Tag Archives: Government attack on homeschoolers

Could free schools help the home ed community?

This article in the Catholic Herald this weekend is interesting. On the face of it this looks like a good idea and a perfect way for children to have access to better tailored education. Could home ed groups like mine apply to be a ‘school’ and get a little funding—-without too many strings attached?

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Be afraid you ‘religious’ home educaters, be very, very afraid.

Peter Traves from the Association of Directors of Chilren’s Services was insistant that his pretty bottom was on the line if anything happened to any home educated child. He never once wondered why he should be responsible for all these children that have no need of his services, but hey, what a power trip.

Meanwhile he managed this amazing statement when challenged on the terrible state of LA services and schools, that lead so many of us to withdraw our children:

There are also parents who withdraw their children, I have to say, for particular religious view and wanted that religious view incultcating that child. It isn’t  just about the rights of parents, it’s also about the rights of children…”

So my family no longer has a right to religious freedom in his eyes. My children can’t use their Catholic Heritage Curricula or Faith and Life books. 

Already we have heard that disabled people should not be home educating and religious home ed has been attacked time and time again. I do wish these people would learn a little history.

Badman at the Select Committee.

The Select Committee Meeting yesterday was almost farcical. I took notes  and if no one gets there first I will try and get time to transcribe chunks of it at least.badmang_180px

There are some corking reactions around the net that I truly recommend you good people read.

CARLOTTA has done her usual excellent job HERE and HERE.

I noticed that the Guardian came in for special praise during the little pre-meeting on appointing the new Children’s Minister. They have apparently written something nice about children. The media as a whole got blamed for the way home educating parents have been tarnished with the broad brush accusation that we are all a bunch of child abusers. The childcatcherGuardinista came back to kiss the Gov with THIS astonishingly false piece that even though it was in the Guardian I am a bit shocked. The comments however from normal people soon put it in to rights. To think a couple of days ago I read THIS daft piece which also soon got put to rights by the good people leaving comments.  It has come to my attention that if I want to know the truth about almost anything these days, I go to a blog written by anyone other than a journo! Frankly even I, housewife, home educating mother and very, very tired person-couldn’t write anything as trivial, inaccurate and downright twaddlesome as this little lot! They should be deeply ashamed that while they are paid to write unmitigated crassness that many people who write blogs or comment on other people’s have more integrity and actual knowledge which they offer for free.

But back to the Committee.  The only case used to beat us with was that of Kyra Ishaq who was starved to death here in Birmingham. She was, of course, in school and was already well known as a child at risk by the “not fit for purpose” Social Service’s dept. When her mother de-registered her from school no one seemed to be all that bothered and then ten weeks later the poor little child had been starved to death. She as one of over 15 cases in five years where children have died under the nose of Birmingham Children’s Social Services. As is sadly all to common in these cases the “step father” was involved. So is the Government going to have all step fathers and ‘mothers boyfriends’ registered and vetted? Er no. Are they going after all muslim families as this was a muslim(ish) family? Er no. They are instead coming after all home educators because for a very few weeks before she died Khyra Ishaq had been removed from school for “home education” , now ALL home educating families are to be treated as guilty until proven innocent.

While Barry Sheerman could talk about “horror stories” associated with home education, he seemed unable to list any. Then between his whining about the anger his review had merited in home ed circles Badman could only spin bizarre stats that even I could see were utterly untrustworthy. Then after insisting that “no decisions had been made” a number of things were said that appear to contradict this.

On the one hand they muttered that there would be no forced curriculum and then we are told there should be “a curriculum structure…” which seemed to be one the LA would have to approve.

There was a lot of unanswered questions including why a child should be seen alone and then after all the guff about the Rights of the Child Badman and his pals insisted that any child who tried to excercise his right to to be interviewed by a strange (and hostile)m adult might have that right removed if the LA decide he didn’t really mean it!

Anyway-I’ll post this as it is now. More to follow I dare say.

 

BLOGDIAL on children as property and a reminder that the Nazi law banning home education is actively policed in modern Germany. There is also the stark warning that the USA is next as Obama wants children spending more time in school (of course he does).

Government Review of Home Education; major attack on rights of families.

The REVIEW DOC is here and shows a shocking disregard for the genuine welfare of children. It does however, seem to want to move us more inline with the (anti-family, anti home ed) European Union.

Badman likes to point out that the European Convention on Human Rights (a document I personally have had very grave doubts about from the beginning)  that “case law on the ECHR challenges any claim that home education is a fundamental right”.

Carlotta has the review recommendations which includes ANNUAL REGISTRATION and ENFORCED visits to see the children and the demand to see children alone without the parent! as well as the view that schools should be part of the process of ensuring home educated children receive a structured education. Do they mean the very schools that haven’t provided the education in the first place?

Gill has picked up on the attack on autonomous educators.

The CONSULTATION documents are up and the closing date is OCTOBER 19th Frankly it is plain that this Government are very keen to make sure families loose their basic rights. If you don’t want strangers forcing themselves into your home and interviewing your children with goodness knows what methods then get with the fight. This is not just to show Labour bullies like Ed Balls where we stand, but the Conservatives too. They are most likely to be in power in a year or so and we need them to put a stop to this. They wont if there isn’t a reason to.

I will read the whole thing and blog again.

NOTE: Lots of ways to attack us and monitor us-but NOTHING that offer genuine support I notice.

UPDATE

I have just ploughed through the whole awful document. It is almost beyond belief.

Then at the conclusion

11.1 

International comparison suggests that of all countries with highly developed education

systems, England is the most liberal in its approach to elective home education. Legislation

from the 1930s banning elective home education still persists in Germany and most European

countries require registration, whereas New Zealand demands that the “

at least as regularly and as well as in registered school

have processes for registration and the systematic monitoring of elective home education and

require evidence of progress….

I have bolded the words that jumped out at me. I was just blown away by the sheer NERVE. That is HITLER’S anti-home eduction law. You know, the one that ensured all children recieved the National Socialist propaganda and were forcably enlisted in Hitler’s Youth. That law!

Ed Balls, the NSPCC-and the attack on home education

Before I look more closely into the strange and rather disturbing words of Mr Badman when he went off to visit the home edders at Blackwell Court let me add a few links here:

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The Review; What ‘support’ do home educating families want?

52427_0_lGraham Badman who is leading the review on home education is off to visit the good people of Worcester today at Blackwell Court. I am afraid I don’t know anyone able to go from my neck of the woods who can go today but I hope the grape vine will kick into action and we’ll hear what happens.

I would quite like to meet Mr Badman and ask him some questions myself. I wonder if he would like to join the Ladies Who Lunch one Friday. I will ask.

Gill is still looking into the various threads of this review including the dodgy behaviour of the NSPCC.

Carlotta has been looking more closely at what the review team might consider ‘support’ for home eduction, including the NotSchool e-learning system.

The attacks on families are quite scary really. The Goldston family went through-are still going through THIS. Reading their blog it is patently obvious her children are getting a vastly superior education than any school could hope to offer; but that didn’t stop the attack.

Other families have talked of having SS investigate them because they EHE. None of this raises trust in home ed families and I think this is a bad thing.

I have always worked with the EWO who visits us. I never really saw a reason not to. He wanted to make sure we were okay and to ask what we needed. Most of what we wanted he couldn’t supply; mainly exam centres and free access to exams. But he did help sort out Alex’s work placement insurance thing. He also wrote a reference and front sheet for Alex’s portfolio stating it was of GCSE standard or above. He has offered to do the same for Iona.

Graham Badman has asked what we want as support for home education.

The response has been “Nothing.Leave us alone.” This seems to have surprised Mr. Badman. I have to say my response WOULD have been different but for the way this whole process was handled from the start. It was made clear that this has nothing to do with what might be best for home educating families or the education of children-it is about LAs wanting more power than the Law allows.

It should be obvious that accusing the home education community of abusing our kids was not going to build trust with the ‘authorities’. I do have some sympathy with Badman and his band of merry men and women having to do the review when so much poison has been laid down ahead of them.

We know that ‘support’ will come with strings attached and so we don’t want any.  This Government has made it clear it doesn’t like families. It doesn’t want mothers to be at home with their children. We have seen the appalling bigotry of Ed Balls and the even more bigoted Barry Sherman against faith schools and Catholic schools especially. There is little doubt that a Christian education will be discouraged and the fact that many of us don’t want the sex ed propaganda forced on our children wont go down well either.

Gill and others believe -and I must agree- that non registered families and autonomous educators are on the front line of the fire.

As far as registration is concerned I can’t see how Badman can use this as carrot; ‘register and we will offer the following…’. After all we all know about Contactpointnow so ALL CHILDREN ARE REGISTERED. We can also see in the document ‘Children Missing Education’ that unregistered children not in school will be assumed to be ‘missing education’. So it seems to me at some point we will all be forced to prove we are providing what a the Govt and LAs decide is ‘suitable education’ -and I am quite concerned about what that might be.

Some of the things flagged up:

ONLINE LEARNING: I think because both Badman and one of the team Stephen Heppell have some background in online learning there is a lot of talk about a place where children can log on to learn. Apparently however I remember reading that in the NotSchool system children were secretly monitored through their web use.

I think online learning is very useful, but we use a lot of different sites for a lot of different reasons. I wouldn’t sign up to a one site learning place. It would surely be national curriculum with all its flaws and false information that we are avoiding in our online use.

FREE EXAMS; the complaint that too few home ed children are getting GCSEs comes with the fact that although money follows children into school and college to pay for exams we don’t get any help in this at all and have to pay a hefty fee for each exam taken, plus travel costs and for some families overnight expenseses on top. A lot of families use IGCSEs because they are of a much higher standard that GCSEs and the core subjects are exam based. I can’t see why libraries can’t be exam centres.

DROP IN CENTRES: along with the free exams it has been suggested that there should be education centres that anyone can use at any time. I believe some ideas of this nature have already been discussed by members of Badman’s team. Unfortunately I believe these would be very narrow in approach-national curriculum based and probably require registration. If they could be open, free, well resourced and genuinely aimed at everyone wanting an education I think it would be taxes well spent; but I am far too cynical to believe this could happen if it was tax funded.

But do we NEED any of the above?

I know some families can’t afford a computer but libraries have them and they can be freely used. Revamped and second hand computers are cheap and cheerful- and I don’t see why a couple of families couldn’t club together to share one.

Most of can’t afford exams for our children or the high cost of tutors to get them through the hoops. But when portfolio work can be so good and when there are so many other ways of proving competence and ability I wonder why we bother with exams anyway. We know that both industry and Universities think GCSEs are barely worth anything and there is less respect or A’levels. There are so many other ways to go about building a portfolio of work including making DVDs, running a website, work experience and the bog standard folder of work and presentations.

In the USA more of more universities are accepting homeschooled youngsters with no formal qualifications who prove their worth in other ways. I am sure this will prove the case here as time goes on (if it is ever allowed).

There are many places we can visit. Admittedly our family find a lot of it difficult because of the cost-most places charge a LOT for a family visit; but also the added difficulty of me using a wheelchair (and my scooter is bust). Trips can cost slightly less if a group of home edders invade together. Nevertheless we save for trips and there are places that are free to access and wheelchair friendly if we look around. Would a drop in place really offer anything extra?

So it seems that although the Review team might really want to offer something-there seems little we need and what we might like would come with so much red tape and strings attached that it seems hardly worth it.In the end I agree with those who say we would rather keep our freedom thanks.

Home Education review links and info.

Carlotta is running a poll on how teen feel about visits from the LA. Go and see and if you have a teen home edder get them to post.

The Lincolnshire LA response is here.

Gill has more on the ECM 5 outcomes and the NSPCC.

Bishop Hill shows the NSPCC up again and THERE’S MORE ON the  Fake NSPCC. And more HERE, from Carlotta, pciked up HERE by Bishop Hill where UKIP comes to our defense.

The Lincolnshire response throws up a couple of interesting points:

‘We feel there should be a requirement of parents that they meet with an LA Officer with the child, so that the child can be asked how they feel about being home educated. At this point EHE is entirely a parent’s decision and we do not have any way of making sure this is also the child’s preference

I bolded the most interesting point. I like the idea that children actually have a real choice in their form of education. Parents do decide of course, as is our right-but I have met only a few parents who state they would not allow a child to go to school if they really wanted to. Occasionally children do ask and do get to go to school-and almost invariably ask to be home educated again.

But if home edder children should have a choice-and I agree they should; then so should schooled children and all those who say they do not want a school education should be offered home education or some other alternative. With the massively high figures for truanting and the number of children stating they are miserable at school if this LA gets it’s way there should be a huge explosion in home educated children.

Are we too ‘poor’ to home educate?

The review moves on and we await the judgement, Meanwhile Gill has been picking apart the Government plans for the separation of parents and children and the dismantling of the family. One of the areas they are going to attack the rights of particularly mothers and children is through their plans to eradicate what they see as poverty.

So, are we too poor to home educate? Should both of us be out at work all day as the Government want?

 

materialdeprivationitem2

There’s a number of these criteria we would ‘fail to achieve’ as a family. Some of the criteria seem very arbitary. What does two pairs of shoes mean? Will one pair of shoes and a pair of wellies do?

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Birmingham LA response on Home Education

Well, if you want to cause a complete break down in trust between home educating families and the education welfare officers who come and visit us THIS LOOKS LIKE THE WAY TO DO IT.

Carlotta has more on this HERE and HERE.

Up until now I had semi-believed we had reasonable support in Birmingham for home educating our children. It is not as though the schools here are doing a wonderful job of turning out well educated, articulate and employable young people able to discern their direction in life.

I am thankful that I can homeschool my children and they are not simply trained to pass tests as Iona’s friends claim is the sum of their education. I am grateful they get a broader based education than school; that they can learn alongside children of all ages and learn not tolerance but genuine respect for others of all ages and abilities.

Fisking Tony Mooney and His Anti Home Ed views from the interview on the BBC yesterday

Gill took the time to put this transcipt together. I just can’t help but fisk it.

Transcript of Radio 4′s PM interview with Shena Deuchars and Tony Mooney

:: Transcript begins 0:46:44/ 1:00:00 ::

EDDIE MAIR: Parents who teach their own children at home are often very passionate about what they do and some of them aren’t taking too kindly to a government review of home education in England. The intention is not to change parents’ rights to educate at home, but to:

FEMALE ANNOUNCER: “Ensure that everything possible is being done to guarantee all children their right to a balanced education in a safe, healthy environment.” [So it's not suitable anymore it's balanced is it? And what does that mean I wonder? Is this to prevent children showing a particular interest in one area?]

EDDIE MAIR: The NSPCC have agreed, saying that existing guidance is out of date, [out of date from last year!]and that parents’ rights need to be balanced with Local Authorities’ duty to safeguard children and the child’s right to protection. What do they think is going on behind closed doors? I’m joined live by Tony Mooney, who inspects home schooling for one Local Authority and by Shena Deuchars, who schools both her children at home: seventeen year old Catherine and fourteen year old James have never been to conventional schooling. Tony Mooney first of all, what are your rights at the moment as an inspector when it comes to home schooling?

TONY MOONEY: Well we’ve got no automatic access to the house. [No one has automatic rights to enter another person's home and that is a good thing] We’ve got no automatic access to the child.[Parents have the right to protect their children from unwanted interference. Professionals can only demand access to a home or child where there are genuine concerns. No one has automatic rights to enter the homes and access the children of parents who have chosen school] We can only make informal requests for information about what the education involves for the child. As the law stands, all the parent needs to do is write a synopsis of what’s been covered and provide examples of work. And have the educational provision endorsed by a recognised third party. Or endorsed by a recognised third party.

[In other words there is plenty of evidence provided that shows a child is receiving a suitable education-but Tone wants more power]

EDDIE MAIR: Now you may not have the rights you would like but in practice, don’t parents respond to your requests for information? Do you need to know [there's a good question]– do you find out everything you want to know? [need and want are two different things]TONY MOONEY: The great majority of parents invite me into the home and I see what they’re doing, as an ex-teacher I can give them advice, [being an ex-teacher would be a disadvantage in advising home educaters. It's a completely different philosophy with vastly different pedagogies than a school uses] and they really appreciate it. But there are one or two who just don’t want to know. They will not let me go into the house, they won’t let me look at the work their children have done, and it becomes very difficult.[I would never allow this man into my house either. How many parents want a hostile presence in their home with their children? I do allow the EWO in my area to visit. He is very pro-home education and although advice is not something we seek, he has been supportive. Parents have the RIGHT not to allow strangers into their home. No professional should seek access where it is unwarrented. I believe the Law backs us up on this]

 

EDDIE MAIR: And what about this hint that children might somehow be coming to harm? The government talking about a safe environment and the NSPCC talking about the safeguarding and protection of children? [Hint? Blatent accusation more like. We call it lieing in our hourse].

TONY MOONEY: That may be the case. I’ve never seen, in ten years, children coming to harm, um, but it may be the case, but I don’t have a remit to report on that. Although I have to say, if I did see any kind of abuse I would feel morally obliged to report on it. [In ten years he has NEVER seen abuse-but he still wants to barge into people's homes against their wishes. To back of Mr Mooney's claim I can say that in 16 yrs of psychiatric nursing including some time in CAMHS I have NEVER seen a case of home education and abuse either. I did come across children who were  or had been in care or had been suspended or expelled from school who could not read or write and had no social skills to speak of-that surely DOES come under his remit. Meanwhile my husband has seen a lot of kids who have been abused in school (as did I). While reports say 48% of children suffer abuse at school Mooney wants to get into good parent's homes]

EDDIE MAIR: Are you trained to spot abuse? [LOL]

TONY MOONEY: Well as a teacher, I’d try to find if children were being abused when I suspected it. No, I’m not trained to spot abuse, [what can I say...?] but as a parent.. um.. I think I feel obliged to look and report if need be.

EDDIE MAIR: Shena Deuchars, let me bring you in at this stage, and I’ll let you talk and respond to some of that in a moment if I may, but just let me ask you why you’re schooling your children yourself.

SHENA DEUCHARS: It was something that I decided to do about ten years before my older child was born. I found out that home education in this country was legal at that point as I left secondary education myself, and decided that it sounded like a very good idea.

EDDIE MAIR: And what do you think of what the government in England is thinking of doing? It’s having a review and may want the right to come in and have a look at what you’re doing.

SHENA DEUCHARS: Well, one of the reasons why home educating parents are so angry about it is the conflation in the media particularly, but also in the terms of reference for the report, of education concerns with welfare concerns. And because Baroness Morgan has been quoted as saying that some home educating parents may be using it as a cover for child abuse. That’s why we’re so angry about it.

EDDIE MAIR: Well let’s look at those.. let’s split them up and let’s look at education concerns. Do you have any problem with someone like Tony Mooney coming in and having a look at how the schooling’s going?

SHENA DEUCHARS: Well yes, because in fact what we tend to find is that most Local Authority personnel actually have no experience of home education and mostly they only have experience of a school model of education. [This is true] So, for example, I know of many home educated young people who leave school at perhaps ten or eleven: they’re withdrawn by their parents, unable to read or write, [or unable to read at 14 like myson] being predicted to get no GCSEs, and quite often what happens is that, left to their own devices and without being left behind by the rest of the class, they then learn to read and they go on to get GCSEs, do further education or higher education and hold down jobs where essentially the school system had written them off.[That pretty well covers my son's experience too]

EDDIE MAIR: Tony Mooney on that point?

TONY MOONEY: A lot of my children, who are mainly on council estates, don’t actually sit any GCSEs or any examinations of any kind when they’ve been home educated and they just go out into the world of work and fend for themselves. I think it’s an indictment of the education they get at home.[WOW! So these kids from council estates -which Mooney seems to have such a low opinion of- get jobs. There are doing a whole lot better than my older son's friends then, who have left school and have no work and no direction in life. I wonder what the schooled children on those estates are doing]  Um, you see often we get newspaper articles showing affluent, middle-class families educating their children. That’s not what I see most of the time. [ Okay on this point I have some sympathy. I too and tired of the posh kids are home educated articles where money is thrown around on tutors and fancy classes. I would love to see home ed from our end of it shown too] I do see some very good teaching, by people who know what they’re doing, but the great majority of my children don’t get GCSEs when they’ve finished and go out into.. onto the workforce, just trying to fend for themselves.[Good for them. Now if Mr Mooney really cared about the children he says are 'his children' then why doesn't he do what the EWO who sees us does? He understands the atronomical cost of GCSEs and IGCSEs to a family like ours and so he has encouraged us and given good advice about building a portfolio of work. Alex did this and Iona is doing it. When they are finished he comes over goes through the work and writes a reference for the front of the portfolio explaining that the work reaches or exceeds GCSE standards. Alex has his college place and a job and is fending for himself very well thanks]

EDDIE MAIR: And, Shena Deuchars, I do want to talk about the second strand that you mentioned which is causing so much anger, you say, among home educators. Of course, most home educators – perhaps none of them – are involved in abusing their children, but should there be a system whereby at least someone like Tony Mooney can go in and check that everything’s OK?

SHENA DEUCHARS: Actually, could I come back on what Tony Mooney said about GCSEs? I think it would be very interesting to look at the reasons why young home educated people don’t get GCSEs and the answer to that is basically if their parents – if they’re not in school – their parents have to pay for it and it can cost £150 per GCSE. [It was a lot more for us. Iona was 14 when she sat her IGCSE Maths and had to travel to Bristol to do it! Alex went with her one day and her day the next. The cost with travel was over £250]

EDDIE MAIR: All right, but just on the other point, because we only have a moment left and I’d like you to respond?

SHENA DEUCHARS: OK, well, the thing is that Baroness Morgan, again in today’s Independent, was quoted as saying: “If there are problems, we have to look at the evidence.” This review looks more as if they’re looking for evidence, because to date there have been no problems. There are no cases of children who have been abused who also were being home educated who weren’t already known to the authorities. Victoria Climbié is a red herring: she wasn’t being home educated at all, and the Spry children were removed from school once Eunice Spry had been abusing them already for a number of years and had been checked over by Gloucestershire Social Services. [And with all this dishonesty flying around we are supposed to let people like Mooney into our homes eh? Thank God the EWO here is not like this]

EDDIE MAIR: All right, listen, thank you both for taking the time to talk about this. We’ve tried to give it as much time as we can, but it may well be that you have a view on this and probably some experience too. If you’d like to share your experience, please just go to the PM blog, where you’ll find more information and a space where you can comment. Just put ‘PM blog’ into any search engine.

:: Transcript ends 0:54:01/ 1:00:00 ::

The NSPCC reach a new low. Vijay Patel needs to be fired!

Having taken their 30 pieces of silver the NSPCC are making sure they give the Government their monies worth. Vijay Patel was quoted in THIS BIZARRE ARTICLE IN THE INDI.

“Some people use home education to hide. Look at the Victoria Climbié case.”

Did you see that? Poor Victoria was NOT home educated at all. Yet despite the fact the NSPCC were complicit in her death and even went so far as to try and alter evidence to hide the fact!

_1753607_victoriaclimbie300

To use this child’s murder for the political gains of the Govt and the NSPCC is beyond disgusting.

The fallout for Mr Patel should be rough.

Gill of SOMETIMES IT’S PEACEFUL has all the details.

Gill has posted this letter:

Letter from AHEd to NSPCC Chief Executive

Dear Sir,

AHEd [1] has received a number of member complaints concerning the outrageous comments of Mr. Vijay Patel reported in the Independent newspaper today [2] which we believe abuse the memory of a murdered child for political ends to falsely conflate her death with a minority group and to express a causal link between home educators and child abuse.

Mr Patel is quoted: “Some people use home education to hide. Look at the Victoria Climbié case.”

We object in the strongest terms possible to these comments. It is our view that the comments demonstrate a clear prejudice against home educators and a deliberate attempt to implicate home education with false evidence and scandal in order to prejudice the outcome of the government Review into Home Education.

Mr Patel has already admitted publicly [3] that there is no link between home education and child abuse. Now, however, he is deliberately implying that Victoria Climbie was home educated, hidden from the authorities, abused and murdered without their knowledge by home educators!

This is shocking considering that both Mr Patel and the NSPCC must know that this little girl, who was not a home educated child, but was known to a number of authorities and to the local education authority was not murdered in secret hidden from their view whilst being home educated, as confirmed by the Laming enquiry; and in view of the fact that the NSPCC was forced to apologise for its part in the failure of those responsible to help Victoria over an extended period prior to her death [4] In fact, Victoria is one of the many cases now in the public domain in which it has been demonstrated that those charged with helping children in need failed in their duties towards a child, resulting in further suffering and death. [5]

We note that the Victoria Climbie Foundation are also very worried about this misrepresentation from an official of the NSPCC [6]

We are appalled that Mr. Patel, the NSPCC Child Protection Policy Advisor, is propagating libelous attacks against a conscientious and law abiding minority and wonder if it is NSPCC policy that home education is linked to child abuse? We call for a full and prominent public apology and retraction of the comments by Mr. Patel in the Independent today, and a withdrawal of the NSPCC from the review.

Yours, etc.

[1] http://ahed.pbwiki.com

[2] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/schools/is-the-government-right-to-be-concerned-about-homeschooling-1631969.html

[3] http://sometimesitspeaceful.blogspot.com/2009/01/transcript-of-radio-2-jeremy-vine-show.html

[4] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/head-of-nspcc-apologises-for-climbie-mistakes-661252.html

[5] Excerpt from Lord Laming’s Speech at the National Social Services Conference 2003: “I remind you that in the ten months Victoria was alive in this country she was known to no fewer than four Social Services Departments, three Housing Departments and two specialist Police Child Protection Teams. Furthermore she was admitted to two different hospitals because of suspicions she was being deliberately harmed and she was referred to a specialist Child and Family Centre managed by the NSPCC.

[6] http://www.victoria-climbie.org.uk/

 

Subsidiarity and Home Education

Subsidiarity is a principle in which the most local authority deals with situations rather than huge distant beaurocratic Governements. It means those who are near the community-part of it in fact, get to run those communities. Families look after one another and those in their immediate community and then so on until the Government ONLY does what it is competent to do and thus totalitarianism can be avoided. It allows parents the rights and responsibilities proper to them so that families can stay strong and with an emphasis on responsibility there is more genuine care.  (Check out RERUM NOVARUM on this very thing). It is the base on which Distributismis built. Distributism works well with home education. It is about local life; about building a strong responsible and self sustaining society from the family up. History tells us that societies that undermined the family collapsed.

But this Government thinks it is better to overtly attack families and drastically undermine the good we can do. It’s mad really.

Despite the experience with the school system that we had before I began home educating, there are probably still one or two people who can;t understand why I want to do this. Take a look at this.

Meanwhile some bloke called David Semple who is apparently a teacher, wrote an article that showed no insight into home education at all. BISHOP HILL managed to fisk it with style (and some bad language that to be honest seemed rather appropriate to the cirumstances.

 Semple writes:

Those who provide education in schools are in a position to examine the education provided by home educators.

I really don’t see how. School education is based on a vastly different philosophy from home education. What do teachers know of John Holt or my own Charlotte Mason. How many understand how Montessori works or the nature of a Classical Curriculum based on rhetoric logic and the other one (Can’t remember and too tired to look it up right now-but many of you homeschoolers will know).

While I know a lot of teachers who support the idea of home education-because they work in schools and see the National Curriculum up close and nasty; I don’t know a teacher who does not home educate, who could judge home education as a process, it’s outcomes or how the children are learning.

It’s grossly arrogant to assume a person trained for a school would know. As a psychiatric nurse I never assumed I could go an assess a renal nurse. Why would I?

Having said he is concerned about what the child wants he then wonders if home educated children

b) is the child getting the same breadth of education as in a classroom; c) is the child simply being taught to regurgitate the world-view of the parents; d) does the child have access to sufficient resources to support learning to a level equal to that which his or her peers will reach by the same age.

I hope to heaven my children are getting a broader education that I saw in classrooms when I worked in school!! So far they get better history and geography, Astronomy (didn’t see that in school) Latin (didn’t see that) hands on science experiments which they actually get to DO rather than just watch…the list goes on.

Most homeschooled children I know are learning to think and discover for themselves, rather than being spoonfed (as in school) so they are not regurgitating anything. When my older ones were in school regurgitating the propaganda of the national curriculum was the norm. You should hear some of the stuff my daughter’s school friends come out with!

Of course home ed children have resources. Sometimes they cost a lot and so we share them; but at least they actually get to use them.

But his real bug-bare is this:

 I have always been particularly concerned about c) since I know that in the United States, home schooling is increasingly prevalent among extreme Christians and I have seen it suggested that this trend is the same in the UK. If home schooling can be a vehicle to prevent scientific learning, then we have a duty to those children to regulate it.

Did you see that? “extreme Christians”. What does that mean? Does he mean that parent who may have religious reasons for home education is ‘extreme’ and is therefore unable to teach science. Does he know any history of science!? He insists that ‘skepticism’ should be taught-rather than a healthy search for the truth.

The article goes on (and on); but Bishop Hill fisks it better than I can be bothered. I am particularly concerned by the idea that the State somehow own our children. Bishop Hill calls this Fascist and I have to agree. Hitler made home education illegal in Germany to ensure no child missed out on his propaganda machine. The fact that Hitlers law is still law in Germany is utterly shameful. Semple of course talks of the “absolute authority of the State”. If that doesn’t chill you to the bone I don’t know what will.

Reasons to homeschool:

Terrorism lessons anyone?

 The generation of pupils let down by testing: In fact one of Iona’s friends said she was pleased that at least she was taught how to pass tests. When challenged on whether that was the extend of her education, she believed it was-and worse still-believed that was all education was about!

The Cambridge Primary Education Review has been reported in a lot places not just THIS ONE. Did you see that last line?

The Department for Children, Schools and Families said: ‘To say children are receiving a deficient education is insulting to hard-working pupils and teachers everywhere and flies in the face of international evidence.’

But to say hardworking home educating parents and their children are living in abusive homes with forced marriage and domestic servitude or missing education all together is just fine and dandy!

Interrupted in blogging by Ronan pointing out he haven’t got around to “Longitude and Shortitude” yet today LOL!