Wednesday 21 January 2009

All Your Children Are Belong To Us….

Ministers have launched a review of standards for up to 55,000 young people taught by mothers and fathers outside school.

It will investigate current procedures for monitoring home education – as well addressing concerns over the safety and welfare of children.
Ah, I didn’t think it’d take too long before the State turned its beady eye on the few children to escape enforced mediocracy in their educational future.

Naturally, they aren’t going down the ‘Your kids won’t be educated properly!’ route, because given the current dire results from our State schools,that would simply be laughed out of court. So they are trying the ‘Your kids are in danger from you!’ tack:
Baroness Morgan, the Children's Minister, said home teaching could be a "cover for abuse" in extreme cases.

But parents' groups were infuriated by the comments.

Ann Newstead, spokesman for the charity Education Otherwise, said claims that children were safer in the hands of the state than parents was "offensive" and "not born out by an increasing number of families in the UK".
She’s right, frankly.

But her case wasn’t helped by indulging in this load of waffle:
Annette Taberner, member of EO's policy group said "No other community would be expected to suffer the prejudice and discrimination which our community has to endure. Our community will be infuriated by these latest statements."
‘Our community’? Sheesh…
Naturally enough, this report wasn’t prompted by fears over abuse being missed, or even educational concerns, but over jobs being at risk if the trend continues:
The review – being led by Graham Badman, former director of children's services at Kent Council was launched following a public consultation on the issue of children missing education.
Some local authorities and children's organisations raised concerns about their ability to properly monitor children's welfare under existing guidance.
Under current rules, parents do not have to formally register their child as "home educated".
And so the people who depend on a steady flow of children through the educational system just as surely as does a dairy farmer depend on a stream of cows passing through his milking shed are pressuring to be involved in the ‘home schooling’ option.

Because no-one can be allowed to succeed at anything unless the State can be involved and/or take its cut:
The Education and Inspections Act 2006 placed a duty on all local councils to make arrangements to identify children not receiving a proper education, but they have no power to inspect the quality of lessons for youngsters taught at home.

Baroness Morgan said: "I'm sure the vast majority do a good job. However, there are concerns that some children are not receiving the education they need.

"And in some extreme cases, home education could be used as a cover for abuse. We cannot allow this to happen and are committed to doing all we can to help ensure children are safe, wherever they are educated."
Because no-one can argue if it’s ‘For the children!’, can they…?
Mr Badman said: "Legislation affords every parent the right to choose to educate their child at home but with those rights go responsibilities, not least being to secure a suitable education.

"By the same token, local authorities are charged with ensuring that all children are safe, well and receiving an education that is both enjoyable and allows for the expression of all aptitudes and abilities.”
And they are doing a bang-up job with all the children they already control. Aren’t they…?


Dangerouslysubversivedad said...

It's the 'no power to inspect' thing that really riles them isn't it. In practice the majority of homeschooling parents I met were perfectly happy to show off what their children were doing at home, it being of a much superior quality to what their contemparies at school were turning out. Having home-educated my already extremely bright daughter for a year (the whole of 2007) due to extreme bullying, I can say without blowing my own trumpet that it helped put her streets ahead of where she might otherwise have been. She went back to a new school and the teacher acknowledged that in virtually all subjects there was nothing he could teach her. She got into the local Grammar and hasn't looked back since September, and is being genuinely stretched.

The wording of current legislation *is* extremely woolly at best, which of course the Educrats also hate.

One caveat though. At the 'social' groups we attended we found extremely unruly and sometimes downright bizarre behaviour, we left the main one because two siblings of about 10 and 8 years decided to amuse themselves by defecating behind the building the group occupied for all the other kids to see - there'd been more, obviously, but when my daughter told me about that one we decided we wouldn't may produce very well educated kids but on the evidence I saw it also produces some socially messed up ones too.

Longrider said...

My sister is planning to home educate. Already her toddler is bilingual, learning French alongside English.

I doubt she will be too impressed by this news - not least the underlying insult.

Anonymous said...

One issue that has not been mentioned so far is the "scandal" of Local Authorities forcing parents to accept home education instead of exercising their duty to provide acceptable educational placements. This often happens when parents are concerned about bullying or their child's safety at a school.

JuliaM said...

"t's the 'no power to inspect' thing that really riles them isn't it."

Yes, I think so - the idea that someone could succeed at anyrhing without the state's assistance and benevolent supervision is anathema to them.

"At the 'social' groups we attended we found extremely unruly and sometimes downright bizarre behaviour..."

Oh, no doubt. But you can cheer yourself up with the thought that at least you aren't paying their wages... ;)

"..the "scandal" of Local Authorities forcing parents to accept home education instead of exercising their duty to provide acceptable educational placements."

Yes, that's appalling. But everything must be sacrificed on the altar of 'targets'. Even children's futures...

Anonymous said...

Why do the words "thin", "end", and "wedge" spring to mind?

Anonymous said...

Labour using "extreme cases" as a smokescreen to clobber everyone. What a surprise. They have done it again and again for the last twelve years.

This will NOT be about protecting children. This is about power and control. Home-schooling is making teachers look foolish, lazy and incompetent, and that simply will not do.