Labour’s welcome helping hand for the Hidden Children

Andy Burnham’s comments on closer links between the Health Service and Education showed a welcome insight.  He pledges to overturn the privatisation of the Health Service and to give back control to local authorities.

“Local councils would take the lead in purchasing care and the NHS would be expanded so that hospitals offer social and mental health care under a Labour government, a dramatic rolling back of the coalition’s health reforms, Andy Burnham has said.”

From The Guardian (1)

“He also made it clear that local authorities would take the lead in commissioning that care, replacing the system of clinical commissioning groups where GPs are put in charge of buying treatments for patients. “It will take time, it won’t happen overnight, but I believe organisations will grow into that,” he said.

The changes represent an effective re-nationalisation of the NHS that would give hospitals and councillors a much bigger say in how the health service would run.”

Many people are unaware of the thousands of children missing from school.  Even teachers may not have an understanding of the reasons for absence. Today’s young children are pressurized by a curriculum driven by politicians, teachers striving to ensure their schools meets the targets of league tables.

The anxiety caused by extreme pressures such as this, or by the stresses of adolescence, by bullying rife in large, noisy schools  where lip service is given to  resolving bullying and teachers trained in policy, yet in practice it is very difficult to resolve, and so that the bullied child remains too frightened to attend school. Other children miss out on education because they are caring for an adult at home.

Speaking at a party conference fringe event, Andy Burnham argued that health and wellbeing boards could be the “best hope” for young people, who are losing out on early intervention to safeguard their mental health because of public services reforms.

Health and wellbeing boards are the best hope. I can’t think of any other forum that has the health responsibility but also that link in terms of the council’s other responsibilities,” he said.

He added that Labour-led councils were being encouraged to combine commissioning decisions over health and education wherever possible, to encourage early support for young people in schools and other children’s services settings.

“We’re getting them together in the same room to start talking about health and public health and starting to say, why don’t we all have a consistency in what we do? This needs to be on the education side as well,” he said.

From CYPNow: (2)

Some children are just too ill to attend school, many suffering chronic illnesses or fatigue. Forward thinking LEAs have provided specialist tutors and Tuition Centres to provide education for sick children. Sadly, the Coalition’s Education Policy is the break up of the Local Education networks. Centralised services have been cut. Academy Schools and Free Schools have no obligation to provide education for children suffering from EBSR (Emotionally Based School Refusal) (3) , or children with ME or chronic fatigue syndrome, or severely ill children (4).

Hidden children will just drop out of the statistics, to be forgotten about, the children no-one sees.  Anxiety which is not addressed may continue into adulthood.A lonely childhood can lead to depression, and life-long isolation. This demonstrates yet more ill-thought out policies from a government with no idea of the reality for anxious or ill children. Their privileged and distorted experience does not lend itself to providing solutions for health and education for the majority of people in this country. Lacking an education,  what prospects for employment and an independent life can these children hope for?

It is time we had some politicians in power who showed some empathy.  It would seem that Andy Burnham for one is showing he is in touch. How welcome that is!

1) Guradian : Andy Burnham: Pledges Reversal of NHS break up. (1)

2) CYP Now (Children and Young People Now) Andy Burnham calls on local areas to prioritise mental health in schools

3) Think Left: EBSR: Emotionally Based School Refusal

4) Think Left: Somebody help ME! (Children with ME/ Chronic Fatigue)

Other relevant posts:

Think Left: Consortia , not Academies

Think Left: Cinderella Services: Children Deserve Better.

Think Left: Integration or Inclusion

4 thoughts on “Labour’s welcome helping hand for the Hidden Children

  1. Whilst agreeing totally with this post; these ‘hidden children’ will disappear into the growing ranks of ‘hidden disabled. Ill and disabled people are falling under the radar daily as they are callously refused benefits and only those with people able and willing to support them will not then join the ‘hidden homeless’.

    The Policies of Political Poverty has created a cycle of deprivation not seen for over 80 years and it is this bigger picture the UK people need to become aware of and quickly!

    Like

  2. Pingback: The Political Policiesof Poverty | jaynelinney

  3. Pingback: The Political Policies of Poverty | Think Left

  4. Pingback: Academisation and the Neglect of Sick Children | Think Left

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