I think from what I've read that he makes some good points. Certainly some things that are worth discussing.
"Overall, there is great political pressure to spend money on such things as Sure Start but little scientific testing, refinement, and changing budgets to reinforce demonstrated success, therefore billions have been spent with no real gains."
I totally support this. My local Surestart would be of more use to the local disadvantaged children if the land and buildings were given back to the school the land was taken from. My daughter goes to this school and they lost the only green bit of their playground, which was already overcrowded. The PAN has now been increased so there are even more children in this smaller tarmac-only playground and the library has been made into a classroom. The Surestart centre seems to be mainly used by mums whose children will attend the nearby state school in a more affluent area which still has giant green playing fields/library etc and has had no increase in PAN despite being massively oversubscribed. (Can't help thinking the governing body at this school must be much better at protecting the interests of the children at their school at the expense of any others than ours is!)
Totally subscribe to DC saying that there should be proper investigations into whether these things actually work. Not sure the local Surestart is actually achieving anything for the local poor children as opposed to being a nice meeting place for the local NCT mums. And anything it has achieved should certainly be weighed against the very real detriment to the school children.
I refuse to read anything he says until he's studied a little biology Both DH and I have master's degrees. Neither of us come from families with educated parents. I know many people like us, all of whom benefited from an education system that nurtured children's talents rather than looked at their parent's wallets before determining their worth.
Kathy Silva from Oxford and her team have produced reams and reams of peer reviewed research examining the success of these early years programmes in the US and UK and internationally the evidence is pretty solidly in favour of having them, even if your child's playground has shrunk a bit. (Can you people not look beyond the ends of your bloody noses, I was left thinking, after reading your extraordinarily self-centred post disguised as social concern. Forgive my bluntness but I am getting frustrated with this sort of lazy thinking on MN).
Does he think people just make up evidence for fun? Trial programmes for the sake of it? That people have nothing better to do?
These tossers are incapable of critical thinking in the analytical sense and like cushions, in that their opinions hold the shape of the last bum to have sat in them - Hirsh, Marx, mad people from the 1930s ... we have been taken over by loud mouth bigots and lunatics. Surely I am not alone in seeing this for what it is?
If I have to stand for fucking Parliament to sort this crap out, I will be SO CROSS.
Boddingtons, get on the fucking management board of the Sure Start centre and help the staff get the right people in there. They're probably tearing their hair out about this. You have no idea how hard it is to deliver these services properly, changing community engagement practices of people neglected for decades. Stop judging and start fucking helping to sort it out, or mind your own business.