|The Nightingale Society|
|Newsletter||25 June 2013|
Florence Nightingale to be removed from the U.K. National Curriculum
You may have seen the newspaper stories (June 21 2013), that the Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Michael Gove, has decided that Nightingale, among other important historical figures, is to be removed from the U.K. National Curriculum. “Eminent Victorians dropped from history curriculum in Gove U-turn,” Daily Telegraph, 22 June 2013.
Our Society sent an intervention on improving the coverage of Nightingale in the curriculum.
The deed is not yet done, and perhaps might be cancelled, but this minister seems to have firm ideas, and has gotten away with them. Any ideas? Appeal to prime minister? Deputy prime minister? Letters to newspapers?
Sad to say, the decision is something of a logical culmination of the years of attacks on Nightingale, by academics and the BBC. Nursing leaders, meanwhile, said next to nothing, and some jumped on to the anti-Nightingale bandwagon.
The Florence Nightingale Museum in recent years has declined to defend Nightingale when attacked, and its official position is that her work is about the same in worth as that of Mary Seacole. Its recent exhibition on workhouses failed to mention the great reforms in workhouses Nightingale pioneered!
The Royal College of Nursing has scarcely had a positive word to say about Nightingale in years, and actively supports the Seacole campaign to place a statue of her at Nightingale’s hospital.
Perhaps they will re-think?
Nightingale not a “Pioneer of Health Care”
The last newsletter (May 2013) reported on the new awards programme of the Department of Health, “Pioneers of Health Care,” which omits Nightingale, but includes Mary Seacole.
The Nightingale Society sent a letter protesting this to the minister (no answer received). Several members sent the letter also to their own MP. One member sent it to 12 MPs of his area. He was not impressed with the response (only 3 replied, and only one seemed sympathetic) but that is not bad. We have to start where we are. At least MPs are being alerted to what a major minister is doing. We have years of Nightingale bashing, with virtually no one objecting, to undo.
We followed up with the letter to the minister (Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt; see here); to the Deputy Prime Minister (Rt Hon Nick Clegg; see here) and the Leader of the Opposition (Rt Hon Ed Miliband; see here).
Several complaints on coverage of Nightingale have gone in to the BBC. The one response received so far was a blah blah letter of excuses and insistence on good intentions. Shabby. Again, we have to start and keep going.
We now have Florence Nightingale in Facebook, to encourage contact with the Facebook generation.
Over to You: Please let me know of any news or events (good or bad) relevant to the Nightingale Society. Items will be included in the next newsletter.
Please send any ideas as to how we can counter anti-Nightingale material, or better circulate pro-Nightingale material. Contact@nightingalesociety.com