Wednesday, 14 October 2009

For all you non-home educators...

Ok so I'm going to have to ask – Why are non-home educators not worried about the home education monitoring proposals that the government are pushing through? I can imagine one of the reasons is that shoddy journalism such as this has failed to flag at any point the dangers of the proposals to the fundamentals of our society. For anyone who doesn't know about the Badman review, the recommendations will see, among many other things, local authorities gain unprecedented access to the homes of families who decline the service of state education.

But it won't just be home educators. They will be reversing the burden of proof, so that we are required to prove, without them showing any grounds for suspicion, that we are not breaking the law. Once that's done it doesn't just apply to us. It can be applied to any section of society that they feel like. Think about it.

If they decide, and produce 'statistics' to suggest (and when I say produce, I mean fabricate, guesstimate and fudge) that people on a low income are more likely to feed their children a diet lacking in nutrition, they can then go into their homes to check their cupboards and fridges, and speak to their children alone just in case what's in the fridge isn't a good representation of what they really eat.

If they decide that people of a designated religion are more likely to force their children into marriages, they can go into their homes and check, and speak to their children alone just in case they were married off over the summer holidays.

If they decide that immigrants are more likely to commit violent crime, they can go into their homes and check for weapons.

Accountants more likely to commit fraud? Enter their homes and check their computers!

Women more likely to shoplift? Enter their homes!

Men more likely to rape? Enter their homes!

And if that still doesn't worry you even a little bit, wrap your brain around this. In law, according to Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act :

The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable—
(a) to his age, ability and aptitude, and
(b) to any special educational needs he may have,
either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

So in normal-speak, that means it's YOUR responsibility as a parent to educate your child. Not the state. Not the school. Not the teachers. And if the government are going to start taking action against home educators who they deem, for any reason at all that they fancy (as stated in the review), not to be providing an education suitable to their child's age, ability and aptitude, then that will also have to apply to the parents of schooled children, as the law above clearly makes no distinction.

Is your child one of the 35,000 state school pupils that start secondary school every year with no 'useful literacy' by the government's own standards? Then YOU are responsible and can be held accountable.

Is your child one of the 225,000 11 year olds that started secondary school this term without a proper grounding in the key subjects of English, maths and science? Then YOU are responsible and can be held accountable.

Is your child one of the staggering 835,000 16 to 19 year olds that are NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training). Yes, you guessed it, YOU are liable.

So please god tell me that you're worried now. Even a little bit.

The state system is failing by its own benchmarks, and yet YOU are still responsible for the results. They are going to force members of the public to be inspected by agents of the failing system, simply for declining the offer of using it. You don't need to be a home educator to be horrified by that.

If you want to protect your family, your children, and the privacy of your own home, SAY NO TO THE DCSF. Write to your MP. Respond to the consultation. Do something before the state have access to whatever part of all our lives they like by this time next year.

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