Archive for January, 2009

Wisley Butterflies

We visited Wisley today to look at  all the beautiful butterflies - they are wonderful and it was fantastic to watch my son and husband reading all about butterflies and moths and where they come from, their life cycles etc - you dont get science classes like that at school.

We also compared the leaf structures of the plants in the tropical zones with the plants in the desert zones - and even I learned something new about cactuses (not that I knew that much about them before we went)  I think that Home Education is an education for the whole family, I am learning as much as DS is about new things.

Educational Decree Number Thirty

Isn’t it funny how things come together? I’ve been re-reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix the last few days. Then on Monday this evil government plot came to light and following a news link I came across a photo of the woman running the witch hunt …

The Home Education High Inquisitor

The Home Education High Inquisitor

Another consultation, another rant

This latest move by the British government may seem to be of interest only to home educators but hear me out, it goes much deeper than that. The law says that parents are responsible for ensuring that their children receive a suitable education. Of course that’s fine because it stops anyone successfully suing their child’s school or local authority if said child reaches 16 functionally illiterate. What they don’t want is people opting out of the system and the social conditioning it includes. Hitler outlawed home education for just that reason, he understood that to control the minds of the people you have to get children away from their parents as early as possible so they can be trained to conform, to obey and to believe whatever their masters want them to. Can there be any doubt that NeuLabour wants that kind of control? The home education option could safely be ignored when there were only a handful of hippies and the parents of the occasional prodigy doing it, but it’s getting too popular, too many children are slipping through the net, and what’s worse, word is getting out that they receive a better education than their schooled peers and are happier too.

Time to crack down, but how? It would be hard to justify the expense to tax payers and stress to parents of a second consultation in less than two years on the basis of quality of education. Why spend even a penny looking for theoretical home educated children who aren’t getting a good education when you can walk into any school in the land and find them sitting in every classroom? No, that won’t work, so they are playing the welfare card, suggesting darkly that home educated children might be abused or forced into arranged marriages. The public can be counted on to agree to almost any erosion of our rights “if it might save even one child”.

Of course they learnt their lesson last time. Give the home education community enough time, say the full 12 weeks that the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Written Consultations requires and they get all organised and come up with all sorts of inconveniently good arguments and lots and lots of people replying to the consultation. So they’re using a little get out clause which means they can ignore the 12 week rule “in exceptional circumstances, such as where Departments need to respond quickly in the best interest of the public.” I think we’ll all be interested to hear what this over-riding public interest IS.

So here we are, local authorities that can’t even save a toddler on their at risk registers are demanding access to the homes of parents whose only ‘crime’ is to home educate, just in case they might be abusers. Presumption of innocence? What a silly outdated concept.

Your child can be bullied at school until they’re suicidal (NHS figures show that 4,241 children under 14 were admitted to hospitals in England in the 12 months to March 2007 after attempting to kill themselves) but dare to take them out and the government want to brand you a potential abuser. Your local authority can break the law, dragging their feel or flat out refusing to do anything about your child’s Special Education Needs (Special needs battle highlighted ) but when you finally decide you’ve had enough and take them out of school, you’re a potential abuser. Stand up for your child when the state fails them and you need watching. Put your children before career and material possessions and there must be something wrong with you.

Someone has got their priorities all wrong and I’m pretty sure it’s not us.