Connexions interview

One of my young parishioners was recently interviewed by a Connexions officer. I asked for a written account and am told that part of the interview last year went something like this.
C= Connexions officer, P=Pupil
C Can I have your moble number?
P I don't have one.
C Can I have your home number?
P Why?
C You are the first one to ask that. Because we might need to contact you.
Now this is interesting. The Child Potection Officer for our diocese has advised that Youth Workers should not communicate with young people by mobile phone or text messages because the informal nature of young peoples' use of mobile phones can mean that a wrongly over-familiar personal line of communication is set up. This seems a reasonable precaution to me. Furthermore, schools will not even release under-age pupils contact details to the police without the parents consent.

Another part of the interview went something like this:
C= Connexions officer, P=Pupil
C What do you want to do?
P Medicine
C That's rather difficult to get into, have you considered nursing?
P Well, no, I really want to apply for medicine.
C You'll need good grades. You should do psychology for A level, its easier to get into medicine with that.
Then followed more encouragement to look into nursing.
This would be laughable if it were not so outrageous. Our area is one in which low aspirations of students is a significant factor in preventing the take-up of High Education. The school serves a deprived part of the Borough, the student is well-motivated and gets outstanding results for public exams. And of course the conversation smacks of old-fashioned stereotyping.

Connexions is a Government "support service" for young people in the UK, offering advice and information on careers, housing, work, money... oh, and of course "sexual health" and "relationships". They'll put you in touch with the FPA, the Brook or others if you need condoms, the MAP or a secret abortion.

Their "sexual health" advice includes such gems as:
  • It's much easier and safer to prevent catching STIs by using condoms with all sexual partners
  • Don't be pressured into having sex without using a condom - you're worth it!
Presumably valuing young people like that is meant to make them feel good about themselves. Pass the sick bag!

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