The lack of research on home education in the UK has raised eyebrows. The research that has been done seems to have been dismissed because those prepared to be involved are going to be the home ed families doing very well thank you. Maybe that’s a fair criticism-but I am not convinced as research has managed to get families involved in all sorts of situations.
American research was dismissed as well. However some states publish test results from their all registered homeschoolers. Some of my friends across the pond have to put their children through state tests. This is not unusual. But there are many variations in how much interference homeschoolers face in America and the interesting thing that comes out of this is that the research all over the states shows that those will more state interference do just as well as those without state interference and all do better than school kids. From this we could say the status quo here will not be improved through unnecessary and expensive state interference.
It was made very clear in this second meeting that parents who home educate are to be considered guilty of abuse and not providing a suitable education until an official can get into their homes and see the children alone and decide whether the parents are fit to home educate.
The fact that children are supposed to meet the 5 outcomes was assumed and never questioned. “safeguarding is preventative” so now it moves that ALL parents must be considered as potential abusers until they can prove otherwise.
The lack of properly trained staff in the LAs was admitted. Elly of the Children Missing Education brief said her team had done better because the home ed community had taught them a thing or too. But it still seemed to me that poorly trained staff stomping all over ordinary law abiding families is in no way going to build all that trust and fluffy relationships the group seemed to dream of.
Seeing the child alone: Barry Sheerman said that in recent cases the fact that the social worker had not seen the child alone was heavily criticised. (Actually he might find that the social workers didn’t see the children at all more often than not) Now then, these are cases where the children were well known to social services and where other people (in Khyra Ishaq’s case it was actually teachers!) has raised the alarm and although the social workers had a legal right and obligation to see the child they didn’t do so. This is no way near the same thing as officials forcing themselves into the homes of innocent people for no reason at all!
Yet again the issue of skill and training for those forcing themselves on these families was raised. I have to say that this constant going on that LA staff are not trained or skilled enough worries me. If even those who think these people should suddenly be able to trample our basic rights will not be able to do so without damaging our families then why should we be so keen to be registered and monitored? Just askin?
Meanwhile I discover David Chaytor MP (Lab) who thinks if we have nothing to hide it’s fine to send poorly trained LA staff stomping around the homes of innocent people is hardly an innocent person himself and having stolen £13k will not be standing at the next election and is being investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. So folks, these are the kind of people telling us what is best for our children. Nice.
There’s more to write on this. As I am not well at the mo I am taking a bit of quiet time and using it to do this. Sad innit.