoptions taking place are widely accepted to stem from a ruling made in September 2013 by Sir James Munby in the case Re B-S."

"In the ruling, Munby criticised `sloppy practice` of social workers and said that local authorities must provide evidence that all alternatives to adoption had been considered before bringing a case to court."

Read more at Children & Young People Now

No legal aid to stop adoption

"A couple who have struggled to get legal aid while fighting to stop their three-year-old son being adopted could be forgiven for thinking that they are `trapped` in a system which is `neither compassionate nor even humane`, the most senior family court judge in England and Wales has said. "

"Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division of the High Court, said the case raised human rights issues relating to people's entitlements to a fair trial and to respect for family life. "

"And he said he wanted everyone involved to bear in mind that a parent's right to `put their case` was one of the oldest principles of English law and dated back over 400 years. "

"The judge initially raised concerns about the couple's difficulties in getting legal aid in October - following a hearing in a family court in Swindon, Wiltshire."

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Lessons from the Simpsons

From the National:

"We all remember the episode of The Simpsons in which Homer and Marge were classed as bad parents and their kids were taken away and placed in the care of the Flanders family. Although Homer and Marge seemingly benefited from government counselling, the episode’s message is that some families remain functional by being completely dysfunctional, making the audience wonder if governmental intervention was ever required for a family that, while odd, had so much love at its core."

"Although played for comic effect, this Simpsons tale gets to the heart of the Named Person controversy. It’s not that the SNP are morphing into a band of villainous child catchers. The idea of the Government replacing all parents is ridiculous (and even sillier when you consider I’m likely your real dad anyway). "

"The Named Person idea makes people anxious that, once again, politicians are trying to put out the village fire with a tsunami..."

There has been a bit of confusion over the tone of this article.

One response:  "Cheers for that smile emoticon It's a really clear description of the scope of the Named Person scheme - very helpful in understanding what it's about. "

For those who have doubts bubbling to the surface about the named person policy, a light hearted jokey article is reassuring. There`s nothing sinister going on now; who could be so flippant if there was? I`m sure it was designed to make people feel a whole lot better.

But the article fails to explain much of the controversy. Did parents ask for it?  Is it compulsory?

"Parents did not ask for a named person," says Maggie Mellon from Moray House College of Education. "Parents of children with special needs asked for services to get their house in order to stop passing the buck..."

Dee Thomas then adds:  "I can fully accept that children facing challenges need extra help but in these straightened times where Councils ( who are the NP employers) are having to increase Council Tax to pay for basic services to all people, why spend money on Universal NP for all families when many of us have no problems managing the day to day bringing up our children.?"

So there`s the `village fire being put out with a tsunami...`

Still another person is confused as to why parents or guardians believe that this is mandatory monitoring.  Suzanne Bosworth attempts to set this commenter straight:
Well here's the judgment delivered by Lord Carlaway, the second legal judgment in this whole debate. This second judgment upheld the first judgment.
 "It is designed to prevent crucial information on welfare being missed, as it has been on occasion in the past. However, in the event of a danger being detected, this legislation does not authorise any positive action beyond the offering of assistance. Any compulsory measures would require authorisation under different legislation. Such measures would themselves remain subject to Article 8 and other Convention rights considerations."

The mandatory monitoring is there in the words crucial information which must not be missed. Since the jigsaw picture is only complete when all the pieces have been put in place who knows when a piece of information is crucial?  - let the Named Person decide.  What the SNP have morphed into are not child catchers but data snatchers. But let`s face it, the one can easily be turned into the other.

"Any compulsory measures would require authorisation under different legislation," instructs the judgment. But that, too, can easily be arranged. See the Guidance  at section 2.5.7  [accessed 3 December 2015]
Early intervention and a compulsory supervision order are not mutually exclusive in promoting, supporting and safeguarding the wellbeing of a child or young person. The use of compulsion at an early stage may help to ensure compliance with interventions, and prevent wellbeing needs escalating. Parental capacity and willingness to change should be considered in order to assess whether the child’s wellbeing needs are likely to be met by voluntary support or whether a compulsory supervision order might be necessary. Just like the Simpsons.

See the latest NO2NP post which covers similar ground. HERE