Graham Stuart MP is a sharp thinker and speaker. He has truly done the background work needed to decide whether Schedule 1 Clause 26 should go through or not. Reading what he has to say makes me believe he actually does support Home Education and this isn’t just a political game to him. For that I am truly, truly grateful.
Caroline Flint otoh was quite capable of pointing out some bad practice by an LA officer-who I dare say went on to continue that level of crassness with other families; but then still voted with the Govt to increase the powers of these incompetent people. What incredible hyprocracy!
There is a great deal in the debate from the Hansard transcipt that needs looking at but I think this quote from Mr Stuart will start things off here:
A 1999 study by Dr. Lawrence Rudner, vice-president of the Graduate Management Admission Council, which is the testing company that runs the GMAT test in the United States—the primary test used there—observed:“Home schooling’s one-on-one tutorial method seemed to equalize the influence of parents’ educational background on their children’s academic performance. Home educated students’ test scores remained between the 80th and 90th percentiles, whether their mothers had a college degree or did not finish high school.”
I would have hoped that hon. Members throughout the House would be excited at that prospect. Home education could have a transformational effect on the chance of children from the poorest homes getting a good education—if the parents had the commitment and the desire to do it—even if their parents did not have a good education themselves. He continued:
“Students taught at home by mothers who never finished high school scored a full 55 percentage points higher than public school students from families of comparable educational backgrounds.”
In other words, although that cannot be guaranteed for all by any means, not least because of the economic realities, parents who are not well educated and who live in a deprived community and are prepared to show such commitment will none the less make a huge difference to the outcomes for their children, who are of course most likely to fail at school.We should support home education rather than using measures that suggest that the only way we are going to improve it is by forcing children back to school.
In paragraphs 19 onwards, we see clearly—it is especially clear in paragraph 28—that what is at the moment an entitlement by the citizen in a free society to make a decision to home educate, has become an application in the Bill. In the future, instead of having the presumption that we are allowed to home educate, we must apply to the state for that right. That is an extraordinary change that I find deeply objectionable in a free society. We must not underestimate how serious that change in presumption is. It is clear that the application is not simply a process of notification, which is what we are trying to make it through some of the amendments that I will discuss in a moment. It is a fully-fledged process that involves having to supply huge amounts of personal information.