Monday, November 30, 2009

Now we must undergo criminal records checks

Parents who teach their own children at home must undergo criminal records checks, say Government education inspectors.

Read more

Parents and children are speaking out against proposed changes to the home education system which could see youngsters cross-examined for hours on end. A petition was handed over to MP for Lincoln criticising the Badman Review which called for stricter regulation of home schooled children.

Read more

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Home-ed news from Bristol

A Bristol mum-of-four, who teaches her children at home, has helped to collect what is set to be the largest number of parliamentary petitions ever recorded and asked her MP Doug Naysmith to take part in the presentation of the 200 petitions, as part of a national campaign to draw attention to the law governing the home education of children. Continues here.

And here's Doug Naysmith's reply to my request for him to join the All Party Parliamentary Group on home education and to sign the Early Day Motion 1785:

I already belong to more APPGs than I feel I should, as I do not like to belong to a Group unless I have the time to make a useful contribution to it. Also, my initial views on Badman's proposals are not as critical as those expressed in the EDM. I agree with the first part about the excellent work many parents do and appreciate the hard work and sacrifices involved. I can understand the worries and, indeed, indignation at the "conflation of welfare concerns with education issues".

I believe, however, that all children have a right to an education and that society, as well as parents, has a responsibility to ensure that this right is honoured. Therefore I think it is reasonable for Local Authorities to have a register so that they know how many children and which ones are being educated out of school. I understand this happens in most if not all other countries. I am also not against a 'light-touch' inspection which takes full account of what the parents' educational aims are: in other words, not one which expects parents to conduct formal lessons at the kitchen table, following the National Curriculum and culminating in SATs.

On Friday this week I am being presented with a petition by another home educating constituent and I am sure we will talk about the matter further. I should also be happy to discuss with you the difference in our views, either on your own or with other home educators if you belong to a local group.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Home ed news round

PARENTS who educate their children at home say the government is trying to introduce draconian new laws to interfere in family life. More here...

PARENTS protesting against government proposals to impose strict rules which will regulate home education are preparing to hand in petitions to parliament opposing the plans. Read it here.

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many staff are engaged (a) full-time and (b) part-time on handling responses to his Department's consultation on Home education-registration and monitoring proposals. From here.

Brushing off labels such as "hippie" and "religious nut", and debunking the socialisation myth, Nicola Pye followed natural progression and took a stand for freedom to home-school her children. Read it here.

A mother and father in Germany were fined $181 for homeschooling their children by a judge who spared them the jail sentences demanded by the prosecutor. More here. Also here.

Is homeschooling compatible with socialism and vice-versa? Apparently not, for homeschooling means parental control of education, and that is anathema to socialists. More here...

The British government announced last week their acceptance of the Badman Review of home education and introduced the new Children, Schools and Families Bill that will require home educated children to be registered with the local authorities. Read it here. Also here.

Home schooling doesn't have to negatively affect socialization - here.

Meantime, in the schooling world...
Criminal checks for all sixth formers
Tory plans for 'no notice' school detentions

Thursday, November 26, 2009

We are the people we´ve been waiting for

FFI: we are the people movie
Get a free copy with the Guardian this coming Saturday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tomorrow on BBC3

Info taken from here: Documentary about withdrawn teenager Megan, who has delayed socialisation... Megan is home-schooled by her strict Jehovah's witness mum and dad and leads a life structured around rules and routines. We enter her life where she has to spend time with the family rather than others of her own age.

Thu 9:30pm

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another petition...

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to uphold that parents have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of their child, to not undermine parents legitimately fulfilling their fundamental duties, and to assume that the best interests of their child is the basic concern of parents unless there is specific evidence to the contrary.

More details here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

MP to receive petition over home education

YEOVIL MP David Laws will this morning receive a petition from families across his constituency protesting against draft legislation regulating home education.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Testing times for home educators

Five months after Graham Badman's report was published, the inclusion of some of his findings in the Queen's speech makes it clear that the system faces changes.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Declaration to Parliament - Notice of refusal to co-operate

The following notice has been going round...


WHEREAS the recommendations of the GRAHAM BADMAN REVIEW OF ELECTIVE HOME EDUCATION have been accepted in full by the Secretary of State.

AND that these grossly disproportionate recommendations hold serious implications for the civil liberties of parents, children and families in this country.

AND that these recommendations place primary responsibility for assessing the suitability of education and the welfare of the child on the state, rather than the parent - with no prior evidence that either is unsatisfactory prior to this grossly intrusive intervention.

AND that the recommendations of the review assumes that the home is an inherently unsafe or unhealthy place for the child to be.

AND that these recommendations undermine the role of the parent and trample over family freedoms in its haste to set parent and child up against each other, bestowing additional and selective "rights" on home educated children that only the government can adequately minister to.

AND that these recommendations destroy the very possibility of true autonomy in learning.

AND that these recommendations operate from a position of requiring proof of parental innocence rather than reasonable suspicion of guilt.

AND that these recommendations discriminatorily use the coercive and interventionist tools of parental licensing, warrantless entry to the home, inspection according to arbitrary external standards, and an unconscionable new power to interrogate the child without the parents present.

AND that the outcome of these recommendations will be horribly discriminatory to a minority community, the measures eventually having to apply to anyone who has their child at home with them: parents with under 5s, those whose children attend private school, and also those with school-aged children who are at home in the evenings, over the weekends, and throughout the summer holidays.

AND that the outcome of these inspections will be based on the very human whim and prejudices of a local authority officer, who will have the power to destroy the life and education that that parent has conceived for his or her child.

AND that if the government is to avoid further discrimination it also stands to reason that each child who attends school must be given the same "rights" as home educated children - to "have their voices heard" regarding whether or not they are happy to be educated in school, whether they are satisfied with their teachers and whether they feel safe in such an environment.

WE ACCEPT that it is right that appropriate and proportionate action, as currently outlined in the law, may be taken to rectify a situation if there are serious concerns about a child's welfare, observing that a child being at home with its parents is not, and never has been, in and of itself a child welfare issue.

AND HEREBY RESOLVE that any such utterly disproportionate legislation if passed will fundamentally alter the relationship between citizen and state, and would constitute a fundamental violation of our rights,

AND that any such legislation is illegitimate on its face.

NOW UNDERSTAND that by this declaration, Parliament is PUT ON NOTICE that I and others will not co-operate with any such legislation, and strongly caution you not to consider, debate, or enact any such legislation.

Signed _______________________________

Declaration to Parliament - Notice of Refusal to Co-operate

Here, there and everywhere...
To find out more, go to:
Home education forums
Freedom in education
Maire Staffordshire
kelly green and gold
Renegade Parent (more here)
Learning Freely Network
Then UK
Ensino Doméstico - Educação Domiciliar

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Unprecedented access to family homes

now given to health and safety inspectors to ensure that parents are protecting their children from household accidents.

Also worth reading is this article, about the way Britain - "the most punitive nation in Europe" - continues to breach children's rights.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blake Hannah on 'unschooling'

Barbara says that her method is actually described not as "home-schooling" but "unschooling". "My approach is not linked to a set curriculum," she says. "I used a freestyle method led by my son's interests."


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Home is where the school is

When he was 15 years old, Peter Heuer and a friend he met at astronomy camp started building a cyclotron, an experimental physics device that smashes atomic particles together.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Home-ed art

ART with a message is on show at an exhibition in Sheffield city centre - created by children educated at home instead of school.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for CSF...

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much funding his Department has provided to each local authority in England and Wales for children with special educational needs who are educated at home...


Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which 15 local authorities will be contacted by Ofsted to discuss the potential inspection regime for home education...


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Home-ed on the IoI Education Forum

Tuesday 24 November: This will be a joint event with the Parents Forum at which mother and author Jennie Bristow will argue for home schooling while father and educationalist Toby Marshall will put the case against.

Is home schooling defensible? Why can’t parents be free to educate their children in any way they wish? Should the state regulate those who chose to home school? Are their occasions when, for the social good and children’s own good, the parents’ desire to do their own thing should be overruled? For further details or to register, email, or ring Dennis Hayes on 07791200341

From here. Podcast may become available here.

Home ed news - Ofsted

"Asked by Lord Lucas - To ask Her Majesty's Government why Ofsted has decided to investigate a sample of 15 local authorities about their provision for home educators; which 15 local authorities it will investigate; and how they were chosen. "


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Schoolgirl thrown out of classes over tie

Rebecca, 15, was thrown out of classes for wearing a traditional-style school tie rather than a clip-on version and ordered to stand in the corridor outside the headteacher's office for breaching uniform rules. Rebecca's parents have branded the move "Draconian" and have withdrawn their daughter from of classes to be taught at home.


Friday, November 06, 2009

Ridiculous rules for home schools

My six-year-old daughter is educated by me, at home. Are we about to become the state's latest scapegoats?


Here, a reader asks whether home schooling their child will be beneficial.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

What will they accuse us of next?

Paula Rothermel: I was invited on two occasions to meet with Mr Badman. At our first interview Mr Badman was interested in what I had to say. His opening question was to ask me if home educating mothers suffered from Munchhausen's by Proxy. I thought this to be a curious starting point - that of questioning whether home education is a symptom of mental illness.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

He-art project

ART submitted by home-educated children from Sheffield and across the country, in a bid to share the reasons why they love learning outside school, has been put in the shop window for the public to see. After a month-long exhibition the He-art project will go on a national tour.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Home ed women's blogging

Taken from here:

Women bloggers inform as well as entertain. Grit, who home-educates her triplets in Britain and writes the excellent, spirited, funny and indescribable gritsday, is a case in point. “I started the blog because I was leading a bizarre life, the sort where fact and fiction blend into each other,” she says. “I was mothering triplets at home in a bomb site when my husband flew in from the West Bank. He changed his trousers and passport, then flew off to Jordan. Six weeks later he’d be in China and I’d be at home making trucks out of cardboard. Through writing I’ve come to terms with situations, and I can honestly say I like where we are now and I feel comfortable. And I’ve learnt that, for us, bizarre is normal.” Grit also blogs specifically to enlighten people about the joys of home-educating their children: “Home education can offer a truly real-life education. And I hope that from the blog you can see that a home-educating lifestyle can be a lot of fun as well as a lot of hard work.”

Blogging also presents very 21st-century opportunities for new friendships, both real and online. Even a few years ago the idea of meeting up in real life with people you’d “met” online was eccentric and desperate at best and sinister at worst, but it is now perfectly reasonable, not to say commonplace.

Grit agrees: “That sharing of ideas, resources, support, practical help is an essential part of blogging. There’s a wider community too; we were in Hong Kong this year and I’d corresponded with a blogger based there. She invited us over to say hello. She was totally beautiful, poised, elegant — everything I’m not. I would never have met her in real life. Yet here we were, taking tea together halfway across the world. I felt there was a lot of shared value and understanding we’d gained through the blogs.”