Sunday, October 25, 2009

Teachers waterboarded my autistic son

Autistic teenager was reportedly held under running water, forced to eat his own vomit and made to sit in his soiled clothes for hours.

Read more

Friday, October 23, 2009

A couple of news items

Regulating home schooling: Does mother—or nanny—know best?
for the overwhelming majority of parents, this is bullying bureaucracy at its worst.

Government home ed plans 'deeply sinister'
The Government is taking its powers “a step too far” if officials are allowed to question children without their parents present, warns Philip Johnston:

“For the first time, local councils will have the power to enter family homes and question young children without the presence of their parents – something even the police are not allowed to do unless the parent is the suspect”.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Evangelical need monitoring, EHEing parents need to be queried

BBC slurs evangelicals in home school debate
Some evangelical parents need monitoring by the state because they may ‘intimidate’ their children with ideas about God, sin and hell, a BBC radio host has said.

Tough lesson for home-educators

Karl Meyer, from Cambridge Home Educating Families (Chef), said it was "a bizarre logic" to suggest that a parent who wanted to spend time with his or her child was someone to be questioned and queried.

Results of Children's Survey & "Not Hidden" survey of HE families

At yesterday evening's parliamentary briefing event hosted by EO, Ann Newstead publicised the results of the surveys that she had carried out personally following the publication of the Badman Report.

The summary of the survey of home educated children and young people, which got 777 responses, can be found here.

The survey which asked home educating families to keep a diary for a week, to show that their children are not "hidden", which 500 families responded to, is summarised here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What's on the news

If home-schooling is good for our children it is for us to say
How much more evidence does the Government need before the penny drops: that excessive interference from the centre is causing irreparable damage to our society?

And in one of the many comments:

"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation."

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler; the Ralph Manheim translation published by Houghton- Mifflin, 1943. pg 403.

St Albans couple's worry over changes to home education
The couple worry the intrusion and shift of power from them to the local authority would have a massive impact on their children and family life.

New Jamaican book on home-schooling
"PEOPLE said I was crazy when I started home-schooling my son," says author and home-schooling pioneer Barbara Blake Hannah. They changed their opinion when her son was appointed youth technology consultant to the Jamaican government in 1998 at age 13, and was labelled a 'genius' without having experienced a traditional education.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

EHE on religious grounds

Listen to the radio interview here - starts at 31mns

What it feels like to be homeschooled

Alex Dowty, a student at Oxford, describes his unusual education here.

No lesson plans? No problem! La Plata family finds unschooling a perfect fit. Read more...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nothing to hide, nothing to fear?

Open Letter to David Chaytor by Rowan Fortune Wood

Right to Reply

A Response to Graham Badman‟s Report to the Secretary of State on the Review of Elective Home Education in England and reaction to the CSF Select Committee hearing on Monday 12 October 2009

Open PDF File here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

TES repeating unfounded allegations

here. If you read the article, make sure to read comments.


Is Unschooling a Better Kind of School?
Homeschooling can be a valid option

Uncorrected Transcript of Oral Evidence

on EHE given by Graham Badman, Ms Diana Johnson and Penny Jones to the CSF Committee on Mon 12/10/09 available here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Home Educators Mass Lobby of Parliament

From here: [Two days ago,] over 450 Home Educators and many supporters lobbied parliament today to protest against the Review of Elective Home Education chaired by Graham Badman.


A FAMILY from Crediton took part in the recent mass lobby of Parliament in a bid to stop "intrusive" legislation affecting home education.

"We want to give our children an education that reflects our values and principles as opposed to those of a complete stranger. Some children thrive in a school system but I think I can do a better job myself. It's great to be in charge of what they're learning. You can't monitor what they do at school. It's my right to educate my children as I see fit." said Mrs Martin.

Read it here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Home Ed Latest News

Home educators' worry at register
It is not known how many children in England are home educated
People who educate their children at home rather than sending them to school say they against having to register annually with local authorities.

Worthing home school families join campaign against new rules
PARENTS and their children from Worthing joined a campaign against government proposals to change the rules around home education.

Don't intrude, say parents who educate children at home

Home educators tell MPs they do not want home visits from local authorities, as recommended by a government review.

Home education vs. the bully-boy state
The presumption of guilt is eating it`s way into our lives: Home Education is the latest victim. As a parent you are a suspect in the crusade against child abuse. That is the message to Home Education from this government.Through a staged Review and now onto a Select Committee, the drive has been to find ways to justify an assault on Home Ed., taking away parental rights, enforcing child interviews alone and invading the family in a way that singles out Home Ed. as a "prime suspect".

The propaganda: Government To Provide More Support For Familes With Children Being Educated At Home

Monday, October 12, 2009

Home educators slam government response

The government's response to Graham Badman's review of elective home education "is not worth the paper it's typed on" according to home education charity Education Otherwise.

Read it here.

The Children’s Secretary gave the green light for youngsters to only have to attend school for certain lessons if their parents agreed to ensure they received the rest of their education at home.

Read more

CSF Committee Meeting on EHE

The purpose of this session on was to examine the evidence base for and recommendations of the DCSF commissioned review of elective home education in England.

Witnesses: Graham Badman CBE; Ms Diana R Johnson MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools, and Penny Jones, Independent Schools and School Organisation, DCSF.

Watch it here (43mns then 1hr 32mns)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Home Educated Children’s Rights Ignored

A Youth Council Has Found That The Views Of Home Educated Children Have Been Ignored, By A Government Proposing New Laws Supposedly ‘Supporting’ Home Educated Children’s Rights.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 9 Oct. 2009 – PDF version

Contact: Chloe Watson
Phone: 07870 104 216

The Home Educated Youth Council today discovered that absolutely no home educated children have been invited to give oral evidence to the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee(1), who are holding an inquiry into a report on elective home education published earlier this year(2), after challenges to the report’s integrity. In fact, the majority of the parties called as witnesses are non-home educating adults whom either work for government or local authorities.

The only people invited who speak for home education in any way are Jane Lowe, trustee of the Home Education Advisory Service, Fiona Nicholson, trustee of Education Otherwise, and Simon Webb and David Wright. The rest of the participants are composed of people from government and NGOs who have no real engagement with home education, such as the NSPCC.

The Home Educated Youth Council (HEYC) is an organisation created and run by children, to support the rights of home educated children and young people, and to provide an independent voice for those children educated at home. HEYC sent a written submission to the select committee, and also requested to give oral evidence to the inquiry, citing their rights under article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child(3), which states that:

1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.

When Chloe Watson, Chair of HEYC, called the committee to inquire as to why no home educated children had been invited to give evidence, she was told that the committee chose who should give oral evidence by selecting those they felt would answer the questions they wanted to pose best.

HEYC would like to know why the committee has chosen to ask questions that can not be answered by home educated children, especially since one of the criticisms of the report the Select Committee is investigating, is that it contravenes children’s rights. HEYC is also confused as to how the committee would know who would answer a question best, if they are not predisposed to hear a certain answer, and do not already know what the answer will be.

“If the committee already has answers in mind, as was implied to me, it surely can’t be impartial, and I don’t see how the outcomes of a partial inquiry can have any credibility.” says Miss Watson.

The report that this inquiry stems from claims to redress the balance between the rights of parents to educate as they wish, and the rights of children to receive a good education. However, the views of home educated children overwhelmingly support the status-quo(4), and disagree with the report’s intrusive proposals, leading HEYC to question whether the report, or the inquiry into it, truly does support the rights of children after all.

HEYC believes that in the current climate of suspicion at the government’s behaviour among home educators and the wider population – with a report full of misleading quotes and shaky evidence, written by an author whose independence is questionable(5), a disproportionate response to un-proven risks, erosion of civil liberties throughout society, and current guidance on home education mysteriously disappearing from the DCSF website – such behavior will only reduce the confidence adults and children alike have in the government.

HEYC calls for the government to make moves to regain that confidence, and begin to take account of the views of children in the home educating community.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with HEYC personnel, please contact, or call Chloe Watson on 07870 104 216


"Suitable" and "Efficient"

The government is to commission a review into what a "suitable" and "efficient" education means for home educated children in England.
Read it here.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Home Educated Children Speak Out

but who will listen?

Special Needs Student Beaten over dress code

Still wondering why homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

French police grabs home-ed kids on German orders

Four children of a family that fled Germany to avoid further fines for homeschooling have been snatched from their home in France by police and accused of "being alone," according to a report today on the ongoing war against home education across the Continent. Read it here.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Home ed = quality of life

'Ideologically I've been behind home education since before I had kids, but obviously you don't know in advance whether you're going to go for it," says Léan. Read it here.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Reviewing Home Ed: The Badman Song

From ThePhantomCorrector's channel:

"The rights of Home Educators in England are under threat from our government who have appointed Graham Badman to conduct a review that's only real purpose is to spread their totalitarian web of control to Home Educators. This song is to show Graham Badman that I know EXACTLY what he's up to. Oh, and it's also so that other people he annoyed are brought some comic relief.

Lessons al fresco for Epsom students

While most children were cooped up in their classrooms a group of youngsters enjoyed a picnic in the fresh air in glorious sun without being accused of truanting. - from here.

Roman Legions and Celtic warriors in Chard
: A history lesson came to life when legionary Valerius Genialis and Corius the Briton visited students from the Home Learning Centre to demonstrate what life was like nearly 2000 years ago. Throughout the morning, the home-educated youngsters heard what life was like as an Iron Age Briton, how the Romans really invaded and discussed how they would react to the invasion. Read it here.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Education packs for home educators

Country parks in South Somerset will launch National Curriculum-linked education packs for use by schools, youth groups and home educators wanting to go further than the traditional textbook approach. The aim is to get children learning outside of the classroom. Read it here.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Letter to the Independent

The Government wants parents, at the earliest opportunity, to hand all child-rearing responsibility to the authorities. Enclosed with each child benefit award is a leaflet about childcare; nurseries can accept babies from the age of six weeks; our school starting age is the lowest in Europe, and our working hours are the longest.

House prices are such that two average incomes are needed to buy even a modest property. Where does that leave our children? On top of this, if you do decide to take responsibility and look after your own children, you are seen as an anachronism; there are no stop-at-home mums on CBeebies, though every other walk of life is represented.

Worse, if you take responsibility to home-school your children rather than send them to state school for a tick-box education, a government review is giving local authority inspectors the right to enter your home and interview your child.

I am part of a home education group, and we have been told by the council that all the adults will need a CRB check, though no one is in loco parentis because the parents of all the children are present.

The nonsense of trying to make life risk-free, and dictating to us how we should live, is eroding family and community life. A man hardly dare smile at a child in a park for fear he will be branded a pervert. A friend who teaches childcare to students asked if they would stop an unknown child from walking in to the road; not one of them said they would, in case of an assault allegation. This is from people who will one day be looking after children.

Angela Elliott

Friday, October 02, 2009

Home Education on Manchester News

A mum from Urmston tells us why another review of home education is making her angry.

Hey Badman leave us kids alone

We don’t need your registration
We don’t need your yearly goals
No right of entry to our houses
Badman leave home ed alone
Hey Badman leave us kids alone.

All in all you’re just another brick in the wall
All in all you’re just another pawn for Ed Balls.

Watch it here.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Hey, Badman, leave our kids alone

Home educators are outraged at Graham Badman's recommendations to impose new regulations on them. Nancy Rowntree finds out why they feel victimised - here.

And the guidelines for LAs on elective home education seem to be back - here.