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Tuesday, 14 September 2010

U turn. 20 yards ahead

Remember the article yesterday about the council that was going to refer a family to social services for a vicious crime against their seven year old daughter. The crime being, that they allowed her to walk 20 yards to school on her own. And, shock, horror, cross a road alone.

It is a 45-yard walk from school bus stop to front door and seven-year-old Isabelle McCullough’s parents were confident she could handle it alone.

Their home is in a quiet village and Isabelle had already been making the journey across the small 30mph road for the last year.

Unfortunately council officials disagree – and have warned the parents they face being referred to social workers if they do not escort their daughter to and from the school bus every day.

Well it would appear that the council are carrying out a screeching U turn.

Lincolnshire County Council has decided to take no further action over a father allowing his seven-year-old daughter to walk alone to a bus stop.

Of course we have the usual weasel words that it was only for the sake of the children.

Debbie Barnes, assistant director of Lincolnshire County Council's Children's Services, said: "The safety of children is the responsibility of everyone and where a member of staff brings a situation to our attention where the safety of a child or adult is compromised, we must react.

Here’s where it gets interesting though.

"NSPCC guidance states that children under eight should not be out alone; in this instance, a seven-year-old girl has been standing unaccompanied on a roadside and left to cross the road by herself."

What has any guidance from any non governmental body such as the NSPCC in this case, got to do with social services? And where do they get this figure of eight from? My children were quite happily walking a similar distance to school below that arbitrary figure. (I’ve Just walked it).

Of course the law of unintended consequences comes in.

From the Mum

"This has got so much public attention that we will have to be outside with her for the foreseeable future because now everyone knows there is a seven-year-old standing on the side of the road every morning.”

Nanny state at it’s best. Debbie Barnes. You are the weakest link. Goodbye.


  1. Give the interfereing jobsworths some publicity and they back down. They never appologise though, do they?
    You are right. WTF do the NSPCC have to do with it?
    And no, child protection is not the responsibility of everyone, it's the responsiblity of the childs parents.
    Councils. What are they good for?

  2. Ooh, interesting judgement there Debbie.

    So the safety of YOUR children are MY concern are they?

    I bet you'd crucify me if I tried to get within a mile of YOUR kids, Debs. I'd be branded a paedo wouldn't I?

    One way traffic I think there.

    What she really meant was that the interests of YOUR children are MY concern. End of story.

    And she's not a paedo because she works for the State. Yeah, right...

  3. So the SS should be set on my parents should they? At primary school age I had to walk a mile and a half (that was just to the bus stop )each morning; then two and a half miles on the bus; then a half mile to school. Same the other way every evening, summer/winter rain snow or shine. In winter it was still dark at the start and already dark by the evening.

    Shame they're dead already eh? Perhaps the SS can dig them up?

  4. At the age of 10 I was cycling 5 miles to school rain or shine.

  5. But it IS safe to allow the child to sit on the bus with total strangers. Apparently.

    Has the NSPCC always been a bunch of incompetent ninnies, producing bogus and spurious advice?

  6. I started cycling two miles or so to school when I was seven or eight. That was in the good ol' 60s.

  7. Its exactly the problem I had with the RSPCA prosecuting that cat bin woman. There is no justification for allowing charities to hold the powers that the NSPCC and RSPCA do.


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