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.

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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.

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