Looking at the panel (8)
According to this interview:
She also acts as deputy children's commissioner for England.
Oh, I see: 11 Million is "the office of England's children's commissioner" and, the article continues, Ms Berelowitz took the job there because:
"there is potential to build on the significant improvements for children and young people, and make Every Child Matters a reality".
Another ECM expert proponent. That's good: she can help the others to work out how home educated children can possibly comply with the 'Enjoy and achieve' outcome, when it's all about attending school. Or, even more usefully, she's perhaps in a position to get those associated aims reworded, because
- Ready for school;
- Attend and enjoy school;
- Achieve stretching national educational standards at primary school; and
- Achieve stretching national educational standards at secondary school.
aren't all that compatible with elective home education, to say the least. Or just, to cover all the other problems we have with the ECM regime, she could assist the review in arranging to have the word 'child' replaced with 'pupil' throughout the ECM framework [opens pdf] and associated documents.
Because if she's representing children's rights, then electively home educated children surely have a right to a solution to this legally anomalous position.
Here's the '11 Million' website. Oh look! It's got a [creepy?] treehouse. The organisation is apparently all about:
Mak[ing] sure that adults in charge, including the Government, listen to the views of children and young people.
I'm pleased about that too. I would hate to think of a child being home educated - or schooled - against their will.
And I think I prefer this version of the five outcomes [opens Powerpoint] to the ECM [opens pdf] one, as long as it's not accompanied by a raft of Public Service Agreements which say something significantly different.
Ms Berelowitz is quoted in this BBC news item about Baby P, as follows:
Deputy children's commissioner Sue Berelowitz told the Observer newspaper it was "received wisdom" to keep families together wherever possible, based on the assumption that children did not thrive in care homes. But, she added, it was time to consider whether taking children away earlier, before they were damaged by years of neglect, might be more beneficial.
Though I don't think this attitude could affect electively home educating families - could it? I haven't really processed what I think about the Baby P case, but one thing I have noticed in looking at the '11 Million' website is an absence of children saying something like: "I wish I hadn't been taken into care." But surely such cases exist, alongside all of the others who are appealing for more and earlier intervention?
Incidentally, Ms Berelowitz explains to Francis Maude MP in this letter [opens Word.doc] that the 11 Million brand (What, it's a pair of trainers??) cost £93,000 to develop, and its 'website development and content' costs have added up to £189,405 since 2006. Blimey. As my sons would say: "I'd have done a better job of it in three days for £50." (They would anyway: I probably wouldn't.) It brings to mind the various estimated costs of our car repairs, after our recent hit and run incident. The insurer's garage quoted something in the region of £530 in the end, and my own regular garage said they could try to suck the dent out with their suction cup thing if I liked, for free. Same outcome: five hundred times the cost.
I'm digressing, mainly because I'm struggling to find anything in all of this about Ms Berelowitz's actual personal opinions and again, the sun is shining and I have another vegetable patch to dig over and plant up. Has anyone else got any relevant insights to offer?