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Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences

Chris Cowan’

Hull OFSTED hits the Mark – but misses the Point!

After months of speculation in the media and undoubtedly trepidation at the Guildhall (seat of Kingston Upon Hull City Council) and in Essex House (the headquarters of Hull’s Local Education Authority), the results of the inspection last September by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) have been made public. 2002 was a bad year for Hull Education. The city returned to the bottom of Britain’s GCSE league tables after managing one place above bottom the previous year and slumped 11 places down the primary league tables. Director of Learning Peter Fletcher, in post only a year or so, held Hull’s headteachers accountable for the GCSE league table performances last Summer while the Hull Daily Mail screamed out its headline, ‘Do you care?’  at parents who allowed and even facilitated truanting by their children. The OFSTED report has largely upheld these two positions. Fletcher and Essex House get off pretty lightly while headteachers are criticised for not being focussed enough. However, it is parents and the truancy issue which seems to have most vexed the inspectors. Since the LEA is considered to be pursuing a robust anti-truancy policy – truancy sweeps in conjunction with Humberside Police have made local headlines several… Read More

A Tale of 2 Councils…and the Real Challenge facing Simone Butterworth and Jim Brooks

The county of North Lincolnshire and my home town of Hull are virtually neighbours. Just 5 miles of the A63 through the East Riding of Yorkshire and a mile or so of the Humber Bridge separate them. North Lincolnshire Council has been awarded Beacon Council status. Following a damning Audit Commission report, Kingston Upon Hull City Council is under serious threat of some form of central government intervention unless, by December 2002, it can show demonstrable progress against its remedial Action Plan. Why such different scenarios for two local authorities geographically so close? Systemic thinking? Nothing symbolises the differences between the two councils more than the critical field of Education. For it is its strategies in Education that have seen North Lincolnshire achieving Beacon status in two consecutive years. (Although the Beacon award was specifically for Education, to achieve the award, the Council per se has to be perceived as a high-performing local authority.) By comparison Hull has been bottom of the GCSE league tables for 4 years out of the past 5; the year it wasn’t bottom, it was next to bottom. There are those in Hull who look enviously at the semi-affluent farming communities around Scunthorpe. They proclaim that, if… Read More

So What is a MeshWORK?

Following the visit of Spiral Dynamics co-developer Don Beck to South-East Wakefield in June 1999, there was much excited talk in certain circles of a ‘Wakefield MeshWORK’. This piece first appeared in the July 1999 edition of the SESKU & Hemsworth Business News, written to capture the key principles for a MeshWORK strategy and has been reproduced here. From some 16 years work in South Africa – during which time he advised both Nelson Mandela and F W DeKlerk – Don Beck has evolved his concept of MeshWORKS. This is an application of Spiral Dynamics which Beck developed with National Values Center partner Chris Cowan from the ground-breaking work of Clare W Graves. Early in the 1950s Graves, an admirer of the work of Abraham Maslow (1943), had set out to collect evidence on the ‘psychologically healthy human being’, expecting to validate Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The data he gathered only partly achieved this. Unusually for a psychologist, Graves let his data do the talking – rather than trying to force-fit it to a theory. He also collected more data. A lot of it! What Graves discovered was 8 different core ways of thinking about life – attitudes, value systems, coping… Read More