23rd October 2018
Colleagues, my name is Dr Brian Apter and I am the Vice Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Educational and Child Psychology (DECP). There are three positions in the Chair-triad of the committee. Chair-people complete a year of Chair-elect before becoming Chair and then Vice-chair. My office on the committee was previously called ‘past-Chair’. Mostly, Chair-people have been experienced members of the committee before deciding to compete for the Chair-elect. When I say: ‘compete’, it is usually an unopposed bid, but there is no impediment to any full member of the DECP putting themselves forward and competing for the Chair-elect position from a standing start. Indeed, I have become very much a promoter of new blood on the committee, and to this end I shall stand down from the committee in January, 2019 at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at our next conference in Bath in order to create additional space. So please, even if you do not wish to compete for a Chair-triad position please, consider down-loading a nomination form from the BPS DECP website and putting yourself forward for any one of the vacant positions on the committee… And what fun you will have!
I have enjoyed very much my time on the committee, and the sweet-natured and generous-hearted members who (mostly) have worked so hard to promote the aims of the BPS and DECP, and the membership. Why, you ask, has it been fun – apart from the obvious intense delights of extreme masochism? I think most of all, the pay-off has always been in joint-working as a member of a cohesive team of bright and innovative members of the profession. Sometimes this joint-working has been in preparing and performing in a House of Commons meeting; sometimes it has been in completing with colleagues in the BPS a complex consultation-response such as to the 2018 NICE guidance on ADHD. It is particularly gratifying when a consultation response has a significant effect, as that one did, and we managed to amend and moderate the NICE document.
I suppose however that I would be being disingenuous if I did not also mention the joys of going to conference each year and having the tremendous fellowship and social commonality of colleagues that is afforded by that event. I have made many new professional friends by attending conferences that have stood the test of time, and though I hate the term ‘networking’, I cannot deny its utility.
I hope that this is the first of a good few blog entries as I negotiate the last few months of my tenure with the DECP committee, but when its gone, it will be gone (as they say) – so in the meantime: please watch this space. I promise it will become much more interesting as I continue… Bon journée.