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#DegreeGate
written by RetiredAndAngry on the 20th June 2018 at 10:52

Much has been said already about degree-level entry into the Police Service, and I’m pretty sure that much more will be said in the months and years to come.

I had a ‘conversation’ yesterday with some faceless, nameless Rupert from the College of Policing as I wanted to be clear in my mind exactly what was being introduced.

I’m still a tad unclear as to exactly when the three proscribed routes into the Police Service (at Constable level) will come into play but essentially, taken from the College’s own documentation, they will be:-

  • Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA): you will be a police constable on a three-year degree apprenticeship programme, therefore you will be paid a salary from your start date. We anticipate that some forces will start the PCDA programme from April 2018, while others will phase it in during 2018/19.
  • Professionally focused undergraduate degree in policing: you will be on a university programme to achieve a pre-join undergraduate degree in policing, therefore this will be at your own expense. We anticipate that universities will start to offer the pre-join undergraduate degree in policing from September 2018.
  • Degree Holder Entry Programme: you will already have a degree (it doesn’t have to be police-related) and you will join as a police officer on a learning programme, therefore you will be paid a salary from your start date. We anticipate forces will start the Degree Holder Entry Programme from September 2018.

In fairness to the College they have stated that they intend to publish something soon that will clarify any misunderstandings about the above scheme.

Our approach is wrongly interpreted as blocking officers who don’t have degrees – our intent is to open up policing to those who wouldn’t have previously thought it was an option. Our CEO @MCunninghamCoP speaks out in The Times today: https://t.co/JZ3dOTlnQt pic.twitter.com/UERwxnqBox

— College of Policing (@CollegeofPolice) June 19, 2018

We apologise this article is behind The Times paywall. We will aim to address issues mentioned in the article out in the open, as we want to set the record straight.

— College of Policing (@CollegeofPolice) June 19, 2018

Every new officer (from 1 January 2020) will have received a degree by the end of their training or will join with one and follow a work-based programme, supported by off-the-job learning and then receive a graduate diploma in professional policing practice.

— College of Policing (@CollegeofPolice) June 19, 2018

So, unless I’ve misunderstood something, somewhere, serving officers can, BUT DO NOT HAVE TO, further their career and promotion prospects by studying for a degree.  ALL new recruits into the Police Service of England and Wales will either have to possess a degree already, or join the Degree Apprenticeship scheme and obtain one whilst serving (at no cost to themselves)

As has been stated by the College in their 3rd Tweet above all new recruits, regardless of how they entered, will have obtained a degree (or already possessed one) by the time they have finished their training.

Fast Forward a few years, all the old thickos like me without a degree will either have retired or left in disgust, and the Police Service will be comprised of 100% Graduates.  We know the College want this, we know that Sir Tom Winsor wants this, I suspect that the government are behind it and they want it, so once again political infliuence wil be insidiously shaping the face and body of the Police Service.

At the moment I have three main concerns about this scheme, but I’m sure I’ll think of more over the next year or so.

  1. I have asked myself several times “Could I have done my job any better than I did over 30 years if I had a degree?” and the honest answer was NO.  I have no problem with Graduates in the Police whatosever, but I do not understand why it is suddenly compulsory for new recruits.  Somebody with a degree will no doubt be able to tell me how long it will take to replace the dinosaurs with graduates, my abacus isn’t up to it.  Just so long as Quentin can come along with his 2nd Class Degree in Classical Greek from Huddersfield (sorry Huddersfield) University, wave it at the Recruitment Officers and get accepted for the Police that’s OK.  That is EXACTLY what is wanted for the future.
  2. Secondly, it has long been a thorn in the side of the government, and others, that ethnic minorities are under-rerepresented within the Police Service.  Universities across the land are currently admitting that their own students do not fully represent the ethnic makeup oif the population.  Ethnic minority students are under-represented within Universities. So how exactly is this scheme going to help address the balance within the Police Service?  Maybe ethnic minority students will all join via the Degree Apprenticeship route then.  Yes?  Possibly not.
  3. Finally, and one that I’m convinced that the College haven’t taken into account, is CORRUPTION.  Joining via the Degree Apprenticeship Scheme means that the recruit is paid a salary during training, not a great one, but a salary nevertheless.  If a recruit joins via Professionally Focused Undergraduate Degree in Policing, or Degree Holder Entry Programme their degrees are obtained at their own expense.  According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies in 2017, the average student in England will graduate with debts of over £50,000 – those from poorer backgrounds will incur more, with more loans available to them.  So, Rookie Constable John Smith joins the Police Service with a Student Loan Debt of £50,000 (or possibly more), he goes out onto the streets of London, or anywhere else really, and is somehow miraculously immune from temptation.  We all know that those tempations are there, fortunately very few succumb to them.  Over the last few years Married Quarters and Section House accommodation have disappeared, Housing Allowance is in its Death Throes if it hasn’t gone completely.  The Met, amazingly, will only take recruits who live in London.  Who can afford to live there on circa £23,000 or less?  But somehow temptation and corruption will not be a problem with these Graduate Entry officers up to £50,000 in debt, not including mortgage if they have one.

I genuinely do look forward to the College’s clarification of this scheme, because I can’t see ANY benefits for the General Public.  I can certainly see the benefits of having a degree if one wants to climb the greasy pole of promotion and career advancement, but sorting out a pub fight on a Saturday night, or telling Mrs Smith that her son/daughter/husband won’t be coming home because they’ve been in an RTC?  I don’t think so.  Please, anybody, add a comment to this post and inform me, how will Front Line Officers (or the Public) benefit from everyone having a degree? I really do want to know.


 Originally posted at http://retiredandangry.thisistap.com/2018/06/20/degreegate/...

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