Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Cultural services putting "every child matters" into policy

I have unearthed two documents form different parts of the country that analyse the way to integrate Every Child Matters into their systems. One is from the East Midlands, called "Unlocking the Potential" by Dixon and Roberts. The other is "Review of Museum, Library and Archive Activity with Children and Young People" by Naylor and other authors for the North West. This is what they say.

Dixon and Roberts
  • Museums and Galleries do not work with children's services at a strategic level, but libraries are doing some.
  • Children's services would prefer to have strategic relationships with libraries, museums and galleries than to commission their services.
  • Libraries have a greater awareness of children's service priorities and are more willing to reflect them in the library services.
  • young people should expect libraries to offer participation in library development, Volunteering opportunity
  • a place to develop citizenship
  • free, safe welcoming spaces IN THEIR LOCAL COMMUNITY
  • Formal and informal learning support
  • Inspiring books, reading materials, activities
  • information of education, training and careers
Naylor, et al

  • Hard for libraries, museums and archives to be strategically involved with other partners at government level, but there is an opportunity at local authority level.
  • Libraries are better at doing this than museums and archives. Their strategic plans are closer to Every Child Matters. "Public Libraries have a longer track record in this area having always a more clearly defined pedagogic and social purpose than museums and galleries"
  • there is not a lot of literature about the impact of the cultural sector on academic attainment because of a lack of longitudinal research. Apart from Libraries, that work with PEEP, EPPE and bookstart. These have had studies published about them and many studies are ongoing.
  • There is no baseline on which to judge the impact.
  • There needs to be research to capture in impact and output of working with children, research with control groups and ethnographic analysis of the nature of the learning that goes on.
  • Youth Matters is also another notional programme that fits with every child matters. There is a youth capital fund. (or was, depending on forthcoming government cuts). It is mandatory for young people to be involved in the design of services.
  • Generic Learning Outcomes are are good idea
  • Nearly all public libraries do rhyme-times and story times, but their benefits are unknown.
  • Local Authorities are meant to deliver partnership programmes and embed them in the community, partnership working is the key.
  • libraries are actively increasing literacy work across the board
  • There is not much in depth ethnographic work to analyse the nature of learning.
  • Difficult to work out what influences in a child's life leads them to economic success or failure.
  • Libraries need to support the school curriculum (Mobile libraries do)

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