Monday, December 28, 2009

ITV Anglia News: Home education

ITV Anglia News 8/12/09

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Home-ed news around the world

Mom turns to homeschooling to avoid 'experiments' on autistic child The school psychologist wanted to put the child in a room and expose her to known triggers to see how quickly she escalated and what her behavior would be.


Court endorses 'kidnapping' of 7-year-old - Social services allowed to keep custody of homeschooled child

"Any nation that severely restricts the ability of parents to choose alternative forms of education, including home education, in the name of creating national unity, cannot call itself a free nation. Freedom necessarily requires the individual to have the liberty to think differently and believe differently than programs instituted by the current rulers of any nation. Educational freedom is the cornerstone for all freedom of thought and conscience," said Michael Farris, HSLDA chairman.

It appears that the NASUWT supports a school-based system of education for all and reckons that the only way the Government can meet the Every Child Matters' aims is by making schooling compulsory for all children. FFI see this months' issue of their magazine (article on p. 23). You can read the NASUWT's submission to the consultation here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Protect children but don't abandon civil liberties

Home educators were incensed that inspectors would be coming into their homes to check on the welfare of their children. In general, I am on the side of those who oppose more state control over our lives. I do not think social services have a role in home education - though I do think it reasonable for the quality of education children receive at home to be monitored. Read more.

School dissatisfaction leading to rise in home education... the "legal option" for parents to opt for home education is often not promoted very strongly. Read it here.

On Milwaulee, local families choose homeschooling: The object of admiration, suspicion or even derision, home-schoolers -- like all families -- are not easily categorized. There are nearly 20,000 home schooled kids in the state and each family has its own unique set of circumstances as to why they opt out of the system. Continues here.

Finally, Michigan seems to be going for the Badman approach, with Detroit News turning homeschooling moms and dads into the Bogeyman.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A home educated princess?

Lenska said she was born in New Jersey as the youngest of six children. Her education came entirely from homeschooling after the age of 10. She said she did not grow up thinking of herself as a princess. Instead, her family chose to keep its lineage private because Leszczynski was not a popular king and her family found the history painful. Read more...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Kiddicare news: homeschooling on the up

Ann Newstead, spokesperson for Education Otherwise, said: "People are finally becoming aware of the fact that home education is a legal option in this country which is something nobody actually flags up to parents." Read more...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Home-schooled pupils fall off radar

The education of at least 150 children in the Black Country has slipped off the radar. The figures come after Dudley released GCSE results for 101 home-educated children which raised concerns over achievement. Read more...

Also on the news
The Detroit News Wants to Regulate Homeschooling
High-Flying Home-Schoolers

Autism reality

Trailer of a critically acclaimed documentary film about autism by Alex Plank, an autistic film director. At 7mns30s: the usual story of how schools and teachers just don't understand and the resulting suffering for the aspie child...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Welsh concerns following the Badman report

Welsh Grand Committee in Parliament yesterday

Mark Williams: Before the hon. Gentleman moves on from education, he will be aware of the concerns expressed by many of our constituents about the implications of the Badman report. The Bill to which he alluded gives the National Assembly, quite rightly, the power to undertake an inquiry and to take action as it sees fit. Does he share the concerns of many of us in Wales about the knock-on effects of the Badman report on home education throughout Wales?

Mr. Llwyd: Like the hon. Gentleman, I have been lobbied extensively about the Badman report, and I presented a petition on it to Parliament last week. Currently, it is an England-only matter, and, to be honest, I have considerable faith that the National Assembly will be able to deal with things differently, as it did very early on in abolishing the rather strange tests that popped up all the time. We do things slightly differently in Wales, and sometimes we do them better. I believe that this is a case in point, and that we can and will be able to deal with the matter in a more acceptable way.

Lembit Öpik: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Llwyd: I do not want to take too many interventions, as I am keeping others from speaking.

Lembit Öpik: I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman’s generosity. A Mrs. McBride came to see me on this very matter. Is he aware of any serious impact assessment that accompanies the Badman report? As far as I can see, it is a completely disproportionate response to a theoretical concern.

Mr. Llwyd: The hon. Gentleman is right. As I said, I am confident in our colleagues across the political spectrum in the National Assembly. I am sure that they will do the right thing. It is a draconian report, and it is troubling for those who have always home educated their children, so I am hopeful that we will take a different view in Wales.

Mrs. Gillan: I have taken some interest in the Badman report because I, too, think that adopting its proposals would amount to undue interference by the state in the personal lives of all our constituents. Under the framework powers in the legislation, it is proposed that home education powers pass down to the Assembly, and as the hon. Gentleman’s party is in government, I would like his guarantee that the Badman report will not be implemented in Wales.

Mr. Llwyd: When I questioned the hon. Lady earlier, she said, “It is not for me to decide—it is for my colleagues”, so I think that the French word is touchÃ(c). I am not going to guarantee anything at this stage.

Mrs. Gillan: But you are in government.

Mr. Llwyd: Yes, we are in government, but I thought that the hon. Lady was hoping to be in government. Perhaps she is not really, but there we are. Let me put it this way: I sincerely hope that our colleagues in the National Assembly will take a different view of the Badman report. I am fairly sure that they will, but for obvious reasons I can offer no guarantees.

From here (scroll down to middle of column number 34).

Still on the news...

Miss Anne McIntosh, MP for the Vale of York and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Thirsk, Malton and Filey, presented Vale of York Petition on Home Education:

“The Government's response to the Badman review unfortunately places many admirable home educators under an unwarranted cloud of suspicion. The need for monitoring must not become a barrier for parents who wish to home educate their children.” Read more...

Also: House of Commons Report Concludes That Flawed Govt. Proposals On Home Education Must Be Rectified

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What were the costs of the EHE Review?

Education: Home Schooling
Question asked by Lord Lucas: To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the costs of the Review of Elective Home Education in England by Graham Badman; and what were the costs of the information-gathering exercises which have followed it. [HL430]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): Following careful consideration Ministers have decided that this information will remain confidential because of the potential impact on those involved in the review. There have been a large number of postings on various websites and blogs harassing Mr Badman and the apparent campaign is continuing. The department will review the position again in the new year.

The information-gathering exercise that followed the review did not incur any external costs as it was conducted by departmental officials.

From here.

Schools Minister's response to the CSF select committee report on EHE

Schools Minister Diana Johnson said:

We’re disappointed the Select Committee’s press release has a negative headline, but...

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Select committee criticises plans to monitor home-education

The Select Committee Report is now available here. Pdf version here.

Balls's plans for home education should be scaled back, Sheerman says. Select committee criticises plans to monitor home-educating families as 'too aggressive'. Read it here.

Change urged for home-school plan - Parents who choose to home-school their child should not be forced to register with their local council, a cross-party group of MPs has said. More here...

More parents 'educating children at home' - Growing numbers of parents are shunning state schools to educate their children at home, according to MPs. Here.

The Big Question: Should the parents of home-schooled children be forced to register? - Why are we asking this now? A report by the House of Commons Select Committee covering education, published this morning, is highly critical of the Government's plan to tighten up on regulations governing home education. Read it here.

Badman review blasted by MPs' inquiry - A cross-party inquiry into Graham Badman's controversial review of home education has labelled the government's handling of the issue as an unfortunate episode. More here.


Home truths for city MP - Parents who choose to teach their children at home say meddling officials need to be taught a lesson. Read more...

Home schooling petition launched
- PRO-HOME schooling campaigners have submitted a Parliamentary petition aiming to block legislation designed to give education bosses ‘stronger powers than the police’. Read more...

Parents fury at plan for lessons in home
- Mother Jo Coulter, who educates her nine-year-old daughter Stella at home, said:

“I am absolutely horrified at the thought that in the name of child protection, thousands of children would be subjected to this degree of exposure to strangers within their own homes. We are automatically being treated as if we have done something wrong. It is deeply offensive that families like mine should be subjected to this degrading treatment. Why stop at home-educating families? Why not extend these measures throughout the land to cover all homes? After all, schoolchildren only spend around seven hours a day in school. Why are they spending all this money to police home education? There are already systems in place through social services to protect vulnerable children. They are knocking on the wrong door.”


Despite all the opposition, some MPs criticise absence of home-school regulation: Parents who teach their children at home should be more closely monitored by local authorities, a group of MPs have said. Read more...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Manipulating public opinion

What will the media be associating home education with next? Cases like this one?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Home education: Socialization not a problem

Since the re-emergence of the home-school movement in the late 1970s, critics of home-schooling have perpetuated two myths. The first concerns the ability of parents to adequately teach their own children at home; the second is whether home-schooled children will be well-adjusted socially.

A new study should cause many critics to rethink their position on the issue of socialization. Not only are home-schoolers actively engaged in civic life, they also are succeeding in all walks of life. Many critics believed, and some parents feared, that home-schoolers would not be able to compete in the job market. But the new study shows home-schoolers are found in a wide variety of professions. (...) this new study clearly demonstrates home-school parents are on the right path.Read it here.

Interventionalist and far too invasive

Dozens of Croydon mums and dads who teach their children from home have signed a petition to stop the Government interfering with how they educate their kids. This borough's petition is one of more than 150 compiled nationwide to stop home educators needing a licence.

Ann Newstead, a spokeswoman for Education Otherwise, said:

"Families take their children out of school to avoid the stress of exams, and to tailor education to suit that particular child's needs. GCSEs and SATs are not legally binding, and some parents feel they are a hindrance to their child's development. What is really concerning about the Badman report is that it is forcing parents to have a licence to teach their own children. If you fail to comply with any inspection then your right to teach is revoked."

Croydon Central MP Andrew Pelling said:

"The Badman report is interventionalist and far too invasive. If we abide by it we will end up with a situation where parents can't educate their children without a licence. Parents cannot be put under the same regulatory regime as schools. It is a different type of education and should be recognised as such."

Read it here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thoughts on the Home Ed bill

Jo Coulter, who educates her child at home, said:

“I am absolutely horrified at the thought that in the name of child protection, thousands of children in my country would be subjected to this degree of exposure to strangers, within their own homes. Such treatment I thought was reserved for those suspected of committing a crime.

Indeed, why stop at home educating families? Why not extend these measures throughout the land to cover all homes? After all, if school children only spend around seven hours a day in school, this leaves them out of ‘school protection’ for nearly seventeen hours a day, on week days, forty-eight hours at the weekend and many more over holidays. Indeed it is questionable if children are at all safe anywhere, even when they are in school. It is deeply offensive that families like mine should be subjected to this degrading treatment. I have not yet met anyone within my constituency who finds it acceptable.” Read more here.


Michael Donnelly, staff attorney and director of international relations for the Home School Legal Defense Association, said: "This bill is breathtaking in its scope and reflects a perverse level of suspicion towards parents who home-educate their children".

Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, which promotes stable family life and children's welfare, told HSLDA the background checks wouldn't make any sense.

"If it is deemed unsafe for children to be with their parents during normal school hours, it is equally unsafe for them to be with their parents in the evenings, at weekends and during the school holidays," he said. "To impose a system of routine monitoring home-educating families would represent a breach of their right to a private and family life and constitute a waste of public resources. Furthermore, the proposal to grant the local authority a statutory right of access to the homes of home-educated children is in effect reversing the presumption of innocence in British law and treats parents with suspicion until they have proven themselves innocent." Taken from here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Regulating Home Education

Implementing the New System
Date: Thursday 25th February 2010
Time: 10.30am – 3.15pm (including networking lunch)
Venue: Westminster
Cost: £225 per place or £175 for two or more places
FFI click here.

Home Ed at Portishead's Victorian Evening

Parents interested in offering their children home schooling will have a chance to talk to people who are already doing so, at Portishead's Victorian Evening. The North Somerset Home Education Group, set up in 2001, is taking a stand at the fair to allow people to find out more about the group.

It is made up of families from across North Somerset who have chosen to teach their children at home. The group meets regularly for social activities and to take part in physical activities with the children like gymnastics and ice skating. They also organise educational workshops.

Group member Sarah Souter said: "Some parents decide to home educate because they believe it's the best way for the child to learn and grow. Other parents turn to home education when school placements haven't worked out for various reasons such as bullying or unmet special educational needs."

Home education can mean different things to different people, with some following a timetable and curriculum while others have a less structured approach. To find out more call Vicky on 01275 848425 or say hello at the stand in Portishead High Street on December 11.

From here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New EDM 409 Home Ed & the Badman Review

That this House acknowledges and celebrates the hard work of the many home educators in Britain who teach their children to an exceptionally high standard;

recognises the excellent value they represent to the Government;

notes with concern the conflation of welfare concerns with education issues in Government statements on home education;

further notes with concern the recommendations of the Badman Review which suggest closer monitoring of home educators, including a compulsory annual registration scheme and right of access to people's homes for local authority officials;

and calls on the Government to focus on its own ability to fulfil the Every Child Matters objectives rather than undermine the independence and integrity of home educators by enforcing the Badman recommendations.

See here.

Home educators in record petition of MPs

They call on England's ministers not to go ahead with plans for a register or with proposals for council officials to be given new powers to enter homes. Ministers say the reforms will check children are "safe and learning". Read it here.

In South Devon, home educators unite to fight new legislation and protect their civil liberties. Leaf Lovejoy, who is educating two of her three children at home, said:

"This new legislation flies in the face of what home education is. It's completely absurd and would extend centralised control over parents and children. It would be an attack on our civil liberties. What this legislation proposes to do is to reverse what's existing now. At present the state reports to parents. That's what Ofsted reports are about. Under the new legislation, parents would be reported to the state. This is a massive invasion of privacy. This is a clever ruse by the Government to control parents, licence them. But this report is flawed and based on flawed statistics. It's families who provide for their children's education, whether it's in the home or at school. As home educators we have nothing to hide, but everything to fear from this report and from maverick local authorities."

Also on the news:
Now parents face criminal checks just to enter their children's school. More here.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Mass petitions against home education clampdown

A total of 74 MPs from across the three main parties are set to present more than 120 petitions containing thousands of signatures to Parliament tonight (Tue) opposing Government plans to bring in strict registration and monitoring of home educated children, thanks to Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart. The mass presentation will break the record for the number of petitions presented to Parliament on a single issue on any one day. The previous record was 44 petitions presented on 28 March 2006 against cuts and closures to community hospitals. Read it here. Also on Press Association and Wales Online.

Here, we read that dozens of MPs lined up to deliver petitions from constituents urging the government not to go ahead with proposals to shake up home education. Graham Stuart (Con, Beverley and Holderness) said people from more than 120 constituencies officially opposed the compulsory registration of home educating families in England.

Two Hampshire MPs last night delivered petitions of thousands of signatures against proposals to tighten the rules on parents who educate their children at home. Read it here.

MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, Stephen Crabb, will tonight (Tuesday) present a petition to the House of Commons on behalf of Pembrokeshire's home educators. Read it here.

Sutton MPs Tom Brake and Paul Burstow have received a petition from home educators concerned about the recommendations of an upcoming report. See here.

Newbury MP, Richard Benyon last night submitted a petition to Parliament on behalf of parents who wish to educate their children at home. This small but determined group of parents are appalled at Government plans to place many admirable home educators under an unwarranted cloud of suspicion. From here.

Monday, December 07, 2009

John T. Gatto: Weapons of Mass Instruction

Taken from here. 4hrs video from 2004 AERO Conference.

Home educating parents bullied by authorities

Miscarriage of justice in Australia

Gloucestershire woman opposes education bill

A home education supporter fears legislation could stop many children being taught away from schools. Fiona and her husband Rob are happy to have taught their three children at home. However, they fear the Government's Children, Schools and Families Bill could restrict educational freedom and lead to youngsters not being well educated. Read it here.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Petitions handed over to Devon MP

CAMPAIGNERS have warned against Government plans to force parents who keep their children out of school to register as a home educator and face inspections. Petitions have been launched across the country, and yesterday protesters handed over the latest to South West Devon MP Gary Streeter. See here.

Other news: National service for 7-year-olds

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The nanny state intrusion continues

Orpington protestors battling a new government home education bill have handed a petition to their MP. The petition is one of 400 from all over England that is due to be presented to Parliament. Read more...

Friday, December 04, 2009

Petition and other news

A GROUND-breaking petition opposing Government changes to teaching children at home has been handed in to Retford's MP. [This was] a record-breaking 300 petitions being handed en masse to Parliament on the issue. The previous highest was from around 40 constituencies. Read more here.

Parents who educate their children at home should undergo criminal records checks, according to the Government’s education inspectors. Read more...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

News round

Local MPs Tom Brake and Paul Burstow yesterday received a petition from concerned Home School educators in the London Borough of Sutton who are worried about the recommendations of the Badman Report. Read it here.

Petition - Badman Report (Birmingham, Yardley)- Badman Report (Birmingham, Yardley) 10.4 pm John Hemming (Birmingham, Yardley) (LD): I was impressed on Saturday by this petition, which came from people who share my concerns about the state wrongly intervening in family life. More here.

The government response to the online petition to reject the Badman Report is now available here. It states that "the recommendations set out by Badman are proportionate and reasonable."

Meantime, the home-ed families e-petition just got into the top 75 out of about 4,700 e-petitions. If you haven't signed it yet and would like to do so then you can do it here.

A Study Shows Home-Educated Become Model Citizens - find out more here. The study Fifteen Years Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults is available in full form and as a synopsis here.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Astra Taylor on the Unschooled Life

From YouTube: Raised by independent-thinking bohemian parents, Taylor was unschooled until age 13. Join the filmmaker as she shares her personal experiences of growing up home-schooled without a curriculum or schedule, and how it has shaped her educational philosophy and development as an artist.

Latimer mum presents petition

to Amersham and Chesham MP

NEW Government legislation could take away parents' freedom of choice to educate their children at home, residents signing a petition said this week.

Read here.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Please don't be surveyed by OFSTEd

Taken from here. ****Please feel free to cross post this message freely to all lists, blogs and social media - especially to local lists within the 15 designated counties.****

It is clear from recent exchanges with OFSTEd as well as their track record, that their recent attempt to try out a dry run of the kind of inspection regime of home educators, that they would like to take on as new work for themselves, would be to the detriment of home educators, and that there is nothing to be gained from assisting OFSTEd in their ambitions over us by supplying them with vital intelligence useful in creating this new role for themselves. As with the government, their interest is clearly predatory upon us, and the exercise assumes a change in the law mandating such inspections, which home educators are currently vigorously fighting to prevent.

Collaborating with this unwanted and illegitimate exercise in any way cannot be in home educator's best interests. It is therefore respectfully suggested to the local home education groups in the 15 designated LEAs, that they decline to meet with OFSTEd, or complete their questionnare, stating their reasons if they wish.

Neil Taylor Moore,
Barbara Stark
Julie Gilbert
Lizelle Denton
Kevin Denton
Louisa Herbs
Gill Kilner
Sarita Goacher
Background Information:
Ofsted memorandum in response to the Badman consultation :

Letter to Christine Gilbert, Head of Ofsted, sent by the Badman Review Action Group