Dr Homden describes the government’s decision earlier this year to scrap the Adoption Register for England as ‘mystifying’, and asks how the decision could be seen as being in children’s interests at a time when the number of adoptions is going down. She urges the government to reconnect with the need for a service that helps children across boundaries, saying: “There needs to be a fundamental requirement – which is inspected – for children to be on that register just as there is for a child in school.
She also argues that schools are not ready for the advent of statutory relationship and sex education, and calls on sector leaders to give schools stronger support: “It is very difficult for schools to navigate between the needs and rights of their children and the views of parents, particularly if those are exacerbated and polarised by high-profile cases.” No school can be outstanding, she continues, if it is poor at personal, social, health and economic education.
The interview concludes with Dr Homden calling for renewed momentum to implement the recommendations of the Timpson review, published earlier this year, on school exclusions. “In one sweep they were accepted, but let’s not allow that to be on the shelf.” While she believes that actions do have consequences and exclusion may be necessary in some cases, there is concern about the lack of support for children and parents in that process.
You can read the full interview on the website of Children and Young People Now.