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Government to ban use of phrase “Every Child Matters”

12 Aug 2010

The new Government has placed a ban on the term "Every Child Matters" as part of a widespread change in terminology within Whitehall departments. Details of the changes are revealed in an internal Department for Education (DfE) memo, split into two columns for words used before 11 May and those which should be replaced.

Changes to phrases in the children's sector include the replacement of:

  • “Safeguarding” with “child protection”
  • “Children's trusts” with "local areas, better, fairer, services'"
  • and the term "help children achieve more" in place of ‘Every Child Matters’ or the five outcomes*.

Some organisations have expressed concern at the changes. John Chowcat, General Secretary of children's services union Aspect, said he fears the change in language represents a gradual move away from the “Every Child Matters” agenda by the Government.

However, others have expressed hope that the change in terminology will not signal a end to the focus of Every Child Matters.

Wes Cuell, NSPCC Director of Services for Children and Families, says:
"We hope the coalition will continue to work for better outcomes for children. We are not bothered about the terminology as long as it stays committed to better outcomes. Any signs it is not would be a big issue."

Anne Longfield, 4Children Chief Executive, said she is confident the principles will continue to be followed on the ground.
"The principles of “Every Child Matters” are observed in the field and people will continue to use those approaches even if they might not refer to it in the same way."

The DfE has also moved to quell fears that the new language will signal an end to the strong focus on outcomes for children.:

"There is no lack of focus on Every Child Matters. The coalition created the new DfE to carry through radical reforms in schools, early years and child protection.”

Read the full story at Children and Young People Now

 (*The five outcomes that were outlined by the Every Child Matters Green Paper in 2008 were: be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being.)













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