Friday, 12 June 2009

Home Education: Badman Bad Report

Graham Badman's Report to the Secretary of State on the Review of Elective Home Education in England has now been published.

You may not be particularly interested in home education. You may think that because you don't home educate your children, this doesn't affect you.

But, as Renegade Parent writes, "This is not a home education issue, it is a fundamental civil liberties issue. Dressing it up as the mark of a civilised nation, as Badman does, is simply propaganda. The recommendations, if accepted, essentially change the nature of the relationship between child, parent and state as it is currently enshrined in law."

It is an excellent post. Read the rest of it here.

Ian Parker-Joseph, leader of the Libertarian Party says: "LPUK will oppose changes to HE. Parents must be free to educate children as they see fit, they are yours not the State's."

That is the position of the Libertarian Party. The state does not own your children. For more on LPUK education policy, see here.

1 comment:

Tania and Andrew on Pegasus said...

Thankyou for the article. The DCSF are refusing to release the numbers of 'yes' 'no' answers from the mysterious 25 out of 90 local authorities (who answered) they used to bolster their claim that 6.75% of home educated children are known to social services. These are the stats that the press picked up on as 'at risk of abuse' wITHOUT THESE STATS WHICH MAKE GREAT HEADLINES - THERE IS NO REASON FOR THE REVIEW-But the DCSF released an annex to thereview which was NOT released with it that said that the statistics include children with special educational needs and also all referrals -i.e. unsubstantiated.
The review is a disgrace and from a home educators point of view it is obvious that Graham Badman knew exactly what he was writing about and worded it in a way that anyone who did not understand the entire issue would be fooled into thinking the review was even handed. It actually takes quite a bit of background knowledge to rip this review into shreds- I am happy to do that if asked .
Current legislation and guidelines mean that any child who deregisters from a school for the purposes of home education will become known to the home education department in a Local Authority and that the authority can ask about educational provision. The parent can provide a written philosophy and outline and if the LA have 'concerns' they can then ask to visit. However many local authorities (not Somerset I hasten to add) would have concerns if a parent did not aquiese to a visit from the get-go, even although this refusal of avisit is within current law and guidelines.Many LAS's are confused about their jurisdiction when it comes to parental duty! These are the LA's pushing for tighter controls and for them to be able to control it.
As for understanding autonomous education- thats a dice roll depending on which LA you live in. I am happy with the current policys and proceedures of Somerset but realise all that could change in an instant if a new person took on the job. There are some areas of the country that I woud never consider moving to due to the attitudes of the LA's . The review rightly points out these discrepancies amongst LA's but its pretty much a given that this 'carrot' of better training' will not be funded whereas the 'controls' of compulsary registration , compulsary visits and the free reign for a child to be interviewed alone will be given money immediately (as stated by Ed Balls).