I wrote to my MP Vince Cable, the headmaster, Public Health Richmond and Public Health England.
The headmaster raised the issue with the Director of Public Health for Richmond and at the local Headmasters Forum.
Vince Cable wrote back to me. It came across as though he had not read my letter properly. Either that or it was waffle to fill a reply in the hopes I’d go away, since my issue wasn’t on his political agenda.
Then, a Consultant in the Public Health department at Richmond Council wrote back to me. She’d been informed about my concerns by my headteacher, the local public health staff involved in the Programme and also colleagues at Public Health England. I was glad that my complaints had been taken seriously enough to have caused a reaction. The consultant apologised for the “poor service”, I’d received. But said “We have been assured by the school nursing service that you have received a correct measurement and now have access to the practical guidance required.” And then went on to explain the NCMP again and to invite me to meet since they are keen to get parents feedback.
Then Public Health England wrote back to me. Once more explaining the programme and signing off: “I am aware that this is the first year when Richmond have shared results from the measurement with parents, and I am sure that your feedback to them about your experience will be invaluable to them in developing the service to look at how staff can more effectively support parents going forward. We will be liaising with Richmond Council to make them aware of the concerns that you have raised.
Listening to parents’ views, experiences and drawing on them to improve delivery continues to be an important part of the programme, so we value the comments you have made.”
I just let those replies sink in for a bit. It’s not easy being an agitator. Apathy is much easier. I was fighting resignation. And wondering if I could be bothered to fight this, the powers that be, the nanny state, those that never listen to the ordinary person.
But after a while, I realised, I was not satisfied. I had not received answers to my questions. Nor did I feel that I had received correct measurement advice and access to the practical guidance required. I felt a bit fobbed off.
It was not over yet.