Sunday, February 01, 2009

My letter to my MP

I see that Jax has already written to our MP, which is very good news as I assume - conscientious as she is - she's asked all the questions that everyone else is asking of their MPs.

My letter is purely reflective, then, of my personal concerns in light of the fact that as an independent review, this inquiry doesn't have to follow the BRE guidelines for fair consultations:

Dear Chris McCafferty,

I'm writing to you about DCSF's Independent review of home education, of which I understand you've already been made aware by another constituent. I myself have two main concerns about the review, which I would like you to raise with the relevant minister please.

The first is about the choice of person to lead the review. Does Mr Graham Badman have any experience or special knowledge of elective home education? DCSF must know, from the many responses it has received in recent years to consultations pertaining to elective home education, that it is very different from that of school and that it is not remotely possible to judge the one in the light of the other. Mr Badman appears, from his career history, to have much experience of education in school and also to be extremely well versed in the Every Child Matters rhetoric but, as outlined in Section 10 of the Children Act 2004, these do not and should not be considered in relation to individual children and families, only promoted in general terms by Local Authorities. We are therefore struggling to see the relevance of Mr Badman's résumé in the matter of elective home education and are worried about how impartial it will be possible for him to be.

My second concern is about the frequency of DCSF's investigations into elective home education. This is the third such investigation in as many years and we do feel to be under attack from being repeatedly asked to justify ourselves, when we are already going the extra mile to provide our children with the best possible education and upbringing. We are reaching the point where these repeated questions are starting to feel like harassment, and indeed an overseas observer commented: "Seen from across the Atlantic it looks like these public consultations about home education in UK are a never ending story... Maybe they don't get the expected answers?" Some of us are single parents, with very limited spare time available and yet it seems we must spend this spare time responding to government-based enquiries yet again. This makes it difficult to enjoy a peaceful family life, as DCSF and the minister(s) in question must be aware.

I would be grateful if you could process my concerns through the necessary channels.

Yours sincerely,

Gill Kilner

8 Comments:

Blogger Jax said...

Dunno how conscientious I am, but I read around and got a few questions in. Didn't keep a copy though, doh. (Unless Writetothem include it? Ooh, I think they might.)

I think the more letters they get the better, and to get more than one letter from different unrelated constituents has to really flag an issue up. Is there anyone else in this area that might write?

11:59 am, February 01, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

Oh I'm not sure! I hope you can find a copy though - it will be interesting to see where our letters overlap, if anywhere. I was rather hoping they didn't!

Our MP is already very aware of home educating concerns - I've been on at her for years! She's quite supportive - moreso recently.

12:16 pm, February 01, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

Grrr.. spotted a mistake in mine already. 'These' instead of 'this'.

Hate spotting mistakes I can't correct!

12:18 pm, February 01, 2009  
Blogger Ruth said...

I wrote to mine the day after all this hit the fan but haven't received any reply yet.

5:37 pm, February 01, 2009  
Blogger Jax said...

Found it and have posted it :)

7:29 pm, February 01, 2009  
Blogger Jax said...

Looks like we both got the harassment angle in, I didn't mention Badman though. I've gone down the complaint line as well. I've had the short response from her that she's contacting the Minister, but nothing else so far.

7:31 pm, February 01, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

That's bad service, Ruth, isn't it?

Oh, jolly good Jax. Will go along for a read :-)

5:58 am, February 02, 2009  
Blogger Libby said...

Ah....I haven't written to my MP yet! I will do it this week. Mind you my LEA seem to be leaving me alone after my last letter mentioning harassment and quoting EU and UK law; and the Rights of the Child :-)
Good letter Gill :-)

12:00 pm, February 07, 2009  

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