Thursday, July 06, 2006

Have You Had Your Five Portions?

ARCH have commented below to set me right on the matter of whether or not the Every Child Matters agenda will include a remit for the state to collect details on the amount of fruit and veg our children consume per day. No wonder I was confused. Whilst we heard from the Beeb, amongst other sources, that "the Department for Education and Skills denied the database would include this type of information", it seems that the local authorities will indeed be required to collect exactly this type of information if they are to pass their own inspection processes. So whilst information about fruit and veg consumption will not be stored on that particular database, it looks as if it will definitely be stored somewhere else on something very similar.

It is well worth repeating what ARCH have to say even if one would really rather not think about it, the implications being so scary.

Carlotta, you said: "government has actually denied that it will record whether a child is eating the prescribed amount of fruit and veg,"

For this you need to see the Public Service Agreement targets set for each local authority. these are the performance indicators on which each LA is inspected by the Joint Area Review team.
Here's the link.

In the first block of 'be healthy' indicators, it's in the 4th block of 'priority national targets'. LAs are asked to supply the percentage of children eating 5 fruit & veg a day. This information will have to be collected somehow - it's not something that can be worked out from already-held data in the way that, say, the figures for traffic accidents can.

The targets are worth a good look. Some of the data, such as school performance, will already be held. But how about 'take-up of sporting opportunities by 5-16yos' - does that mean a child will be logged every time s/he goes to the local sports centre? You can't work out the actual percentage of children using services just from broad attendance figures, because 20 children playing sport 5 nights a week would give the same result as 100 playing once, and a lot of them might not ever go near the sports centre...

It's interesting to consider the nitty-gritty of how LAs will obtain data necessary to satisfy JAR teams that they are meeting each performance indicator.


6 comments:

4 girls and 3 boys said...

This might be one way of seeing if kids eat their 5 portions but it http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,1742091,00. It was on the news. Kids put their fingerprint in a scanner at lunchtime and a computer brings up what they have eaten.

Clare said...

Will they be taking into account breastmilk if the child is still breastfed??? Am trying to only read the most recent of bloggers' posts while I try to catch up - don't know if I'd be brave enough to delve any further into yours anyway though! I hate the government!

Cx

archrights said...

Yes, we've heard about this system of logging what each child eats for dinner at school. It's certainly one way of doing it - though it would be rather dubious, because it would only record what the child had been served, rather than whether they'd eaten it. (Hmm, there's a parallel here somewhere...)

Carlotta said...

Lol...Clare! Perhaps you will have to express everything you feed them, then you'll be able to measure the exact amount, having recorded how many portions of fruit and veg you have eaten. Then you could divide this by number of infants you are feeding, then you must subtract the amount your own body absorbs, and then....err...oh dear, getting sort of complicated.

Sorry, you're flagged.

Karen said...

Carlotta,
I don't even know what to say. I think this is so far beyond Orwellian, that the man hiself would be flumoxed!

Move to Texas, dear. But not in August....

Carlotta said...

You know,Texas is sounding tempting, even in August!

4g&3b...thanks for the info...I don't know why but I couldn't get the link to work but found something similar, I think...http://technology.guardian.
co.uk/online/story/0,,1358563,00.html, which makes for yet more scary reading..:(