Vice-President Niki Elliott argued for improvements to health and safety provision across all parts of educational provision for children’s services, which are made increasingly difficult by government cuts in this area.
Conference was asked to challenge cuts and their negative effect on mental health of service providers and users; to promote and support mental health awareness in the community and workplace; to ensure that reps possess the skills and knowledge to support members and to highlight poor employment practices affecting everyone from workers to vulnerable children and young people.
Council member Mark Patton criticised the government’s drive to outsource or commission work previously undertaken by expert staff within local authority structures, describing the policy as a narrow approach to school improvement and wider children’s services.
He proposed that Prospect - working with TUC, local government associations and other pressure groups - should provide practical and policy support to the work of ESCG on this.
Some lively and constructive debate took place on both motions, which were approved overwhelmingly by Conference.