Monday, 7 June 2010

Integrate your PCSO into the community!

I should never have left my fantastic job in advertising. I was shit hot at that job. Some folks even said, if I stayed just one more day, my killer copy could bring the entire computer industry to its knees. How much praise is that!

But you never lose the skill, right?

Now there are people in our society crying out for my help. Like the Police. Or, more specifically - because brand identity is key to this new, improved, 21st century leading edge - the Police Community Support Officers.

Those brave PCSO knights in shining armour. They need my help. Seriously.

I know this, because we meet a PCSO today, me and the kids, along with our local home ed group. After thirty minutes listening to him, I have tears in my eyes. I know where my skills are needed most.

Because this PCSO knows less than nothing about home education. He's all wide eyed and sweetly innocent and 'Do you not have to follow the National Curriculum?' and 'Do you have to prove you home educate?'

It's almost like I wanted to take his cute hand and say Hire me! You look so out of touch with our community little fella, that you need some radical image optimisation support! I can do that job! I will put you in touch with the people you serve!

The first thing I would do, obviously, is something about the outfit. People get confused. Like on the truancy patrol. I might think the rozzers are bearing down on me when it is the PCSO.

So we have to make the PCSO look different. Fun. Approachable. Colour coded.

Yellow, we can't use, because I'm saving that for traffic wardens. Red is dangerous, so that sends out the wrong image entirely. Light blue tie-dye, possibly, but it might make them look like drugged up new age hippie types. Maybe silver. That would be good. Those PCSOs would look hi-tech, space-age, super-cool! Little kids would come up and want to know if they were robots, then the PCSOs could take that instant advantage and maybe pretend to be robots! It would be fantastic. A real breakthrough down-with-the-youth moment!

Image change need not be expensive, I will say, because tin foil is cheap. We could wrap that round hats. It makes very good modelling material, so we could sculpt fashionable curly bits like antennae! You see? I bet you are wishing Grit could make over your entire image today!

That's just the start. We could broaden their appeal for everyone. We could make a Simon Cowell pop group out of some PCSOs, or do a summer promotion where you have to collect maybe a dozen stamps from your local PCSOs and then you get a prize like a barbecue. And they could do other things too, like open new shops and become celebrities. People would love them and want to be like them!

These are all fantastic ideas, I know you'll agree. And I'm sure your friendly PCSO will agree too, because I truly believe they want to understand home educators, especially the bolshy ones they're bound to encounter on the next truancy patrol.

So I give you these ideas for free. I would love your home ed group to pin down your PCSO and maybe the Educational Welfare Officer too, and integrate them into our communities.

Of course I accept it is easier to inform your friendly PCSO about home education by distributing examples of good practice. Like this Local Authority guidance on home education, drawing their attention particularly to Section 1.8.

But it is not quite as much fun as the opportunity to make them a tin foil hat.


funkyhan said...

I often want to reply to your posts, but being that I use google reader, it's not always easy... I couldn't pass this one up!! Hilarious! Thankyou!! If I could've pressed "like" more than once, I would have!!

Thanks Grit for your wonderful posts and complete honesty :)

sharon said...

Tinfoil hats and add 3D style specs! Perhaps they could also give out free badges with 'I am not a truant' printed on them. Glow in the dark of course!

Grit said...

hi funkyhan! thank you for your comment. i think you have guessed by now that i don't blog for the density of reaction...! it's always fun to write, and great to know you enjoy it.

sharon, that is an idea: instead of us showing them 'proof' of our home ed, perhaps the responsibility should be on the pcso to hand out reward stickers for not being in conventional schooling.

kellyi said...

I am going to print out your LA guidance attachment and then present it to our EWO as ours has nothing like section 1.8

Ours is more "We don't want you to do it, we don't like it but if you have to we will breathe down your neck like mad."

Grit said...

hi kelly - i think the guidance from the mk council has originated from scottish guidance; i had an idea that in itself was informed through case law? i could've got that wrong, but no doubt someone could tell that history. anyway, it seems to be one of the best worded that i've come across.