Freeman's Thinking

Yet another feature of life for "just about managing" and "not quite managing" families (JAM/NQM) is that cheap food is often less nutritious and sometimes actively bad for you, but if it's all you can afford you have no alternative as it fills your children's bellies. The problem of poor nutrition is...

The Autumn Statement wasn't exactly exciting or revolutionary, but that's what Philip Hammond promised in advance. But it's pretty depressing reading for many people, and in particular the JAM group (as I must now learn to call them) and especially those who are already not ‘just about managing'. One...

There is plenty to be gloomy about at present - everything from unaccompanied children seeking asylum, which itself is just a symptom of huge international problems, to the continuing austerity regime which is now biting harder and more sharply on public services, with everything from libraries closing...

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Down's Syndrome

25 October 2016

Over the years, there has been a shift in the language from ‘handicapped' to ‘disabled' and (not universally) ‘differently abled'. I'm fully in support of this - children do have different abilities and some of these fall within the so-called ‘normal' range and some fall outside. I've been watching the...

I was seduced, I admit it, by the rhetoric of the Troubled Families Programme. It seemed so obvious that wrap-around intensive support ought to work in a way that individual and unlinked services would not. This, despite the fact that we have had more than a few programmes - locally and nationally -...

The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) and Public Health England (PHE) are publishing a poster and a briefing, and running a series of awareness-raising events early next year, all aimed at early years practitioners. The aim is to reduce the number of unintentional injuries in and around the home...

Call me a Luddite - I'm happy for you to do so - but I have a strong feeling that there are a number of trends coming together in modern society, and particularly for children and young people, which will, together, have long-term powerfully negative, and to a large extent unknown and unknowable, consequences....

Here are two newspaper headlines from 25 April 2016: The Guardian: Reading boosted by phonics, study says The Daily Telegraph: Phonics test ‘does not improve reading’ If ever there was evidence needed for education in the interpretation of media messages, this coverage would be really useful!...

Later today, the Chancellor will announce the largest shift in education since the creation of local authorities early in the last century, before the First World War. The wholesale privatisation of the schools system will be encouraged, if that is the right word, by some significant ‘smoke and mirrors’...

The Duchess of Cambridge, no less, is promoting the notion to headteachers that children should be given some "space" because their "heads are too full". She was speaking at a Place2Be conference - she is a patron of the charity - to headteachers, and what she had to say was full of sense. So: "It is...