Friday, November 17, 2006

Home Education Petition

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Allow home educators to be free from the interference of Local Education Authorities.

As home educators we believe our children thrive without the constraints of rigid schooling and national curriculum. We have, for many years faced unfair scrutiny from the education authorities and social services. We beleive the way we educate our children is the best for our children."

10 Downing St e-petitions


Anonymous Elderfaery said... not quite sure the wording comes across so scuze me being forthright..but I'm not really getting the message. And the pm'd love it if all the authorities had their fingers in everybodies maybe it is best to not presume that he'd have any sympathy for parents pi'd off with LEA's being irksome..I reckon they are supposed to be irksome..and if we get in their way we are seen as making trouble for ourselves....I dunno what words would be better...maybe suggest that more some sort of mediator is needed between the families and the LEA's...anybody who can stand back from the situation can see that LEA's are often aggressive and parents have to be defensive for good reason. Which makes me think..who is it that moderates the LEA..I mean, who do they answer to?

10:16 pm, November 17, 2006  
Blogger Gill said...

I was in two minds about it too, EF. In fact I am about all of the political stuff at the moment. I need to have a good think about what I personally want to do because I'm just not sure ATM, therefore I'm not sure whose course of action to recommend.

I agree that the petition could have been better-worded. Gina said so herself (she's dyslexic) but I think her hope was just a simple show of hands. Yes, it will be at best ignored and at worse names taken down and used as evidence etc., but even though, it's a simple, quick way for people to publicly say: "I agree with this in principle."

Govt keeps pushing the line that many HE parents want moderating. HE parents and orgs dispute this, but govt claims to be in touch with swathes of families who don't trust their own judgment and want regular visits, curriculae etc.

I quite liked the unequivocal "NO, we'd like to be left alone please," sentiment in the petition, as a counter to that.

I also agree with you about govt wanting trouble between LEAs and HErs, in fact I had a chat with our local chief welfare officer at the LEA yesterday which made me think a bit about doing some bridge-strengthening. Mediators would be a good way to go. Gonna blog my thoughts on it all when I know for sure what they are.

Who do LEAs answer to? Cabinet in the end, via the deputy PMs office I think.

8:10 am, November 18, 2006  
Blogger Rosie said...

Gill, I have signed it too, and put it up on my blog, even though I havent had time for all this to sink in yet. I don't know what is the best course of action or what should be done to protect our rights. I am constantly aware that by home educatiing my children I am going against the grain of popular opinion and the wishes of the government. I'm sure the Gov would really prefer to have control over all children.
I am still thinking of going to Holland where HE is not legal, except in exceptional circumstances, but I would expect to not come under their legislation for at least a year and wasnt planning to be there that long!

11:20 am, November 18, 2006  
Blogger Gill said...

Oh yes, of course, there's the Holland-type situation to be very wary of :-( I gather quite a few European countries suffered (amongst other things of course) by the Nazi banning of the home ed option and of course Holland was one of them.

Another thing to bear in mind is that European Law is fundamentally different from UK law in that the former tells you what you must not do and the latter tells you what you must do. I think I've got that the right way round. But whichever the difference is, it makes UK law, much more open to interpretation. Long may it so remain.

The other thing that occurred to me about the petition is that we set the communication terms. OK, it's their forum, but the issue under debate was framed by us, not them. Their consultation exercise, on the other hand, will be worded by them and I'm inclined to agree with Neil TM at the moment, when he says that contributing to it adds your verification of their dodgy process.

Neither will be paid attention to in a positive way I don't think, which is why I'm trying to think laterally about some completely different approach, if we think one is needed at all.

11:46 am, November 18, 2006  
Anonymous Jax said...

Perhaps we should start our own consultation process then?

And invite the las and dfes to contribute to that? And then we could submit it to the various political parties?

Just a thought. Take back the night type of thing - do it for ourselves.

I'm not sure whether I should sign the petition or not, given that actually we're flexi-schooling at a private school atm. Which camp does that put us in? Not that I don't agree with it, I do, but I don't want to cloud the issue if they then look at the signatories.

4:12 pm, November 18, 2006  
Blogger Gill said...

That's a fresh idea Jax. Not sure how feasible it would be.. but we could think about it.

As for the petition I think if you agree with the paragraph and you want to sign you should. I don't think you can't or shouldn't just because you flexischool.

5:44 pm, November 18, 2006  
Blogger Carlotta said...

Hi Gill,

re: gov't wanting trouble between LAs and HEors.

That's very interesting. What do you think was the thinking behind that?


7:01 pm, November 18, 2006  
Blogger Gill said...

Probably part of the divide & rule thing Carlotta. They need to have some pretence at popularity for any new laws & regs so if they can get LAs on their side rather than ours, that's probably enough to 'legitimise' anything, as far as they're concerned.

Why are they called LAs now anyway?
Does it stand for Learning Authorities? If so, what are we calling Local Authorities? Very confusing :-/

11:49 pm, November 18, 2006  
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1:34 pm, February 27, 2009  
Anonymous Frances Laing said...

Just to say I have today done a blog post on the home ed. petition. See and hope to do another next week on Tuesday.

Good luck
Frances Laing

3:35 pm, December 04, 2009  

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