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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Haim Ginot's famous poem for teachers reworked for pastoral care workers who have a 'DUTY OF CARE' TO BE AWARE about psychotropic drugs for children in their schools by Dave Traxson + 16 QUESTIONS FOR PASTORAL CARE WORKERS IN SCHOOLS

A Pastoral Care Worker's Revelation: a reworking of Haim Ginot's famous poem
 for teachers – by Dave Traxson


I've come to the empowering conclusion that I can be a decisive element in the child's life for care, safety, stability and growth.

It's my Humanity and warmth that creates the climate in our school.

It's my daily mood and expectations that nurtures the likelihood of growth in a young human being.

As a keyworker I possess a tremendous ability to utilise the power of Pastoral Care or Pastoral Scare for the benefit or not of a child.

I can be a tool of degradation or a tool for personal development of the child.

I can collude with or ignore the drugging children or take a lead in 'hugging' children and finding their inner 'rays of sunshine.'

I can humiliate and pathologise or humour and energise a child.

I can show human kindness or disinterest which is a lack of love.

In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a child feels normalised or pathologised.


 Key Questions For Pastoral Care Staff Relating to the Administration of  Psychotropic Drugs  on Children within the schools they work in.

I would like to pose some questions or dilemmas that educational professionals need to explore when working collaboratively with medical colleagues in an educational setting.  This applies when a child they are directly involved with is on or about to receive psychotropic medication that they have professional concerns about.

The purpose is to explore the remit of the "Duty of Care" of Educational Professionals in this sensitive area of multiprofessional collaboration

1)Are you following your own professional body's Code of Practice in relation to ethical practice and endeavouring to pursue the principles of beneficence ( promoting the well being of the child) and non-malifecence    (avoiding direct or indirect harm to the child)?

2)Is the GOLDEN RULE, "Would I want this approach for my own child" a criterion that helps in selecting an appropriate response for each case?

3)Does the headteacher and pastoral care team know how many children are on specific psychotropic drug treatments within their school / year group?

4)Do members of the pastoral care team get asked regularly to provide evidence and their opinions about the child's pattern of behaviour prior to the administration of psychotropic medication and whether they support the medication as partners in the delivery of services for the child concerned?

5)Is the headteacher or pastoral care staff part of the monitoring process regarding behaviour of particular children on psychotropic medication , especially the ones that they have clear  professional concerns about?

6)Do members of the pastoral care team regularly get updated by health professionals as to any changes in dosage and what possible side effects might be expected that result from these changes in regimen?

7)Have pastoral care staff had conversations with the child's parents or carers about any changes in behaviour or side effects that they have observed in school following any changes in medication?

8)Is it your responsibility as a caring professional to draw the parent's attention to any published information you are aware of in relation to this specific medical intervention e.g. NICE parent information sheets,factsheets and the ADHD Parent resource Pack (West Midlands Regional Partnership) etc.?

9)Do you as an educational professional feel comfortable about being  involved in administering medication on the advice of doctors and with parental permission so to do?

10)Do pastoral care staff in school have a means of challenging what they view as an intervention by medics that they are unhappy with, as they have an "In Loco Parentis" role for the children in their care in school? What process has been agreed for this within your setting?

11)Would you or a member of the pastoral care team trigger a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) meeting involving parents and other professionals to address any concerns you may have about levels of medication or speak to their school's nominated Safeguarding coordinator for advice about the best way forward?

12)How far should education professionals cooperate with medical professionals who are prescribing psychotropic medication for children the professionals know well? How can we best challenge this practice in cases we have clear ethical, practical, or professional concerns  about?

13)Should schools regularly administer these drugs when prescribed by the medical practitioner( with clear parental permission so to do)? Should staff be told of the rationale behind the recommended treatment and the possible Adverse Drug Reactions (A.D.R.s-side effects) prior to administration? Is this a legitimate "In loco parentis" role when many schools do  not give Paracetamol and yet are expected to administer Amphetamines?

14)Why are boys four times more likely to be identified than girls and prescribed drugs? Is this the case in your educational setting? How do you feel this may relate to young peoples later drug usage or dependence and to adult life outcomes e.g rates of  unemployment, criminality and imprisonment?

15)Are school governors regularly updated on the numbers of children on psychotropic medications and the benefits and difficulties experienced so they can also exercise their "Duty of care ",along with the Headteacher, as governors and have they seen the school guidelines on medication?

Do you think there could be a relationship between the use of prescribed stimulants with young children in your care and the later in life use of illegal stimulants such as cocaine,”speed”etc.                                 
 Collated by  Dave Traxson ,ASEP, Chartered Educational Psychologist in discussion with Headteacher colleagues, Pastoral staff and E.Ps

'“Pastoral Care Staff have a Duty of Care to be Aware.”



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