A leaked memo today has revealed that the three government departments of health, education and work/pensions are combining to create a new regulatory body. The Quality Care Quango, QCQ, which will be answerable to the Cabinet Office, will be the new regulator of parental care. Partly funded by the three departments, the shortfall will be made up through a mandatory levy on all parents for the privilege of being inspected.
We could think of no other way to keep vast swathes of the population subjugated, miserable and on their toes
The new parenting inspections will thoroughly examine all aspects of measurable parenting, from the number of parenting books on shelves, to a tidiness rating of kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms. Advance carpet sampling techniques will be able to ascertain how often they have been hoovered in the preceding four months. Parents will be given two weeks’ notice of their inspection. In order to judge whether parents have the requisite knowledge to carry out their role they will be expected to have created policies for a wide range of potential parenting scenarios, from a cut knee and poorly tummy to waking with nightmares and school refusal. Parents will be tested on their ability to explain sex. It is anticipated that a small cottage industry of policy library downloads will soon spring up.
The chief inspector of the QCQ has not yet been announced but a spokesperson has been speaking off the record to reporters who have raised the alarm that such a concerted effort is being made to measure something as difficult to quantify as parenting. They have been quoted as saying, ’Well we could think of no other way to keep vast swathes of the population subjugated, miserable and on their toes. We believe that by measuring you improve standards and thereby improve the quality of parenting and the childhood experience. Britain will be more productive as a result of the QCQ.’
Each inspection team is set to cost £7,000 per inspection, with the team being put up in local hotels on the day prior to the inspection that would start at 6am. The hotel industry is set to have a mini-boom as are the clipboard-making factories. In fact it is estimated that next year at any given point that 34% of the population will either be being inspected or be part of an inspection team, or support organisation.
’What better way could there be of generating jobs and quality at the same time?’ asked the spokesperson. When asked about the consequences of less than adequate inspection results the spokesperson explained, ‘Well the local council will be funded to provide a support team to come in and help the family with policies and so on and we would re-inspect within six months. More jobs…’
The scheme will not apply to families with children in boarding school.
Dr Samir Dawlatly is a GP in Birmingham