ECM Revision

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  • Every Child Matters
    • Purpose
      • UK Policy document passed in 2003 by Tony Blair - Labour for England and Wales.
        • ECM policy was a direct response to the death of Victoria Climbie in 2000, due to a failure in multiple services.
          • The Guardian in 2009 considered it a "sea of change"
            • The policy affected the development of children and the associated services.
          • The policy was also brought about to bridge the attainment gap between 'working-class' & the 'upper-middle class'.
      • Outcome
        • Led to the creation of the Children's Act 2004, of which the ECM policy was a central topic.
          • It was concerned with ages 0 to 24 years (19 yrs years for non-disabilities) (24 yrs for disabilities)
          • The policy led to the 5 outcomes.
            • 1. Safety of the child
            • 2. Health(Physical, Mental & Emotional)
            • 3. Enjoyment and achievement
            • 4. Positive contributions to society
            • 5. Achieving economic well-being
            • Can be abbreviated to S.H.E.E.P.
              • Every child has the right to access and achieve the 5 goals.
                • Led to increased collaboration between the services and the individual's who accessed them.
          • Led to increased collaboration between the services and the individual's who accessed them.
        • Created the following:
          • The Department for Children, Schools and Families.
          • A Children's commissioner that oversaw the progress of said services.
          • Multi-agency and services primarily located in schools for ease of access.
          • At the local level it resulted in the merger of services to create the: "Children and Young People's Services".
    • How was it as a Policy?
      • Michael Gove (2009) - What is Education For?
        • '... in making school institutions seek to cure every social ill and inculcate every worthwhile virtue, we lose the sight of the true purpose of education... passing on knowledge'
        • Current state of affairs
          • When the coalition was established in 2010; it saw a policy-shift to that of more-traditional avenues & measures.
          • Cuts to a number of children's services and centres.
          • The extended schools programme funding was cut.
          • Schools reverted back to the original remit of assessment: "based on attainment and progress in education throughout the 5 years".
      • Positives
        • Reduced the impact of social capital and those from affluent areas accessing the 'best' services.
        • Special consideration provided to those with additional needs.
        • Common assessment framework established across services.
      • Negatives
        • The 5 outcomes did not match/nor did they reflect the complexities of modern child-rearing.
        • The 5 outcomes instead pushed New Labour's socialist agenda for good behaviour, parenting, and communities that produced educated and productive citizens.
        • Ultimately, the assessment of the 5 outcomes led to the following: it is not designed for well-being of the child; instead is it for the preparation of a productive adulthood in the global economy.
        • High level of change required in some LEAs - can be an issue due to funding.
        • The policy was only relevant to that of England and Wales. As such, different policies were drawn up for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
        • A child's right to confidentiality & privacy are subsequently blurred.
          • Information Commissioner: "hidden databases exist that are unknown to the child". "Which can lead to a number of services accessing sensitive data".
          • "Children may turn away from official agencies in the hopes that the right to privacy under article 8 of the Human Rights Act is upheld" - Hilton & Mills 2006
        • Not all schools were able to convert to being an 'ECM' school for various reasons, one of the namely being their LEA being underfunded. As such, if it was implemented LEAs oftened controlled certain aspects of ECM, opposed to rolling it out.
      • Implications of the ECM policy regarding school leadership and overall effectiveness.
        • Supporting factors
          • Curriculum change
            • Learning opportunities outside the school were an important motivational factor for success in implementing ECM.
              • Schools that regarded ECM as a core value were able to notice positive impacts on learning through 'extra-curricula activities'.
              • This meant that relationships with external providers had to be ingrained within schools ethos - which was an important dimension of ECM.
          • Parental engagement.
            • Schools that involved parents in the ECM development found implementing ECM to be a success.
            • Numerous offerings such as, night classes to support learning of different elements of daily-life.
          • Leadership
            • The policy was only effective if schools already had a focus, or were geared towards the notion of the 'whole' child.
              • Schools who had effective leaders (Head of school) were able to implement ECM effectively since the leadership teams had a clear direction, focus and engaged with all those involved.
        • Barriers
          • Lack of coherence
            • Schools who had other focuses that didn't relate to ECM found it to be a struggle to communicate effectively with agencies. Whereas, those who had such facilities on-site found very few issues of the sort.
          • Multiple pressures
            • Schools who focused on raising attainment and pupils numbers to H.E, struggled to implement ECM, as it was an added item that was not given consideration for.
          • Funding
          • Locus of Control
            • Schools who had a high internal LOC felt that managing ECM was doable, as they were in control of the curriculum.
              • Those who exhibited high external LOC found implementing ECM difficult, as they felt that external factors were controlling how they operate, and they were merely responding to instruction. As such, lacked the motivation to implement ECM.
    • Can schools compensate for society?
      • Ward and Eden, Key Issues in Education Policy, 2009, p.157
        • 'The ECM policy recognised that education policy doesn't have sufficient engagement with socio-economic factors & the needs of the wider-community'.
        • This is a significant shift from the view that schools are unable to compensate for society, which is the main assumption in most policy texts for the past 30 years'.
        • 'Delivery of the said 5 outcomes was inspected by OFSTED, which formed a layer of accountability and surveillance'.
      • Some four decades ago, Basil Bernstein concluded that the impact of socio-structural factors on educational outcomes is such that 'education cannot compensate for society' (Bernstein, 1970).
        • Gorard, has agued that, whilst attainment outcomes are stratified as Bernstein suggested, schools can have a more marked effect on other outcomes, functioning as 'mini-societies' to ameliorate the experience & impact of inequality, and to pave the way for a more equitable society. In this sense, Gorard concludes that schools can compensate for certain elements of society (Gorard, 2010).
          • The inability of schools to have transformative impacts on social and educational outcomes does not mean that they therefore have no impacts. It also accords with Gorard’s contention that the impacts of school systems are not con?ned to attainment outcomes.
            • It is also possible to go beyond the realms of Gorard's suggestions of 'mini-societies'. Instead, they can also operate as powerful strategies to combat some of the structural underpinnings of social and educational disadvantage.
              • For this change to be absolute the 'extended' services offered shouldn't be supplementary for an otherwise unchanged system. Instead they should be offered in tandem with a different approach to schooling, one that is holistic in nature.
                • Despite the notion of including schools in wider social-strategies, one must have a definitive understanding of what encapsulates a 'good' society, and the role a school plays within it. As such, one cannot have a definitive response to whether schools can compensate for society, as the very understanding of society is subjective.
    • Poverty & Social Class
      • The policy was seen as chance to climb the ladder of opportunity, and reduce/break the gap in child poverty (Ward & Eden 2009).
        • Later  the aim of Blair (1999) was reduced to 50% of reduced child poverty by 2010.
      • Blair (1999) we will aim to ensure that every child regardless of socio-economic background has a chance to prosper.
        • The policy was seen as chance to climb the ladder of opportunity, and reduce/break the gap in child poverty (Ward & Eden 2009).
          • Later  the aim of Blair (1999) was reduced to 50% of reduced child poverty by 2010.
        • Even though the policy was in response to Victoria Climbie's death, it was in fact a continuation of the Sure Start approach.
      • The ECM policy reflected both the needs of the economy and social justice. As educational qualifications determine one's stock, future opportunities and their economic contribution to society in the future.
      • Child Poverty
        • The relative material deprivation remained unchanged between 04'-05' = a rise in living standards, but not to standards experienced by richer families - Brewer et al., - 2008
      • Social class & Educational Achievement
        • Those claiming FSM aged 11 were 2x less likely to achieve basic numeracy and English skills - Palmer et al., 2007
          • GCSE - Non-FSM = 49% of 5 A*-C, FSM = 21.1% (DCSF, 2008)
            • Social class widened this gap - 45% Non-FSM white British boys = 5 A*-C to 17.4% FSM boys (DCSF, 2008)

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