The author’s setting is a Special Needs school which houses around 75 pupils some full and part time students. The students have a range of different special needs from Profound Multiple Learning difficulties, Autism, Behavioural Difficulties and Global Delay. The town, to which the author works, ranks highly in the national scale of depravation with a high proportion of free school meals. According to the (Office of National Statistics 2011) 11.4% of men and women at working age are unemployed the average for the North East is 10% whereas the rest of England reads at 7.9%, this information was taken from Jul 09- Jun 10 it shows that Hartlepool has the highest unemployment rate. According to the (Department for Education 2011), State Funded Primary Schools in Hartlepool had 22.7% of children receiving free school meals against 8.4% of children receiving free school meals in York. Special Schools in Hartlepool had a percentage of 40.1 of children receiving free school meals against 20.1% in York. The authors setting has a number of children who come from affluent homes however the majority of children come from either single parent families or are looked after children.
The child the author will use for her case study will be known as Child A for confidentiality purposes. Child A lives at home with both parents who are alcohol and methadone dependant along with three siblings. Child A has had several places of residence within the town and surrounding areas.
The author and her colleagues are aware Child A sleeps on the floor as parents can’t afford new mattresses. Child A regularly comes into school in a dirty and unkempt condition, smelling breath and clothes. It is very apparent especially on a Monday that the child has not had his uniform washed or had his breakfast which is the case most mornings and he seems withdrawn and very tired. Child A finds it very hard to concentrate when in most morning lessons however it has been noticed that the child functions better on an afternoon.
In the above scenario there are several factors to be considered when caring for Child A. A number include parents who are substance dependant, lack of cleanliness, regarding the child’s appearance and clothing, inappropriate sleeping arrangements, an unstable home environment and lack of nourishment and concentration and withdrawal when in the school environment. All of the aforementioned factors are some concern to the organisation to which the author belongs.
The author will examine her work place policy and policies set by governing bodies which cover the rights to every child and will define the key ethical issues and propose a reasoned solution which will include work colleagues and partners.
(The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 2012) (UNCRC) is presently the most widely ratified international human rights treaty. It is the only international human rights treaty to include civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. It sets out in detail what every child needs to have a safe, happy and fulfilled childhood regardless of their sex, religion, social origin, and where and to whom they were born.
The setting to which the author belongs has a policy which states children who would like breakfast need to pay twenty pence per day. The author is very aware of this rule, however as the author knows the child, and its background of depravation, she has an ethical decision to make, whether or not the child should be given breakfast or not as he can’t pay for it.
Kant would suggest that the individual child should not have breakfast as he has not brought any money into class. According to Kant the author would be breaking the rules by giving Child A breakfast which contradicts senior managements guidance. Whereas Rawls would look at the child’s circumstances and use his ‘justice as fairness’ theory and decide that Child A should have the