Thursday, November 19, 2009

I like it when people put their names to what they write

Then I know who they are, and I know where they're coming from. I put my name to this blog, and to everything else I publish and distribute. Neil T has put his name to this post, with which I am inclined to agree: I said in the comments on my previous one that I thought the parliamentary petition might be a trojan horse.

There are all kinds of quangos and other questionable interests sniffing around the issue of home education these days, like greedy predators around stumbling prey. Some of these interests will be funding professional political lobbyists with whom we can't possibly hope to compete. I was chatting to a friend last night and thinking out loud along these lines: "If I was looking at ironing out the anomaly of home education that is perhaps starting to impede, now, the scheduled 'rolling out' of the ECM programme, I'd be trying to find their weak points because it's obvious by now that we will coordinate quite strong resistance against any obvious moves against us."

And everybody knows the Conservatives will be in power after the next general election. Are they going to carry on rolling this thing out? It's already been said that they're planning their own review/inquiry into EHE and I personally don't think that this petition, which includes the words: "in the absence of a thorough independent inquiry into the condition and future of elective home education in England" goes far enough to refute that plan - in fact, it could be said to be supporting it. One way of getting us to accept and support a further inquiry, after all, would be to present us with one that we've "asked for" ourselves! I don't know if this is what's really going on - but I do know that it might be, so I'm going to be extremely cautious about exactly what I'll sign and promote.

Personally, I don't want any more consultations, inquiries or reviews into elective home education. I like the current status quo [opens pdf], in which a local authority can make inquiries if it has specific reason to believe the education might not be suitable (although I wish I could persuade my own local authority to fit its working practice to the letter of the law - the Badman report [opens pdf] is already hindering us there.)

I would like to say - and have already said - to my MP, the DCSF, Graham Badman and anyone else who asks or will listen, that home education needs leaving alone. We do a good job, and if we don't then there is already an effective solution [opens pdf]. I will keep saying this in my normal, non-parliamentary, non-legalese language, in my own way. I might also, if I get the chance (although the five offspring here are taking up quite a lot of my time these days and are of course my priority - apologies if you're waiting for an email reply!) look further into the ECM framework [opens pdf], scary prospect though that is, because I still think that this plan is at the bottom of our troubles. Let the reviews and inquiries look into that! It needs changing to accommodate the anomaly - not the other way round.

When people's innocent and legitimate daily lives have to be changed to fit the laws, instead of laws being changed to fit the people, we know we're in trouble. But that's what seems to be happening.

PS: UK Govt, please note: our children are not vulnerable (except to you) and do not need safeguarding (except from you).

  • Safeguarding the vulnerable - strengthening the powers of local authorities and others with regards to registration, inspection and intervention will mean effective systems are in place to protect those that most need it. The Bill will introduce a new home educators’ registration system and take new powers for Secretaries of State to intervene in youth offending teams that are failing and potentially putting young people and their communities at risk.


Blogger Gill said...

PPS: I like this post.

7:04 am, November 19, 2009  
Blogger Maire said...

PS: UK Govt, please note: our children are not vulnerable (except to you) and do not need safeguarding (except from you).

Absolutely, I am brought down by what has happened over the last few days and think I am going to pause and take stock.

It has amazed me how quickly superb collaboration has collapsed, we need to be very alert.

2:20 pm, November 19, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, Gill, as usual.


4:52 pm, November 19, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of us, due to impending and possible legal action, cannot put their names to their posts.

I've been told by many people, including my own solicitor (who happens to be a personal friend, I've known her for over 30 years and we went to school together) not to write my experiences on the WWW for fear that the information will be used against me in court. Furthermore, it could be used against me as an example that I am unable to keep matters confidential.

Damned if I do and damned if I don't. That's how it feels for many people in my position.

We want to tell people, but we do not wish to be held in contempt of court, lose our children and end up at HMP prison.

12:08 pm, November 23, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have, however, signed the petition with my name, home address and e-mail!

That's permitted, at least at this point in time....

7:03 pm, November 28, 2009  

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