Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What scheme???

This is news to me. Looks like the Children's Commissioner is getting her way. A scheme to check all four year-olds for health or behavioural problems will be piloted in Manukau and Wanganui and then rolled out nationally from February. But who is responsible for this huge undertaking? A search of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Development and Children's Commissioner websites drew a blank.

Found it. Announced yesterday by Pete Hodgson. B4 School Checks. That's cute. Perhaps they can link it up with B1 and B2 from Bananas in Pyjamas. Bananas. Yep. That's it. They have budgeted for the checks but not ensuing action.

Only in a nanny state is it necessary to check every single 4 year-old. And it is one more step towards this which has been introduced and vigorously opposed in the UK. Here is reaction from September 2006;

Civil liberties and children's campaigners are to hold a conference at the London School of Economics on Tuesday to highlight their concerns.

Terri Dowty, director of children's rights group Arch, said: 'Who is bringing children up? Are parents effectively nannies for the state's children or are children born to families and the state just helps families when they ask for it?'

Dr Eileen Munro, an expert in child protection at the LSE, said: 'The authority of parents is being eroded because the children's services, health education and social care are being asked to intervene.

'On the whole parents are the greatest source of safety and welfare that any child has.'

Jonathan Bamford, the Assistant Information Commissioner which polices access to information, said there was no justification for keeping check on 12 million children when only a small proportion were at risk.

He said: 'When you are looking for a needle in a haystack, is it necessary to keep building bigger haystacks?

'The cause for concern indicator against a child's record is expressed in very broad language. For example, it could be cause for concern that a child is not progressing well towards his or her French GCSE.'

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: 'We are heading towards a situation in which an entire generation of kids won't know what privacy is, as though we are preparing them for prison rather than life in a free society. It is time to ask ourselves why we sacrifice the privacy of our children first.'

1 comment:

Lucyna said...

That's just horrifying.