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Hinds wants to improve outcomes for vulnerable children – but will his plan work?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Education secretary Damian Hinds has pledged to help and support children who have witnessed domestic violence, but will issuing advice to teachers and social workers on how to improve vulnerable pupils’ wellbeing, behaviour and school attendance really work?

    ‘An estimated 160,000 children in England are currently living in households where abuse is taking place – and research shows it can have an impact on their educational outcomes.

    Today education secretary Damian Hinds has vowed to help raise the achievement levels of vulnerable children by providing advice to teachers and social workers on how to improve their wellbeing, behaviour and school attendance.’

    Will this really be enough to improve the outcomes of vulnerable children? What would you like to see happen to improve children's wellbeing, behaviour and school attendance?

  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter


    Words come close to failing me.
    Has Damian Hinds ever met a vulnerable child? Does he actually have any real interest in them?
    Is his Government going to make it easier for battered parents to find somewhere to live (escape to) so they can escape the bullies?
    Are they going to reverse the funding cuts to battered women's shelters?
    Are they going to provide funds so that a member of staff actually has time to talk to a vulnerable kid, get breakfast down them and ensure that they have the right frame of mind (and equipment) to enter the modern zero tolerance classroom. (Or will efficiencies be more important? "I bet I can save your school £50000pa)
    Are they planning to think about targets or do exam results still trump wellbeing?
    Or perhaps it can come out of Chancellor Hammond's "little extras" budget.
    Sir_Henry, Lalad, Mrsmumbles and 4 others like this.
  3. drek

    drek Star commenter

    Join the queue Hinds. Your reports show how schools deal these children?
    Therein lies the lie.
    It is individual teacher's who have to deal with them often interspersed within large groups of 32 mixed ability special needs pupil premium students for 200 hours or so per group per year and even more with intervention sessions.
    The 'support' we currently get is in the form of advice, recrimination then judgement, and it's outside on top of the teaching hours.
    Do we need yet some more?
    Sure....just let us get our brooms to the next 'training' session by the ones in the school doing the real hard work....of giving the advice.....usually held after teachers have spent 5 intense hours a day on our own with large groups one afyer another or as a treat a double session of 'troubled' children.
    Catgirl1964, JohnJCazorla and Jamvic like this.
  4. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    More PR soundbites. Advice is cheap.
    phlogiston and JohnJCazorla like this.
  5. defenceagainstthedarkarts

    defenceagainstthedarkarts Occasional commenter

    Frequently, defensiveness can be our default - yet another thing to deal with.

    It is awful some children are suffering abuse. We should all, no matter how long we have been teaching, be alert to it as a possibility and follow our (statutory and moral) duties to these children.

    However, I will take a different stance to the posts above - to directly answer how we can help - we do exactly what we do for every other child. When home is in chaos, the best thing for a child is a calm, purposeful and structured school day with boundaries, encouragement and support.
    JohnJCazorla and Catgirl1964 like this.
  6. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Spot on!
  7. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

    Watch BBC2’s Schools for this answer please x
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  8. defenceagainstthedarkarts

    defenceagainstthedarkarts Occasional commenter

    It's a bit of a bus man's holiday! Can you summarise here?
  9. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

    Seriously?! Have you kept up with the series on this? Funding is a wobbly subject in education at the moment and the schools with more funding is able to cope with such demands in comparison to other schools who are suffering from a decline of funds.
  10. defenceagainstthedarkarts

    defenceagainstthedarkarts Occasional commenter

    I'm not sure why you think I'm not serious. I am at school all day and have little interest in watching a programme about it.

    If you think the only thing that can help children from abusive backgrounds is an increase in funding, I'd have to disagree. That's not to say funding isn't an issue - it is - but I don't see what additional money could actually do in these instances. As I said above, the best thing we can do as teachers and schools is to provide stability, routines and boundaries.

    I have been teaching a long time. Like many people, I have encountered my share of personal turmoil during that time. The best thing to do is to maintain normal routines as far as possible. It's an escapism if nothing else.
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  11. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith Occasional commenter

    I'm not sure I need more advice - I have been teaching quite a while and know probably as much 'theory' as can help me to support children in these situations. What I would welcome is time to talk to children who are presenting with issues. Time costs money, which we don't have so I don't think I can do anymore than I already am.
    Catgirl1964, Lalad and drek like this.
  12. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

    More people = more funding needed.

    More support from experts = more funding.
    Catgirl1964 and Lalad like this.
  13. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Isn’t it amazing what their Special Advisors come up with at lunchtime?
    JohnJCazorla and thekillers1 like this.
  14. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Not like the other shows, well worth a watch. It wa slime the last jigsaw piece slotting into place for me. Not exactly a fun experience, but the best free INSET we’ll ever get!
    thekillers1 likes this.
  15. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Senior commenter

    Surely the solution here is to pay for each local authority to have an ed psych and a counsellor to support students going through/have been through trauma?

    This won’t solve the issues but will ensure the child is supported and feels they can talk to someone who is dedicated to them as teachers are so busy and mostly untrained!
    Catgirl1964 and thekillers1 like this.
  16. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

    More people = more funding needed.

    More support from experts = more funding.
  17. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    If, let's say, in your class, you have a child whose parent has just died, another child with multiple complex physical needs, a child whose parents are going through an extremely acrimonious divorce, several children who regularly miss school or come in half way through the morning, a child with anger management problems, a child with mental health issues and a child whose parent has just come out of prison, it doesn't matter how much advice you are given on improving the wellbeing, behaviour and attendance of children who witness domestic abuse at home, the reality is that all of these children are vulnerable and need your support.

    Increasingly, teachers are being expected to take on the roles of parents, mentors, counsellors, psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors etc. on top of their role as educators, with no additional time or resources: it is short-sighted and patronising of the education secretary to suggest that teachers need advice on how to raise vulnerable children's achievement levels, without giving them the time and tools to try to achieve this.
  18. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Yeah, right, advice; looking forward to that one! ****** 'ell words fail me.
  19. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Senior commenter

    Exactly - that’s the only way we can improve vulnerable childrens’ education!
    lardylegs and thekillers1 like this.
  20. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    The ONLY way to improve children's education, vulnerable or otherwise, is for politicians to stop using Education as a vehicle to further their career.
    Civil unrest is probably the only way that this would ever be achieved, in the present political climate.
    JohnJCazorla and thekillers1 like this.

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