AHEd press release:
Following criticism published today by the Children, Schools and Families Committee exposing yet another government policy-based evidence-making activity, AHEd calls for a radical rethink on education policy. The cross party group of MPs were heavily critical of the Badman report into Home Education, which recommended new home education regulations, and urged Government to learn lessons from its "unfortunate" handling of the review. AHEd agree with the findings of the report that the evidence base for the proposals is "less than robust" and that current safeguarding mechanisms are appropriate.
"The Badman review launched a vicious attack on families that has left relationships with local authorities at an all time low, with some parents withdrawing contact where relations were previously tolerable or good. We certainly hope that the government will learn from this disastrous review and that attacks will not be repeated. The DCSF has done untold damage in local areas by their authoritarian recommendations" said Barbara Stark, Chair of AHEd.
"Families have had to invest disproportionate time and energy into fighting off the proposals in order to protect their children; we do not know how long it will be before we can say that the damage has been repaired.
Our members are very concerned that the government, in continuing to push for registration, dictating what families should teach their children, insisting on the right of access to families and children in their own homes, is authorising illegitimate monitoring procedures that are designed to undermine parental responsibility for children and are a pre-amble to increased state interference in the upbringing of all children, not just those who are educated at home."
The Select Committee is unhappy with the government's "drafting of legislation prior to publication of the related consultation findings" and we agree. AHEd is calling for the part of the Children, Schools and Families bill dealing with Elective Home Education, to be scrapped in its entirety. It is an ill-considered, unnecessary and wastefully expensive last ditch attempt of a dying government to impose unjustified draconian measures, the consequences of which they would not have to deal with.
For the committee and membership of AHEd