Thursday, 27 August 2009

Getting it right for every child in Edinburgh

“Everyone has a responsibility to do the right thing for each child and we must all work towards a unified approach, with less bureaucracy and more freedom to get on and respond to children.
This will mean earlier help and the child getting the right help at the right time packaged for their particular needs.”

I attended an excellent multi-agency conference this afternoon at Murrayfield stadium in Edinburgh. Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) is Edinburgh’s multi-agency response to the Scottish Government’s programme to support every child. The main aim of the conference was to bring together the various support agencies for children with the intention of getting us all to work together in a more structured and coordinated way for the benefit of all our children. At the conference we had representation from:

 Schools - including nursery, primary, secondary special and independent
 Social work
 Police
 Voluntary sector
 Scottish Government and
 National Health Service

In my 28 years of teaching this was the first time that I had attended a conference on this scale (300 delegates) from such a wide range of public service providers. Keynote addresses were delivered by Gillian Tee (Director of Children and Families) and Boyd McAdam. Both delivered what I thought were brilliant and inspiring speeches. I left the conference feeling very positive about the future for working with and supporting young people in Edinburgh. As a Headteacher of a thriving secondary school I am absolutely committed to and excited about contributing to this exciting development.

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