Sometimes I think the world is going mad

by Richard on September 28, 2009

And then I read the news and know it is.

Further confirmation of this undeniable fact comes with the report that two police officers face prosecution by OFSTED (Britain’s education watchdog) over their shared childcare arrangements

The two detective constables, Leanne Shepherd, from Milton Keynes, and Lucy Jarrett, from Buckingham, told the BBC how Ofsted insisted they end their arrangement.

Ms Shepherd, who serves with Thames Valley Police, recalled: “A lady came to the front door and she identified herself as being from Ofsted. She said a complaint had been made that I was illegally childminding.
“I was just shocked - I thought they were a bit confused about the arrangement between us.
“So I invited her in and told her situation - the arrangement between Lucy and I - and I was shocked when she told me I was breaking the law.”

I’m glad to see that the Children’s Minister is looking in to this, but still shocked it is necessary. This is clearly a case where the strict application of the letter of the law (a good and necessary law, I might add) goes against all reason.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1

PamBG 09.28.09 at 2:52 pm

Barking mad just about sums it up!

2

fat prophet 09.28.09 at 5:44 pm

I do think thought there is a very serious side to all this -are grandparents and auntie an uncles doing exactly the same sort of thing? Is this the next government inspired witch hunt? Have the people at OFSTED got nothing better to do than harass parents who are trying to do the best for their children? Is this a revenge job- some criminal one or other of the police ladies have locked up having a go back?
Quick where’s the nearest loony bin??

3

Richard 09.28.09 at 10:41 pm

We’re all living in it, FP!

Though to be fair, I don’t think this can be characterized as a government witch hunt. More like an unintended consequence of a law applied to the letter. If I’ve understood correctly, OFSTED were responding to a complaint they’d received. What I’d hope is that we’ve got officials with enough nouse to respond properly to a complaint like this: “Go away. Don’t be silly” would have covered it imho.

4

fat prophet 09.29.09 at 6:05 am

You are right Richard, the problem is a lot of the officials haven’t got the nouse - often they are too busy worrying about the rules and regulations to apply any common sense. I caught a bit on the news on the radio last night where the on policewoman said she may have to give up her job as she would not be able to afford the child care fees if they were no longer able to continue the arrangement that was in place. Total stupidity if you ask me. As for the witch hunt I was suggesting this could be the thin end of the wedge so to speak.

5

Tony Buglass 09.29.09 at 7:59 am

To be fair to the officials involved, once a report or complaint has been made, they really do have to follow it up. There have been too many tragedies in recent years where that hasn’t been done, so now they’re all running scared of getting it wrong. The only way to be sure of getting it right is to Do It By The Book - assuming that the book is right. In this case, I suspect the problem is in the detail - who on earth set the limit at 2 hours a day? Why were the terms set as they were? Why didn’t they think about the case of ordinary friends helping each other out?

More to the point, now the problem has been diagnosed, are they going to solve it, and solve it in time?

6

Snowy Owl 10.06.09 at 5:01 pm

Hhhmmm! I have heard a very different version from what has been publisised. That there were other child protection issues, which social services are not allowed to make public, and this was a loophole they could use to protect the children involved!
As for child care costs, lets not forget the average experianced police office is paid double the average office workers salary and most childcare costs are claimable via working family tax credits and other incentives unless of course they have “other” income putting them above the claim limits.
This is based on facts, as I see lots of payslips/ tax returns etc!!
Summary - don’t belive everything you read in the papers - escpecially the Daily Mail !
PS I know I’m rubbish at spelling.

7

Snowy Owl 10.06.09 at 5:02 pm

That’s scary the little logo I have been allocated actually looks like me!

8

Richard 10.06.09 at 7:02 pm

That’s a good point, Snowy.

And I don’t think you look anything like your avatar. (You’re much scarier in real life! ;) )

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