Friday, 26 February 2010

Another question the BBC didn't ask

Against my will, I have spent some time today reading this.

I want to know why, in January and February 2008, Mr H and other social and care professionals - employees of the state - did not use existing child protection procedures to help the children of Angela Gordon.

I want to know why he, and other people involved with this case, did not use the system that is created to protect children like Khyra and her siblings. These people, the paid employees of Birmingham, were faced with a year's amount of evidence from teachers and medical staff that Angela Gordon's children were being abused. That information was collated from their time in school.

Why did Mr H and other workers not use the information provided by the school?

Those people - working for local government - already had, available to them, evidence from medical staff and teaching staff who observed the weight, nutrition and hunger issues of the children. They had evidence from staff at the school who met with the mother on several occasions and reported that her behaviour was bizarre, unreasonable, aggressive and confrontational. They had evidence of the abusive circumstances, logged for one year, from January 2007 to December 2007. They had that evidence.

Long before Angela Gordon withdrew her children from school, this was a child protection issue. The abuse was suspected. The channels to save her were there. The system was in place.

Mr H and other key staff ignored the overwhelming evidence of abuse. Mr H had evidence of unsuitable parents, known to social services, behaving irresponsibly for bad reasons, and yet he claims he was happy with parental provision. According to the judgment records, he was himself responsible for the actions which led directly to school deregistration.

Deregistration was not then, in effect, the action of the mother, but of the Local Authority themselves. This would explain why Birmingham council has failed to provide any letter from Gordon. There simply isn't one. Birmingham themselves took the decision to remove Khyra from the school roll.

The council in effect, created the situation of failure in the child protection system.

If those 'professionals' could not exercise correct judgment in the face of all this evidence, already collated, together with all the evidence, reports and observations of the teaching professionals at school, how can any further legislation help these people make the right decision?

All social and care workers working for Birmingham already had enough evidence, collected at school.

It is simply wrong to blame either the school or home education legislation for a failure in decision making and action that clearly lies with the Birmingham authority.

I am simply bewildered that the BBC chooses to ignore this. And I am incredulous that, faced with this evidence, the government can claim they only lack the legislation to enter the house to secure a child's protection.

For Khyra Ishaq, there were people already looking, they were already seeing, and they acted as if they were blind.


Kelly said...

Here's what I want to know. How can the Balls/Badman clown wrestling team keep insisting that a majority of home educators support them when the CONSULTATION clearly shows otherwise? What's that about?

Jax said...

I think you've covered that nicely Grit, thanks.

Ria said...

Great questions..... I want to know the answer to Kelly's as well.


Jo said...

I also read through the stomach-turning details of the case. What I learnt was that none of the proposals in the Bill would have saved Khyra. In fact, it was confusion by the Social Worker (despite knowing of the school's long held concerns over the weight-loss and abnormal behaviour around food) over whether this was child protection or a 'suitable education' issue which caused Khyra's plight to go unchecked. So it was the conflation of education and protection, which is what we have been seeing for the past year, which was, in part, responsible for the tragedy.

Rachel M. said...

that is an extremely sad story, I hope the remaining children are doing better now.

Grit said...

hi folks, thank you for your comments. i have scanned through dozens of articles in response to the judgements; the bbc reporting is almost alone in focusing on home ed.

jo, that is an interesting angle, and i am sure you are right. and the people who expect to walk into my home, are they judging us on home ed or the state of my floor? they won't know either. they may pick the one that suits them on the day, according to how they are being policed by their middle management and which political target they must meet that week to keep their job.