Sunday, November 30, 2008
In the population as a whole, the number of measles cases has shot up this year. There have already been over a thousand cases and this despite the fact that rate of vaccination in the younger age ranges has slowly risen, though it has apparently recently stalled. Herd immunity is only achieved when 95% of the population are vaccinated or are already immune.
A small percentage of those who have received two doses of the vaccine are still susceptible to measles, though they should have a less severe form of the disease.
Deaths from measles are due largely to an increased susceptibility to secondary bacterial and viral infections. Mortality rates in the developed world are quoted at best as being around 1/5000, (though other sources put it at 1/1000). However, even in the developed world, 30% of the immuno-compromised will die if infected. The mortality rates in undeveloped countries ranges from 5 - 10% and there is currently a huge push to vaccinate those most at risk in these populations, ie: the under fives.
Measles is highly contagious. Once it gets a grip, people will die or be left with permanent complications such as brain damage, however well-nourished they may be.
There is no proven link between autism and MMR. When they stopped using the vaccination in Yokohama, the incidence of autism continued to rise.
The single vaccine for measles result in more cases of life-threatening anaphylaxis.
Go get your MMR!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Home educators, otoh, manage it all the time, and are increasingly turning out successful adults as a result.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Sigh. Yep, this echos my experience of a similar system over a decade ago now. Inputting records onto the computer definitely took up more time than paper notes, took one away from patient care, and provided one with less sensitive, tailored information at the end of it all.
Honestly, they should have listened to me all along!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
(1) whether the provision of additional flexibilities in the Social Security (Lone Parents and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2008 for those lone parents who face circumstances that need special consideration will include those who home educate out of necessity rather than choice;
(2) what provision has been made in the Social Security (Lone Parents and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2008 for those lone parents who home educate their children out of necessity rather than choice; what estimate he has made of the number of children who are home educated out of (a) necessity and (b) choice; and if he will make a statement.
The proposed Regulation changes will not apply to lone parents who: are in receipt of Carer's Allowance; have a child for whom they are receiving the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance; foster children. These lone parents will be exempt and continue to be eligible for Income Support.
Lone parents in these circumstances who are also home educators are included in this group. Those lone parents who do not qualify for exemption and are capable of work will have to claim Jobseeker's Allowance, where they will be required to actively seek and be available for work of at least 16 hours a week.
However, it is recognised that lone parents who home educate may face unique and varied circumstances. Therefore we are ensuring that Jobcentre Plus Personal Advisers will have the appropriate training and guidance to deal with home educators when they make a claim for Jobseeker's Allowance. This will include making use of the proposed additional flexibilities to the Jobseeker's Allowance regime where the individual circumstances of home educators make this necessary. In addition home educators, like all other lone parents, will not be penalised if they have good cause for not taking up a job and the availability and suitability of childcare will be central to such a decision."
Wouldn't it have helped not to have spent all that money and wasted all those man hours on all these databases? You have to wonder, particularly when you also factor in all the extra trouble the databases cause with the perpetual data leakage. (See here for another example.)
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
And he shouldn't kid himself: plenty of the original Steiner theory, the epistemology, the ethics, the ontology are all completely bats, and many Steiner schools perpetuate the foolishness to this day.
He certainly kids himself on the matter of coerciveness of Steiner schools.
"The children are free to play without their natural curiosity or imagination being stifled by numeracy or literacy lessons. "
OK, so Steiner isn't prescriptive in exactly the same way as a state school but it is nonetheless still highly prescriptive, potentially hugely restrictive and stifling to curiously and imagination, eg: a child is not enabled to read before the age of 7, he won't be aren't allowed to watch MythBusters because he won't be allowed a TV at home. He won't be allowed to listen to music in the car on the way home because this stifles what would otherwise apparently be a far more valuable conversation. He'll be compelled to wear a hat on prescribed occasions because otherwise a child's spirit might wiggle out... or something equally batty. He won't be allowed to draw Buzz Lightyear with a fine pen when he should be drawing little angels with chunky crayons.
Ho hum. Why waste your time, I'd say.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
From Lord Kirkwood, (column GC35)
"In terms of home education, the department is heading straight for a judicial review. Home education used to be a lifestyle choice by people with a kind of hippy way of life. It is not any more. It is worrying that the department does not know how many people this measure will apply to, but I would put money on the fact that the provisions in the regulations will be challenged in the courts by those who home educate. I would support them in doing that because someone needs to test the fairness of the regulations as they currently stand."
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
...from the Guardian:
"Lynne Featherstone, the local MP, said Baby P had fallen through "safety net after safety net. The Children's Act was borne out of tragedy in Haringey after the death of Victoria Climbié,'' she said. "Yet eight years after her death the law created to stop this happening again has failed to prevent a similar tragedy in the same borough. We must therefore have a fully independent investigation by the children's commissioner into what went so terribly wrong.""
Isn't it simply the case that with parents as appalling as this, nothing will prevent this terrible situation? 60 + visits from health and social services and they still didn't stop it.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
"A further set of questions surround the extent to which the processes and procedures associated with the Every Child Matters agenda seriously invade and undermine the rights of children to privacy set out under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The concern with 'joined-up services', monitoring the behaviours of children and young people, and to the sharing of information has led to both to the construction of databases that often unknown to them, contain intimate material on a scale that has been deemed disproportionate by the Information Commissioner; and to the ability of a wide range of people to access that information. In addition, it has drawn a range of practitioners (including many informal educators) into the formal surveillance process. There has been a fundamental cost to this. Children and young people are being denied spaces to explore feelings, experiences and worries away from the gaze of the state. A visit by a child or young person to a third sector advice agency, for example, to talk about sexual activity can quickly trigger police intervention. The loss of this space is very significant and the Office of the Information Commissioner has found that children themselves were concerned about invasions of their privacy, and that they would be reluctant to use 'sensitive services' – and may turn away from ‘official’ agencies and rely more heavily on other sources of help and information (Hilton & Mills, 2006)."
"The Conservative and the Liberal Democrat spokespeople rightly raised the issue of home educators. That gives me an opportunity to clarify our views in that regard, which is important. We completely respect the right of parents to home educate their children; however, we do not pay for them to do so. They carry on receiving income support if they wish to home educate their children. When I say that we accept the right of parents to home educate their children, that is as long as the local authorities consider the education to be suitable. That was tested through the courts; the case was Phillips v. Brown in 1980. If the education is not suitable, the local authority has the power to issue a school attendance order, but none of that is relevant in this case. I am simply clarifying that we are not attempting to make it harder for lone parents to home educate their children if that is what they seek to do and the provision is suitable.