Friday, February 27, 2009

The Victoria Climbié Foundation

Regarding the article that appeared in the Independent Online (26 Feb) - Is the Government right to be concerned about home schooling, this is what The Victoria Climbié Foundation has to say (check it out on their homepage):

"The Victoria Climbié Foundation UK is genuinely concerned about the link being made between Victoria Climbié and home education, and Victoria as a hidden child.

Victoria was neither home-educated nor hidden.

The reality is that there is no such thing as a 'hidden' child, only children who are allowed to fall through the gaps. The key issue here is how statutory services interact with children that are known within the child protection system."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Governanny's unwanted interference

Is the Government right to be concerned about home-schooling?

"Tens of thousands of home-educating parents are in a fury about a government decision to set up an inquiry into home schooling because of fears it could hide child abuse. They say there is no hard evidence, and the investigation smears them all with suspicion. Two thousand parents and organisations have written to the Government in protest at what pressure group Action for Home Education call "vile and unsubstantiated" allegations."

Read more...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Persecution of a minority group

"Outraged families and support organisations flood the DCFS with 2000+ consultation responses to the elective home education review.

The government's review of elective home education, which was announced in January in a blaze of scurrilous spin stating that home education could be used by parents as a cover for abuse and forced marriage, has provoked an unparalleled reaction from home educating families and support organisations, including home education action group AHEd and the home educators' network Home Education Forums. Both AHEd and Home Ed Forums have strongly rebutted the government's allegations as "vile and unsubstantiated" in their respective robust responses to the DCSF consultation."

Read more...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Autistic boy was Tased

"A middle-school student with autism was Tased twice by a Carmel police officer, according to a lawsuit filed by the boy's parents against the Police Department, one of its officers and a local school district.

According to the suit, the electrical bursts temporarily knocked the 90-pound boy unconscious during a confrontation at Creekside Middle School. The boy, who was 14 at the time, was taken to a local hospital before being released to his mother."

Read more...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Raising school-free learners

"Jane Gutteridge took the unconventional decision to take her children out of mainstream education and home school them. Here she explains why and believes the move has been a success.

If your child is happy to attend school, wonderful. But contrary to what many people believe, school is not compulsory. I am one of the many Berkshire parents who are shunning schools and, instead, opting to home educate – an ever-growing nationwide phenomenon in Britain today."

Read more...

For details on Heroes, visit Heroes Berkshire

Friday, February 13, 2009

Home education is safe

Letter to Children & Young People Now, 12 February 2009

The NSPCC has welcomed the latest home education review, echoing government allegations that home education could be used as a "cover for abuse".

No evidence or statistics have been produced to substantiate these accusations.

Read more...

But it's not just the home educating parents who are being bullied by the government:

"Figures show a parent is sent to prison every other week in term time for failing to ensure their child goes to school"

Read more...

The biggest threat to home education

that the UK has ever experienced?

News that the government is carrying out a review into home schooling has angered many who do home educate their children. As Alexandra Frean reported, the government announced that there were fears homeschooling might be used a "cover" for abuse, neglect, forced marriage and even what they describe as a "form of servitude".

But home schoolers who have contacted School Gate are asking why another consulation is needed. Parents have talked about prejudice and discrimination, while the Sometimes it's peaceful blog has described the review as "the biggest threat to home education that the UK has ever experienced."

One angry mother asked: "Why the need for a fourth consultation in three years relating to Elective Home Education? Is there a hidden agenda which the Government are just going to keep consulting about until they finally get the answer they want? Why this red herring of forced marriages being a reason for "reining in"?"

Read more...

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The path to success

Remember: your role as a parent is to ensure your kids to make a positive contribution to the system and achieve economic well-being! Only then will they be able to enjoy and achieve, which in turn will keep them healthy and safe!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Home education 'demonised' by Government

HELEN CRITCHELL, in a letter to the Hunts Post, writes:

"THE recent stab by Baroness Delyth Morgan at demonising what I would consider the last bastion of hope for children these days - home education - and the subsequent take-up of the subject by the NSPCC (Jeremy Vine Show, Radio 2) has caused me to put pen to paper.

To send your child to state school these days is risking the deterioration of any standards you hope your child may aspire to, along with any hope that your influence in their early years will prevail.

With childhood being driven by rampant consumerism, media pressure to fawn over celebrity status, youth culture despising high academic achievement, schools obsessed with league tables, teaching to test and gearing up to the LCD (lowest common denominator), with bullying, violence and teacher-abuse rife, and one in five children leaving school unable to read and write I am surprised that more parents don't opt to keep their children at home.

To suggest that home educators could use the experience to their own sexually-abusive ends is appalling at a time when no section of society is free from the tainted suggestion - fueled by media frenzy - that anyone giving their time to children must have 'a problem' in this area.

As a result children are being left by the wayside, starved of nurture, compassion, love and societal boundaries given them by anyone older than themselves.

Home education is not the easy option and is a decision that isn't taken lightly by parents. Schools are a hot-bed for pressure to be a 'chav', not be academically successful, partake in sexual activities at a young age and to conform with a youth culture that is becoming more threatening by the day.

To send your child to state school nowadays is taking the sanctity of childhood out of the hands of parents and putting it into the hands of a society that does nothing to protect the integrity of childhood and everything to promote the demonization of adults who want to nurture children.

Reading Ed Balls's statement: "This is no time for excuses - I want every child to go to a good school and that means every school getting above 30 per cent" (he means five good GCSEs including maths and English). One can't help but think that, if 30 per cent is considered 'good', then God help those 70 per cent of children who aren't getting even a good education, let alone a childhood that stabilises them for life."

Plus, government propaganda of the day here.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

This petition needs your signature

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to to remind his government that parents must remain responsible in law for ensuring the welfare and education of their children and that the state should not seek to appropriate these responsibilities.

To sign this petition go here.

More details from the petition creator:

We ask him to remind ministers that recent DCSF consultations have concluded that current law, when applied correctly, is sufficient to the task of protecting home educated children should parents fail in their duties, and that the law represents a satisfactory balance between protecting children and the need for privacy and autonomy in family life.

We also ask him to call a halt to the review of home education, begun in Jan 2009. Home educators have already taken part in four consultations in just over three years. New guidelines for LAs regarding Home Education resulted from one of these consultations as recently as Nov 2007 and yet we are now faced with yet another review which appears to seek to erode parental responsibilities. We ask him to remind ministers that repeated consultations infringe the BRE's Code of Practice on Consultations, Criterion 5.

We also ask him to alert the DCSF that relations between home educators and LAs are likely to deteriorate should the state elect to intrude further upon family life.

To sign the petition go here.

Home-ed review: Reply from MP

I have written to Jim Knight, the Education Minister, to tell him of your concern.

I asked him why it was necessary to repeat the process so soon after the publication of the 2007 guidelines and I pointed out that the limited response time makes it difficult for busy home educating parents to respond.

I asked also what the exceptional circumstances of public interest are that justify curtailing the consultation period.

I told Mr Knight of your fears that some local authorities have made unfounded allegations about home education being used as a cover for child abuse and forced marriages and I asked if there was any evidence for this.

I asked the Minister to respond to the points you made to me and to assure you that this is not the an attempt to make life more difficult for those who choose to educate their children at home.

Yours sincerely

Dr Doug Naysmith
Labour/Co-op Member of Parliament for Bristol North West