Open letter to Kate Middleton – Part Four

A campaign to benefit ALL children with no exceptions

[For readers in other countries, Kate Middleton is part of the English royal family and has launched the ‘Shaping Us Campaign’ to create national public awareness of the critical importance of a child’s first five years.Contact: 'Centre for Early Childhood' This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]


Dear Kate Middleton,

I hope your Shaping Us campaign is going well. In my open letters to you I have suggested strongly that your work would be greatly helped by involving parents of children who have challenges to their development and learning and by talking to the practitioners who support them at the grassroots. My suggestion now is that there is much you could learn from senior managers and chief executives of the many organisations, public, private and charitable, already helping young children in England to develop, learn and thrive.

Whatever form your new interventions take, they will surely need support of all relevant existing organisations because no new initiative can operate in isolation. It follows that these organisations will have to become part of a new collective effort in which they work with each other and with your team. Some senior managers and chief executives will be open to the idea of multiagency integration while some will be resistant, perhaps the majority. Some will talk to you pessimistically about problems of non-compatible software, of different systems for storing information, of data protection and of client privacy.

These are valid practical issues to resolve but they might provide cover for senior managers who resist integration for other personal and emotional reasons. They each sit alone at the top of their vertically-organised agency and might have no motivation to give up this position of autonomy and power. Sharing important decisions with executives from one or more other agencies might be unthinkable. Even more unthinkable would be letting other executives see any of their uncertainty, weakness and incompetence. Isolation offers some protection from exposure.

Perhaps Shaping Us will anticipate these management issues. I am sure there are many senior managers in England who would be happy to discuss them with you.

With respect and all good wishes,

Peter Limbrick

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