The fight goes on. I have written to our local councilor but have not received a reply as yet. He tends to be pretty good on replies so I will keep you posted. Meanwhile one of the mums has written to our MP asking her to sign the Early Day Motion put forward by Mark Fields MP. I have to say I am not holding out much hope, but you never know. It seems to me, but I could be wrong, that MPs whose voting record has been anti family up to now are not going to rush to support home education.
From letters some other home edders have received some MPs who say they support home education do not believe that signing EDMswill help and that they are both a waste of time and money. As I don’t really understand what the EDMs are and what they are for I can’t comment. At least the MPs in these letters are saying home ed is a good thing. Other people seem to be receiving spin-letters. The kind of ‘I’m sure you are wonderful BUT’ letters.
Meanwhile the Government of Sweden are out to make home education illegal on philosophical and religious grounds. This is truly scary stuff.
You can sign the petition HERE and I ASK THAT EVERYONE takes the minute or two to do this. I warned a while ago that home edders here in the UK should be extremely cautious about turning to the Human Rights legislation to aid us. I believed it was man-made and therefore too easy to change.
The Swedish approach says this:
The position on homeschooling in the suggested law is a return to darkness. It is unbelievable. Homeschooling will NOT be permitted for those referring to philosophical or religious reasons according to the European convention on Human Rights!
The added words used to make home education virtually impossible, are FOUR:
“Education otherwise is allowed if… there exist extraordinary circumstances.”
These four words will soon be used to beat home education here. What on earth will “extraordinary circumstances” be?
A couple of us have written to our bishops and as with other letters I’ll let you know what response is forthcoming. I am also going to write to Bishop POD because he seems genuinely to care about children and their education. It has also been recommended that we contact Lord Alton who has an excellent record of supporting family and children rights.
We have until 19th October to complete the consultation. On the whole most people agree we need to do this. There are mixed messages about whether this is worth doing; on the one hand those who say Balls is essentially a mini dictator and can and does do whatever he likes-on the other hand some people think the Tories might just overturn the Badman report if there is enough pressure to do so. In the end I wonder at this point what we have to lose?
There has been some correspondencewith the Church of England office. They wrote a reasonable response for home education initially but this was misused in the Report. Suddenly the CofE spokeswoman seemed to change her pro-home ed stance and reported that she had been told 40% of home ed families are known to “social care”. (odd use of words that) It seems the CofE have realised their error with this utterly amazing stat and are retracting. It’s all a bit of a mess though. I believe the Cof E could make an important statement to support families in this country. They have that ability, and I am disappointed they seem unable to make a clear statement.
You might want to READ THIS ON BULLYING - a debate between David Howarth MP (LibDem) and Vernon Coaker MP (DSCF). One of the mums has written an excellent letter to Mr Howarth on this. I haven’t asked permission to post the letter here but I am sure she will okay with me at least giving a general abstract. She was concerned that the whole emphases was on getting bullied children back into the school; that neither the option of home education nor the role of parents was even mentioned.
She points out the costs of not preventing or properly dealing with bullying and the reluctance of schools to face up to it. I agree with her fully on this. We were simply stonewalled over our son’s serious bullying at school.
She asked that the role parents play in both preventing bullying and instilling good behaviour in their children be recognised and that present policy of forcing parents into work so they hardly get to see their children was counterproductive.
I believe we need to fight this alongsideanyone fighting for the rights of families and children but we need to be cautious about supping with the devil so I wont be recommending approaching charities, organisations or individuals who have shown anti-family, anti-child and anti-life agendas up to now.
I’m planning to do a picnic in Sept and I’ll let you know about that.