Practitionerification makes perfect

Mocking public sector recruitment ads for meaningless managerialism and blairite gibberish is easy sport, and the pages of the Guardian a particularly fertile hunting ground. Easy sport, but to be resisted as far as possible: one doesn\’t want to turn into Peter Hitchens (or Christopher for that matter), and as daft as job titles might be, they are often attached to roles performing important, if Daily Mail-baiting, functions.


…occasionally your eye is caught by something so toe-swivellingly inane, so mind-bendingly abstracted, so gut-wrenchingly evasive, that it needs to be picked up and shaken, like a terrier with a rat. Saturday\’s Guardian advertised for two roles at the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners. Even the name of the organisation (surely not NAPPIE?) gives a clue that we journeying far beyond meaning.

The first two sentences of the pre-amble will serve as a taster of the whole:

\”If we want to change the world then how our children grow up is a massively important place to make a start. The role of parents is critical to that, and our changing society and its changing demands on parents removes old certainties, leaving many with a real appetite for expert support from those they trust.\”

Where to start? The inanity of the first sentence (sorry, Whitney)? The ocean-going banality of explaining the importance of parents to how children grow up? The evasive vagueness about \”changing society and its changing demands\” (we don\’t want to suggest any parents are inadequate, do we)? The patronising lie about the \”real appetite for expert support\”?

The sad thing is that, buried amidst more crap about \’parenting agendas\’ and \’respect action plans\’, NAPP\’s website reveals that they actually do rather sensible stuff, like training social workers who work with children – people who do one of the hardest and least appreciated jobs in the world.

It\’s just a shame that they, or their recruitment consultants, decided to wrap these job descriptions in such evasive, tired and sly verbiage. It makes for such an tempting target that it\’s hard to resist a Hitchens-esque rant, before reverting to re-assuring Toynbee-ism.

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