Monthly Archives: June 2015

‘The Mulberry Bush Issue’ of the goodenoughcaring Journal pilots speedily towards its July 1st, 2015, haven.



The Mulberry Bush issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal is piloting speedily towards its July 1st, 2015, haven.

John Diamond has provided us with an up to date inventory of the homeward bound Mulberry Bush cargo.  John Diamond  considers the Mulberry Bush’s cargo manifest  with An Introduction and supplies his  Reflections on the development of the Mulberry Bush,1948-2015John Turberville signals The Mulberry Bush approachCaryn Onions unfurls A multi disciplinary case study, Annabelle Rose charts The role of psychodynamic theory, Zoe McCarthy  fathoms The role of play in the development of traumatised children, Andy Lole gives a bearing on  Developing a peer review network,   Dave Roberts enters a log about The Mulberry Bush Training and outreach team and Ray Burrows  opens up  An MBOX outreach case study.

Siobain Degregorio offers an additional article about her experience of student placement at the Mulberry Bush.

We are grateful to all those involved with the Mulberry Bush Organisation for allowing us reflect upon and celebrate the history and the work of ‘The Bush.’

Other items of cargo in the manifest of the 17th issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal include Jennie Bristow’s Helicopters or hands off: today’s parents can’t seem to winMaurice Fenton’s Doing the Right Thing for Children in Care and Support Seekers, and John Molloy’s  The Habit of Abuse. 

Michael J. Marlowe offers us Building Relationships with Troubled Children: Insights from Torey Hayden, John Stein believes Experience is the Best Teacher, Bethlehem Taylor remembers A Cockney Childhood in the East End Of London :1945-1960  and Charles Sharpe reviews Inequality, Poverty, Education A Political Economy of School Exclusion by Francesca Ashurst and Couze Venn and, Leading Good Care: the task, heart and art of managing social care by John Burton.

We believe Issue 17 of the goodenoughcaring Journal is a very special one and  hope you are are anticipating  with the excitement we are.

British Association of Social Workers : statement on the closure of the College of Social Work

Guy Shennan, Chair of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) said: “We can appreciate why many social workers are now doubting the government’s commitment to the profession, given that its first action following the election is to close the College of Social Work.

“This comes in a week where Karen Bradley, minister for preventing abuse and exploitation, confirmed the government’s plan to consult on jailing social workers for ‘wilful neglect’.

“If ever there was a time for the social work profession to stand united, that time is now.

“There is no doubt that the children, families and adults that we work with are going to experience ever increasing hardship and the College closure is yet another blow for our social work colleagues and for service users.

“The College has done some good work for the sector and we will be contacting ministers and College members to discuss how this work can be taken forward.

“There are many newly qualified social workers currently undertaking the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) who will be worried about what the College closure now means for them.

“Only recently BASW has questioned the future of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) and its relationship to the new knowledge and skills statements being led by the Chief Social Workers.

“We also don’t know how the closure will affect members who have taken out Professional Indemnity Insurance with the College.

“BASW has spent the past year consulting with members to determine our future shape and direction and we will be releasing the results of that work in due course.

“BASW remains committed to providing a strong and independent voice for social work and social workers in the interests of both social workers and those who use our services.

“We are keen to work constructively with any individual or organisation where this will support and strengthen the social work profession, in England and across the UK.

“We will be marching alongside service users at the People’s Assembly protest against austerity in London tomorrow and urge as many social workers as possible to take part. We have to keep the faith and stand up for social work.

“It is vital we maintain our professional ethics, values and independence in these challenging times for the profession.”

BASW Chief Executive, Bridget Robb, who was a member of the original task force which identified the need for a professional college for social work, and a member of the negotiating team for the merger, added:

“This day has been predicted for some time as the model established by the government was not sustainable. We now look forward to working with the College and all its members and supporters to see how we can reunite the social work profession across the UK.”

BASW is keen to hear comments and questions from members on the College closure. Please email your thoughts to

Something to ponder : what’s happening to our education system ?

Given all the changes which have occurred in the English education system particularly since the Labour government’s introduction of academies in 2000 it is not surprising that urban myths abound about the current state of the English education system. Among these myths are :

“Academies are run for big companies to profit from.”

“Academies get rid of the bureaucracy of education and allow schools freedom.”

“Free schools are selective because they are set up by the better off or the more ambitious  parents in a community for their kids and not for children from poorer families.”

Just how mythical are these ? Here is some recent, though not necessarily conclusive, compelling or comprehensive evidence concerning these matters.

Academies and Free Schools

Academies are publicly funded schools which operate outside of local authority control. The government describes them as independent state-funded schools. Essentially, academies have more freedom than other state schools over their finances, the curriculum, and teachers’ pay and conditions. Under the Labour government these were existing schools – often those considered to be under performing  – which elected to move out of local authority control.  An academy requires a sponsor – usually these are commercial organisations – which agrees a sum to which it underwrites the school’s finances. Free Schools are in essence the same as academies, they are set up and funded in the same way directly from central government. They are often called academies but they are usually set up by groups of parents, teachers, charities, trusts, religious and voluntary groups.

Who benefits in the new education system?

The usual government response to those who claim that the increasing number of free schools and academies set up by funds from the public purse is leading to the privatization of our public education system is that these schools are not privatized because they are legally required to be charities and the “for profit” organisations which run and sponsor them have set up charities which in a technical sense own the schools, and so these parent companies cannot and do not make money from their involvement with these schools. Recent evidence suggests this response lies firmly on the spurious side of dubious is counter to evidence concerning the relationship between public services and private organisations in education.

Many of the early sponsored academies which were established first by the Labour government were from the start under pressure to buy services from their sponsors, while the majority of these sponsors failed to honour their financial pledges to the schools (National Audit Office,2014).

Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information requests showed that state-funded academies chains have paid millions of pounds to closely associated businesses, directors, trustees and directors (Benn,2015). One of the many examples of this was highlighted by The Guardian in 2014 when it reported that Grace Academy, which operates 3 schools in the Midlands of England and was set up by a Conservative Party supporter, Lord Edmiston, had paid more than a million pounds to closely associated businesses, owned or controlled by Lord Edmiston, to members of the board of trustees and to the relatives of trustees. Leigh Academy Trust, run by the national schools commissioner, Frank Green has from 1910, paid over a £111,000 in consultancy fees, to Shoreline, a private company founded by Frank Green. Aurora Academies Trust paid over £213,000 to Mosaica Education for educational services, reimbursement of travel expenses and for use of its Paragon curriculum resource; three of the Aurora directors have a direct or indirect interest in Mosaica Education. Though these dealings were heavily criticised by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, they are not  illegal !

A claim made for Free Schools is that they are more likely to be set up in deprived areas and on the face of it this seems a good thing. An important question is however not just “Where is a school set up ?” but also “Who is admitted to the school?”

A recent wide ranging study by the Institute of Education led by Frances Green concluded, “That free schools were being established in relatively poor areas but recruiting fewer poorer pupils from those areas than might have been expected if selection had been random.”  (Green et al, 2015, p8)

One example of this was found in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets where in one free school 4.4% of the children were eligible for free school meals while the figure for all schools in Tower Hamlets in 2014 was 69%.

With a government whose constant mantra has been to improve the education of poor children, it is sobering to read the LSE/University of Manchester assessment of the government’s performance since 2010. The study concludes that there is a trend toward the narrowing of the school curriculum which excludes children with interests not covered by the traditionally academic subjects. It also observes,

“Inequalities in educational outcomes are affected by family poverty and by government policies on curriculum and assessment as well as by the pupil premium, for the most disadvantaged pupils. The fact that the gap between poorer, low achieving pupils and the rest has widened despite the government’s efforts to close it should give cause for concern”.


Benn, Melissa (2015) “Who runs our schools?” correspondence in The London Review of Books Vol 37, No 12 June 12th, 2015

Green.F., Allen R., & Jenkins, A. (2015) “Are Free Schools Social Selective? A Quantitive Analysis.’ Centre for Research on Learning and Life Chances Institute for Education Accessed at June 11th, 2015

London School of Economics and the University of Manchester (2015) The Coalition’s Record on Schools: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015 accessed at on June 10th, 2015

National Audit Office, (2014)   Academies and maintained schools : Oversight and intervention accessed at   on June 11th, 2015

Syal, Rajeev. (2014) “Revealed: taxpayer-funded academies paying millions to private firms” in  The Guardian  January 12th, 2014 Accessed at on June 10th, 2015



Unity through Relationship Annual Conference : Call for Papers

9th and 10th November 2015 Regency Airport Hotel Dublin

Maurice Fenton of  Empower Ireland has written to us  to announce that Drs Jim Anglin and Thom Garfat are keynoting the 2015 ‘Unity through Relationship’ annual conference. This conference is an inclusive international event seeking to build on the connections and relationships made in previous years by bringing together representatives of all sectors involved in the provision of services to children, youth and families. These include (not an exhaustive list): front-line practitioners, educators, researchers, managers, clinicians, carers and students.

Conference theme – ‘Congruent Care through Dialogue in Praxis’.

As Paulo Freire has pointed out dialogue is the essence of a coherent and comprehensive process of sharing; values, knowledge, advice and support. In this sense, ‘dialogue’ represents ‘action’, rather than discussion without purpose as it encompasses research, theory, practice and politics.

To have effective, consistent and congruent practice in child, youth and family services it is clear that ‘dialogue’ is essential, and that this dialogue must permeate the everyday lives of those involved. Dialogue must exist within and between carers; those being cared for; child protection practitioners; educators; managers; clinicians; researchers and all those wishing to take up the mantel.

The objectives of this 2 day conference are (within a relational framework):

  • to provide a forum to highlight thinking and share the views and practice experiences of all who recognise this ‘imperative’
  • to go some way to meeting the need for the realisation of processes which permit the translation of theory and research into practice, and
  • to share progressive and contemporary knowledge.

The importance of ‘action’ is fully recognised when discussing the development of a fully integrated and relationally-based system of care. But if we are to exist within a system of effective, congruent and values-based care practices there needs to be space for ‘discussion and dissemination’, as only dialogue in praxis can ensure the promotion of the core values of; respect, equity, participation, partnership, empowerment and social justice. 

Empower Ireland is at this time sending out a call for papers and seeks applications to contribute to the conference. If you have an idea you would like to propose or want some help with the application process, Empower Ireland  will be happy to provide support.

This conference will be innovative, programmatic, participative, comparative, critical and empowering


Completed application forms to be submitted before 27th June 2015 to:

Forms for proposals for papers can be found at

The Mulberry Bush issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal cruises ever closer towards us


 Issue 17 of the goodenoughcaring Journal arrives and disembarks from its voyage across  the ethereal ocean very shortly.  Now well into our sight is details  become clearer and ever more  engaging.

On July 1st, 2015 the Mulberry Bush Issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal will be published online. John Diamond will introduce the Mulberry Bush articles and also provides an article Evolution and and adaptation of the Mulberry Bush to its environment 1948-2015, John Turberville explains The Mulberry Bush approach, Caryn Onions has written A multi disciplinary case study, Andy Lole considers Developing a peer review network, Dave Roberts writes about The Mulberry Bush Training and outreach team and Ray Burrows offers A MBOX outreach case study. There will also be a number of practice papers on the work of the Mulberry Bush written by students on the Mulberry Bush Foundation Degree courses in Therapeutic Work with Children and Young People. Siobain Degregorio is also writing an article about her experience of student placement at the Mulberry Bush.

We are grateful to all those involved with the Mulberry Bush Organisation for their generosity of effort in making this issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal such a special one.

Other articles in this, the 17th issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal include Jennie Bristow’s Helicopters or hands off: today’s parents can’t seem to winMaurice Fenton’s Doing the Right for Children in Care and Support Seekers, John Molloy has written The Habit of Abuse, Michael J. Marlowe offers us Building Relationships with Troubled Children: Insights from Torey Hayden, John Stein observes Experience is the Best Teacher, Bethlehem Taylor remembers A Cockney Childhood in the East End Of London :1945-1960  and Charles Sharpe reviews Inequality, Poverty, Education A Political Economy of School Exclusion by Francesca Ashurst and Couze Venn and, Leading Good Care: the task, heart and art of managing social care by John Burton.

We hope you agree Issue 17 of the goodenoughcaring Journal is a very special one and is to be anticipated with eagerness.


Programme for the Child Care History Network Conference, July 3rd, 2015




We have received the full programme and booking form for the Child Care History Network conference in Leeds on July 3rd, 2015. Here it is.


Children’s Homes, Past, Present and Future

Learning from the Past to Make Things Better for the future

Conference Programme

9.30      Registration with coffee

10.00.   Welcome by Dame Gillian Wagner, Patron of CCHN

10.15   Voices from care. Home from home – Different Pasts, shared Future

Ibrahim Bilal Maynard, ex Care Leaver.

  1. 45   Unintended consequences

David Lane, an Independent Consultant, currently working in Northern Ireland.

  1. 15   Coffee

11.30   One step forward two steps back. Evidence, economics and policy for Children’s Services.

Mark Kerr, University of Kent

  1. 00   Houseparent, warden, superintendent, officer in charge, registered manager?

John Burton is an author and a campaigner for improving standards in care homes.

12.30.   Lunch

1.30     Then and now: The past in the present and future of therapeutic residential child care

Stuart Hannah is a social worker and child and adolescent psychotherapist

Richard Cross is Head of Residential and Clinical Practice for Five Rivers

2.15     No Wrong Door: Innovative planning by North Yorkshire County Council

James Cliffe, Registered Homes Manager Residential and Leaving Care Services

2.45      Developing Management for present and future care services

Nick Waggett, Operational Director, Northern School of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy.

Dianne Lodge, Director, Dove Adolescent Services and Chair of the Independent Children’s Homes Association

3.15        Discussion with tea.   Working together for a better future.

Enabled by  Jonathan Stanley, Principal Partner, NCERCC

4.30     Close and depart

Here is the booking form for the conference :

 Child Care History Network

Summer Conference 3rd July 2015

Venue: Hinsley Hall, 62, Headingley Lane, Leeds, LS6 2BX

Day Delegate Registration and booking form


Full Name (for conference badge): _____________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________________________


Telephone: ____________________________________ Email ______________________________

Employer or Agency : _______________________________________________________________

Your payment includes coffee on arrival, morning coffee and biscuits, a two course Buffet Lunch, with vegetarian options and afternoon tea and cakes.

CCHN Member                                                      £60   Please tick if applicable

Non – Member                                                       £80   Please tick if applicable

 How to pay:

By cheque made payable to CCHN and sent with this form to:

Joan Vickers c/o PETT Study Centre, Church Lane, Toddington, Nr. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL4 5DQ.


By Credit card, or Pay Pal go to the CCHN website. Conference Page

A small number of bursaries may be available. To apply contact the Chair of CCHN, Kathleen Lane at

 Please note to book overnight accommodation contact Hinsley Hall on 0113 261 8000

A number of single and twin rooms may be available for B and B. To get the special conference rate mention the Child Care History Network (CCHN) when requesting a booking. Dinner on 2nd July can also be requested.