Words matter…

‘What3words’ is often used by the emergency service to locate casualties. The importance of using the RIGHT three words was bought to home to me by a paramedic who explained that just having one of the three words wrong can send an ambulance in completely the wrong direction.  They had recently been in this situation and valuable time was wasted.

Meanwhile, I have been catching up on my professional development recently. Like most of us I always seem to behind with my reading! It was really interesting to notice that several of the things I've read recently talked about how we use words to describe things and how this can impact the meaning.  For example, the NSPCC have produced a thought provoking article about recording that a child ‘did not attend’ a medical appointment.  The article, quite correctly points out that children are taken to appointments, so it is much more accurate to record the child ‘was not bought.’

The article – which is one in a series ‘Why Language Matters’ can be found here.

Another article I was reading was some research from the Anna Freud Centre about school avoidance. This article makes the point that what has often been categorised as ‘school refusal’ is actually much more accurately termed emotionally-based school avoidance (EBSA).

‘Emotionally-based school avoidance is a term referring to reduced or nonattendance at school by a child or young person. Rather than the term ‘school refusal’, the term EBSA recognises that this avoidance has its root in emotional, mental health or wellbeing issues.’ From here.

So I thinking about 3 completely different parts of my business:

  • First aid
  • Safeguarding
  • Education

This has been a timely reminder of how important language is in all areas of work.

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