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The Care Review Has To ‘Go Bolder, Broader, Bigger!’

The Care Review has to ‘Go bolder, broader, bigger!’

The reasons for the resignation of Sir Kevan Collins needs to be heard loudly by the Care Review as it comes to publish its ‘Case for Change’.

Sir Kevan, the education recovery commissioner , the ‘Catch Up Tsar’, it is reported recommended £15 billion funding to alleviate the impact of the Covid crisis on children’s learning. The actual funding, it is said, amounts to £50 per pupil. Teachers leaders denounced this as pitiful.

Sir Kevan called it, “A half-hearted approach risks failing hundreds of thousands of pupils”.

The package of support “falls far short of what is needed,” is “too narrow, too small and will be delivered too slowly.”

He called it, “A half-hearted approach risks failing hundreds of thousands of pupils”, saying the support did not come close to meeting the scale of the challenge.

He said he had no option but to resign from his post sending a letter to Boris Johnson saying, “I told you that I do not believe it will be possible to deliver a successful recovery without significantly greater support than the government has, to date, indicate it intends to provide.” Sir Kevan answers something we’ve been mulling over at NCERCC, what is to be done when a civil servant is asked to do something unethical.

For the Care Review this means ‘Go bolder and broader, provide substantially more investment’.

Ed Miliband promoting his ideas in his new book ‘Go big’ has chastised himself for not being bold enough. He says he was bold in his analysis but wasn’t in his solutions

Structural inequality creates deprivation and disadvantage. Poverty and its associated ills is the reason for a care system having to be funded according to resolving unmet need.

Unless it analyses the causes of the need for children’s services the Care Review will be proposing solutions without a problem. Deprivation and disadvantage, in their own right, and as sources of other secondary child welfare issues, have to be addressed as part of the solution. The ADCS have begun stating unequivocally that they cannot do what is needed with the funding they have. Researchers agree, Rick Hood, Paul Bywaters and colleagues show how current procedures act to screen and ration access to services. Without attending to the causes of the need for the care system it cannot be reviewed or renewed.

For the Care Review this means ‘ Meet the challenge, end the gap between the rhetoric and reality of the words ‘levelling up’. ‘Go big’.

The Care Review terms of reference are restrictive. They state there is no additional spending available. But more funding is essential, and it is economically as expedient as it is desirable. Let’s explain why.

‘The idea of a politically neutral analyst helping policymakers govern more effectively is for now, dead,’ argues Paul Krugman in his new book ‘Arguing with zombies: economics, politics and the fight for a better future’.

Beneath various social work/care current ‘innovations’ seems to be the belief that increasing returns through increasing production reduces unit cost and specialisation bringing comparative advantage from producing a high-end product.

It is the story we have repeatedly been sold, but the statistics are not telling us it is being successful. Deprivation and disadvantage continue to rise, care applications and placements too. To fund statutory services early and preventative supports have had to be denuded or removed resulting in every spiralling cost.

It is not one or the other that is needed, but both, and this will take funding.

For the Care Review to be a success it must not act as the gatekeeper of the terms of reference, but as an independently minded critic

Jonathan Stanley