The Professors passion for "The Science of Deceit" started here...

Employed by the Ministry (in a covert capacity) to help introduce the law ending dishonest politics, you can see his hand all over the posts of past.

Current political circumstances have forced him to reveal himself and as we speak, MPs are signing up to re-introduce The Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill for debate with over 80,000 voters supporting them.

Posts before Jan '08 are purely for the record (with hindsight they make fascinating reading). Posts after May 13th mark the Professor's return.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Baby P / Told you so

Don't say we didn't tell you so.

This Baby P/Shoesmith/Balls and OFSTED thing is going to be interesting. Turns out that OFSTED ("We inspect and regulate to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people") hid crucial evidence from the court.

Shoesmith accused Ed Balls, OFSTED & Co of all kinds of irregular (lack of) procedure in making her the scapegoat and deflecting blame from the government. This isn't the first civil servant to point a finger at the government, but this is the first on such an emotive issue. Between the lines, Shoesmith's saying the gov and it's regulatory bodies are bent incompetent and social workers are fighting an uphill struggle to perform a half decent job.

Days after Baby P died, OFSTED had issued Haringay 3 stars in an inspection report on its performance, then, completely reversed their findings. Balls based his sacking of Shoesmith on the second, damning report.

Shoesmith was prevented from seeing OFSTED's report before it was published - unlike Balls who insisted on seeing it and was briefed the same morning. Shoesmith was also prevented from addressing any of it's findings. When her lawyers requested the notes and early drafts were disclosed for the court hearing, OFSTED couldn't find them, then said they didn't exist and then had to eat their words. A hapless new lawyer at OFSTED's legal department responded to a Freedom of Information request for the documents with a cheery "here they are."

Straight out of "In the thick of it".

The judge is so pissed off he's ordered OFSTED to pay all of Shoesmith's additional legal fees at a punitive rate. Nice to know the taxpayer will be footing all the bills then.

Bottom line, at least on the surface of it, is that OFSTED, safeguarder of children, is at least as crap as Haringay and we suspect as much to blame as Ball's dep't for the level of protection kids at risk can expect.

Another nail in the coffin for Government-created, "independent" review bodies.

IPSA eat your heart out.

P.S. A quick look at the IPSA site shows they were advertising for board members. Closing date for applications was 19th October. If there's anyone out there who applied, we'd love to hear from you.

1 comment:

  1. From your earlier post: "It also begs the question - if Shoesmith & Co are crap (the commonly held view), and the Gov was justified as well as capable of sacking her irrespective of procedure, what took them so fucking long ?"

    A few more questions: If Shoesmith & Co are so crap how on Earth did they get those jobs in the first place?(Who gave them references? What experience had they had?) Why were they not sacked the proper way when their failings were all too apparent? Were the terms of employment so badly skewed in Shoesmith & Co's favour that sacking them (even properly) would have been massively expensive? What role, if any, does the Association of Directors of Child Services have in this saga?*

    What still stinks to high heaven is the obscene management culture - namely things like media training when Peter Connolley's death hit the news. The priorities of these people are all wrong, all about networking and getting a foot in the door rather than running a tight ship and making things work.

    * All they have said is this: "Given the furious media circus and public dismay at the circumstances surrounding Baby Peter's death in Haringey it is clear that there was a political imperative to take action and restore public confidence in the system as a whole and locally in Haringey, but whether or not the action taken and blame attributed was fair is a matter for the High Court.

    Directors of Children's Services are very clear about their accountabilities but as system leaders will be watching the case carefully in the hopes that any ruling will provide clarity on the relationship between contractual arrangements with their employer locally and the powers held centrally by the Secretary of State."

    If Shoesmith's behaviour is anything to go by either Directors of Child Services aren't clear on their accountability or they are and such gross errors of procedure like those that contributed to Peter Connolly's death are never meant to touch them. If the latter, what is the use in employing these people?