Friday, February 27, 2009

Letter from AHEd to NSPCC Chief Executive

Dear Sir,

AHEd [1] has received a number of member complaints concerning the outrageous comments of Mr. Vijay Patel reported in the Independent newspaper today [2] which we believe abuse the memory of a murdered child for political ends to falsely conflate her death with a minority group and to express a causal link between home educators and child abuse.

Mr Patel is quoted: "Some people use home education to hide. Look at the Victoria Climbié case.”

We object in the strongest terms possible to these comments. It is our view that the comments demonstrate a clear prejudice against home educators and a deliberate attempt to implicate home education with false evidence and scandal in order to prejudice the outcome of the government Review into Home Education.

Mr Patel has already admitted publicly [3] that there is no link between home education and child abuse. Now, however, he is deliberately implying that Victoria Climbie was home educated, hidden from the authorities, abused and murdered without their knowledge by home educators!

This is shocking considering that both Mr Patel and the NSPCC must know that this little girl, who was not a home educated child, but was known to a number of authorities and to the local education authority was not murdered in secret hidden from their view whilst being home educated, as confirmed by the Laming enquiry; and in view of the fact that the NSPCC was forced to apologise for its part in the failure of those responsible to help Victoria over an extended period prior to her death [4] In fact, Victoria is one of the many cases now in the public domain in which it has been demonstrated that those charged with helping children in need failed in their duties towards a child, resulting in further suffering and death. [5]

We note that the Victoria Climbie Foundation are also very worried about this misrepresentation from an official of the NSPCC [6]

We are appalled that Mr. Patel, the NSPCC Child Protection Policy Advisor, is propagating libelous attacks against a conscientious and law abiding minority and wonder if it is NSPCC policy that home education is linked to child abuse? We call for a full and prominent public apology and retraction of the comments by Mr. Patel in the Independent today, and a withdrawal of the NSPCC from the review.

Yours, etc.


[1] http://ahed.pbwiki.com

[2] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/schools/is-the-government-right-to-be-concerned-about-homeschooling-1631969.html

[3] http://sometimesitspeaceful.blogspot.com/2009/01/transcript-of-radio-2-jeremy-vine-show.html

[4] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/head-of-nspcc-apologises-for-climbie-mistakes-661252.html

[5] Excerpt from Lord Laming's Speech at the National Social Services Conference 2003: “I remind you that in the ten months Victoria was alive in this country she was known to no fewer than four Social Services Departments, three Housing Departments and two specialist Police Child Protection Teams. Furthermore she was admitted to two different hospitals because of suspicions she was being deliberately harmed and she was referred to a specialist Child and Family Centre managed by the NSPCC.

[6] http://www.victoria-climbie.org.uk/

1 Comments:

Blogger Maire said...

I totally support this call, I am absolutely shocked at how far this man seems prepared to go in his efforts to slur home educators, I would like to see a lot more comments on the NSPCC facebook site,if over 2000 people can reply to the petition surely we can get a few hundred posting on their facebook wall. About to do a post myself but got very little sleep last night as so fuming. Hope to be coherent though.

9:08 am, February 27, 2009  

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