Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Child protection

At the start of the week I heard a story about music teachers being told they shouldn't touch pupils. The problem is that it's quite hard to help someone adjust their fingering or grip without using any touch at all. Obviously there are possible risks to children and also risks of false accusation to music teachers, given lessons are usually 1-1 behind closed doors. However, it all seemed a bit too paranoid in the child-protection department.

Meanwhile a case was about to come to the fore in the news where there was a comprehensive failure to spot serious and systematic abuse. Evidence was given stating that broken ribs weren't spotted by a specialist and that social worker accepted an explanation about a child's injuries.

I would venture to suggest that we won't stop serious abuse and even death by being even more paranoid about whether a teacher in school can have any physical contact with children. We need to be much more conscientious with one and perhaps a little more sensible with the other.

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