There is something deeply disgusting about the way Ed Balls, Graham Badman, the BBC and even some others are mis-using the tragic murder of Khyra Ishaq to attack the lives and well being of home educated children all over the country. In all fairness most of the MSM has simply reported the facts of the trial and the Judge’s view that Birmingham Children’s Social Services had seriously failed this child and her siblings because they refused to carry out the Initial Assessment.
It wasn’t that long ago that this social service dept was found unfit for purpose. Having had a couple of friends deal with them I have to concur.
The case notes are heart wrenching and leave me with a lot of questions. The schools acted pretty well it seems although I do wonder why they waited until the children were removed before asking social services to intervene. They had already needed to provide the children with extra food because of their loss of weight and hunger. Perhaps they didn’t think they had enough to go on.
I am impressed that a teacher was so concerned she made a home visit. It’s good to know teachers like that are out there.
The fact that the social worker comes across as, how shall I put this- remarkably unprofessional and lacking intellectual rigour, should surely tell us something about how Birmingham Children’s Social Services came to be assessed as unfit for purpose.
The social worker called Miss G seems to have done all she could to avoid doing her job. Perhaps she was already overloaded with cases-the judge doesn’t say. Instead of carrying out an Initial Assessment she got the teacher of the school to contact the police and forcefully demand a Safe And Well Check. The police went out to the house to do this check and then quite remarkably didn’t do it!
Balls and Badman have from the get go tried to conflate safeguarding and suitable education. But the dangers of doing this are stark in this case. Para 244 says the Social worker ditched the Initial Assessment that was so desperately needed because Mr H was now involved.
Now I know Mr I.H: Irving Horne has been bashed by the Daily Mail but I would like to say I liked him. He was supportive of our family and of EHE in general.
He told the court he had a case load of 350 families to deal with alone without so much as a secretary to help get letters out. Frankly that’s dreadful. Of those 350 families quite a few would not have been EHE. He talked to me some time ago about the kind of work he did. He had all the registered EHE families and then families where the children were “between schools”; that is parents couldn’t get the child into the school of choice so they were at home awaiting placements. These parents had not chosen to Home educate at all. Then there were the families where the children were out of school because of trouble with the school or law and were awaiting suitable placements or home tuition.
Mr I H was a retired head master. As far as I know he had no social work training, and why should he, that wasn’t his job. I am sorry that his name is plastered all over the press when journalists seem incapable of checking basic facts for one article let alone dealing with 350 in one go!
I know social workers often have a tough time too. But I tend to have less sympathy because I have had to work with so many over the years and found most of them to be useless. Miss G did what so many other social workers I have come across do-pass the buck. Rather than do the Initial Assessment she tried to get the police to do it. They didn’t do the Safe and Well Check and then she tried to pass the buck for the welfare of these children to Mr Horne who had neither the training nor experience to deal with such a thing on top of his ridiculous workload.
While the BBC and Daily Mail snipe at home education neither have explained how Badman’s silly review would have in any way helped the Ishaq children.
Check out Firebird’s MEDIA WATCH (nb the Daily Mail have altered the page since she gave them a Pass- and now they Fail).
And then came FERN
The BBC have continued their attack on Home Education by wheeling out Fern Britton, who is apparently fairly famous. She tried to tell us all that Ryvita really doesn’t taste of cardboard left in the shed for a few days. I was warned by someone called Ronan who posted on my previous post that this would make me a little cross. I didn’t get to listen to it; a girl has to watch her blood pressure you know. But I have come across some quite startling quotes from Ms Britton that I can only assume are true:
Apparently she began by asking why home educators shouldn’t be made to follow the “same rules as the rest of us.” Erm, what rules would they be that we naughty EHE families are not following? I don’t think she went on to explain.
She did go on to ask, “Do home educators have to show the LA their school room?” Like many people she obviously thinks home education is doing school at home. For most of us it isn’t. It is learning at home and at other people’s homes and other places in the community.
She then had the nerve to say; “Parents aren’t qualified to teach.” ROFL! Speak for yourself Fern. As it happens most of us don’t do a lot of teaching as such, we facilitate and often learn alongside the children. Often the children will teach us stuff they have learned. It works well.
The silly socialisation question -or in Fern’s case, negative statement, came up again. YAWN! How many times do we have to answer the same things over and over?
I know I should get cross about all this; but with Ed Balls quite deliberately misusing the murder of little Khrya Ishaq for his own bullying of the home ed community and to politically manouvre his Bill through-well Fern is small fry isn’t she?