Remember : April 2006

The Webmag has been going for over six years now, and we must have published over a thousand articles. Who refers to the musty piles of back numbers of hard copy magazines?
The Webmag articles are all there at the touch of the Back Issues button. Modern technology makes them available.

But unless you are using a search engine, you might not think of rooting through our past issues, and if you are a new reader, you certainly won’t remember the pieces when they came out. There are some really good articles published years ago but still worth looking at, and this column is intended to draw attention to a few of them.

The issue brought out in July 2000 focused on quality assurance and inspection. Out of a themed Contents List, Charles Pragnell’s has been picked. He argued for the setting of clear targets in Quality Assurance – A process of Enabling and Ensuring Standards of Care for Children and Young People and suggested that there were three goals which social care services are striving to achieve – alleviation, change and development.

In August 2000, Terry Hoon raised the issue of paedophiles in To Out or Not to Out? The News of the World was running a campaign at the time about Megan’s Law. The issue of the Webmag may be nearly six years ago, but the issue is still current.

It was only last week that the News of the World Editorial was claiming success in its current campaign against sex offenders, as it had persuaded Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, to make hostels inform schools in their neighbourhood of any sex offenders being accommodated. One of Terry Hoon’s concerns was vigilante action against offenders. The News of the World has now assured us that its readers know that “taking the law into their own hands is illegal and unacceptable”. That’s all right then.

Inspection – the Closure of a Residential School and a linked article Destroying a Community in the Name of Ensuring Quality in the September 2000 issue both focused on the unintended ill effects of inspection. In the main article a school had had to close, affecting the careers of the staff and blighting the lives of a large number of young people attending the school. When the matter was bottomed out, the school should not have been shut; such is the power of inspectors.

As a supplement to this issue we carried a tribute to Barbara Kahan, who had died in August 2000, under the heading The Loss of a Champion. Barbara was certainly a champion for children, and her tributes are worth reading, but she was also a champion of the Webmag, and we are grateful for that.

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