My letter to my MP
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.