"The number .. known to children’s social care in some LAs is disproportionately high relative to the size of their home educating population."
Abuse in Elective Home Education (EHE)
- which summarises that the abuse rate in the home educating community is less than half - that's less than half - the national rate for all children. No wonder Mr Badman chose his words so carefully (see title above) in his report [opens pdf]: this shows that the argument for a need for extra official safeguarding of home educating children is absolutely bogus.
Still, we now live in an elected dictatorship, according to someone's MP with whom they went to talk about this, so any protests along the inconvenient lines of things like truth will probably be ineffective (according to him). This I can believe. I am planning to visit my MP with some other local HErs, but am not particularly optimistic about the outcome. We'll be asking her to sign one of the Early Day Motions on the issue and to raise our objections with the DCSF relevant ministers, but it seems from its replies that the DCSF is sticking to its guns, unsurprisingly, and blithely ignoring the crucial points people are tirelessly making to them. As an elected dictatorship would.
However they are, we assume, being replaced by the Conservatives within the next 10 months or so and their position is encouraging. Home educators, contrary to popular belief, tend to be traditional Labour voters, but Badman and Balls have put paid to that now. Come to think of it that's a bit of a blow for Labour, if there really are 80,000 home educating children and each one of those has a few caring - and voting - adult friends and relations.
There has been some talk on the lists about the majority of home educating families who are usually politically inactive. It's suspected that many of them don't know anything about the Badman report [opens pdf], despite talk of it on local groups and forums. But if our local area is anything to go by, awareness is definitely growing and people are shocked and frightened about the planned changes because of the negative impact they'll have on their children's lives. They're asking: where can we look online to find out what's happening? I've been giving directions to Carlotta's blog: she provides a great running commentary, amongst many other things.
Personally I want to keep concentrating on analysis and research as much as possible. I've got a list of material to cover here, when I've finished nursing sick children, recovering myself and meeting a 'proper job' deadline - and I do intend to make mention of Badman in that.