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Education Otherwise - Home Education under threat
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:24 am    Post subject: Education Otherwise - Home Education under threat Reply with quote

School's Out - Educating Your Child at Home

Legal - School Is Not Compulsory

More and more parents, dissatisfied with school education, are deciding to educate their children at home and still more wondering whether to take the plunge.



Here is the first comprehensive guide to home education which will help parents to make an informed decision and provides the practical information they need to carry it out.

School's Out is also a fascinating personal story of Jean Bendell's own experience of teaching her two daughters at home; of how she and her husband rejected first playgroup, then nursery and finally school for their eldest daughter and how they defended their decision.

Jean Bendell shows that home education is not about "producing prodigies or nurturing precocious talents". It is an option open to anyone who wishes their children to develop their "sense of value in their own individual view of the world".

This is a thought-provoking book which makes compelling reading for parents, education professionals and anyone interested in alternatives to school education.

Contents:

1. Early Plans
2. The Five Hundred Days
3. We Contact the LEA
4. Our reasons - Practical
5. Our reasons - Political
6. Our reasons - Poetical
7. Obstacles and Objections
8. Home Education and the Law
9. Different Approaches
10. How Home Education has worked out for us
11. A History of Home Education
12. Education Otherwise
13. Resources

An EO Publication. Reprinted 1997. 204 pages
http://www.education-otherwise.org/candy/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduc t=26

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Frazzel
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i cant wait to read this book.
some parents i know have home educated their children for many resons for example: the worrying trend of corporate interference in schools. A friend of mine who is a teacher in hackey told me that in the primary school, the 11-12 year olds had a science class to prove that a leading brand of washing powder washed clothes better than all of the supermarkets value washing powders. consequently they got a prize from the leading brands washing powder manufacturer! she complained to be told she was the only one who had complained. the truth being that other teachers are too afraid they will loose their jobs and dont speak out. the nut representative refused to do anything to challenge this situation. unjust accusations and slurs were also made against my friend by the nut rep.

also the govts cost cutting measures have caused less support for those with 'special needs' who are then forced into mainstream schools where they dont always receive enough support. for instance all of the schools for the deaf are being closed down, frank barnes being a recent one in camden. but deaf pupils are often not receiveing enough support and feel isolated especially if they are the only deaf pupil in their class. this has lead to some deaf pupils failing academically and some on anti-depressants. thetre are obviously a few schools who do have a good support system in place but it is certainly not widespread. also worrying is communication workers are loosing their jobs due to cuts in budgets.
One size does not fit all.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

btw, this isnt the first book on the topic of home education. some others are:-
John Holt 'teach your own
Mary Griffith 'the unschooling handbook'
Terry dowty 'free range education'

unlike the usa where most home schoolers are right wing Bush neo-con fundamentalists, we in the UK are usually of the libertarian left - thank god!

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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:57 pm    Post subject: Education Otherwise Reply with quote

The legal situation in the UK with regard to home education can be summarised in the phrase:

Education is compulsory, schooling is not

A Summary of the Law Relating to Home Education in England and Wales (4th Edition)
This booklet was distributed in 1999 to all LAs in England and Wales with funding from the National Lottery Charities board. You can download your copy here.

Deregistering a child from school
Pupil Registration regulations and sample deregistration letters for mainstream and special schools

Should you have problems with deregistering your child, EO has produced a leaflet aimed at LEAs and schools outlining the law as it relates to deregistration

School Is Not Compulsory
Snippets from the book by Education Otherwise

The Education Act 1996:
see sections:- 7, 8, 9, 437 - 444

Child Benefit and Home Education
Child Benefit is payable for home educated children after the age of 16, provided they were home educated BEFORE the age of 16. More information here.

Employment and Children
Many children want part time jobs. This page gives some information for home educating parents.

The Crime and Disorder Act
Quote:

Guidance Document
This extract from the Guidance document indicates that the police and other authorities should be aware that home educated children are not truants. Education Otherwise provides to all members a card for children to carry which indicates that they are home educated. It is not a requirement that children carry this card; it is up to parents and/or the children to make the choice.

Children being educated otherwise than at school

4.20 In planning for, and operating, a truancy initiative using the new power it is important to remember that not all children aged 5-16 are registered at school. Children educated outside the school system altogether (see paragraph 4.1), for example, by home tuition, might be out and about during the daytime for wholly legitimate reasons, for example visiting a library.

4.21 Local procedures should take account of possible contact with such home-educated children and it should be emphasised that they are not the target group for the new power. The power can only be exercised in relation to registered pupils of compulsory school age absent from school without authority; it does not apply to children who are lawfully educated at home. No further action should be taken where children indicate that they are home-educated - unless the constable has reason to doubt that this is the case.


The Crime and Disorder Act
Police Power to Remove Truants - Guide

Department for Education and Skills
Guidance from the DfES about educating children outside of the school system.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
"Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children" - Article 26, para 3.


United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, home-schooling is great if you've got others in your vicinity to support and share. You need to protect kids from enslaving attitudes. The summerhill private boarding education with real choices for the kids seems to have miraculously won out for the time being - yoohoo - A S Neill, an associate of Reich, had great ideas
For the most of us we need to guide our kids through the process mill whilst guarding and protecting their independence. Some schools and colleges and certainly a lot of the pfi institutes are vile Nazi mind-control situations. We need to keep our kids away from the many secondary schools now operating isolation units.
Keep your kids strong and bold and resistant
My boys are doing lovely and I'm happy with their operation through this essentially obnoxious process. As things get worse, parents need to get bolder in their attacks on the system
Keep a very close eye on what's happening in your kids school and be sure to counter the schools propaganda with your own story

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wrote the following some weeks back but didn't post it. (Tired of this seemingly endless negative slide in 'education'.) But I came cross something which reinforced a justifiable concern that home-schooling will not be omitted in the corporate march for our children. (In the US 'No Child Left Behind', in the UK "Every Child Matters') If we think we may have some place to keep our children safe from the corporate claws we may be deluding oursleves.
Quote:
We need to be alert as to what has happened in the US, since what is happening here now has already happened there. I don't know a lot about the ins and outs of home-schooling in the US, but I did meet someone whose daughter spent 'more time out of school than in school', her mother took her out of one school (no windows) and another school (a 'Christian' school which had her daughter perform a task in every single service, as her mother was Jewish). I did start to understand why some people in the US very much like home-schooling. (Simply to keep out of the state education madness.) Charlotte Iserbyt makes the following comments re vouchers and home schooling, and suggests that home-schooling in the US may be under threat as well if the voucher system is accepted. It may expedient for us to pay attention to this. I like the idea of home-schooling more and more, but we need to make sure we protect it, and use the US as an example of what the threats may be.
http://newswithviews.com/iserbyt/iserbyt1.htm
Quote:
"PROJECT DESIGN FEATURES: What We (the U.S. Department of Education) Can Control or Manipulate? Under that incredible question the following items and activities were listed: State participation/selection process, role of advisors, content of program, training of state leaders, resource people utilized, basic skills content areas emphasized, perception of need to use technology." The main reason I gave that document to the press, for which I was subsequently relieved of my duties, was that I was appalled at the blatant attitude of the federal government regarding the national public school system. Do the five justices who ruled favoring school choice proposals live in such a dream world that they believe the government will require less regulation of the private and home schools than it requires of the public schools?

There is a certain naivety, Alice in Wonderland attitude, amongst those who should know better regarding what will happen to private schools and home school entities which accept vouchers. Did the Supreme Court majority not study the catastrophic history of school choice in France which resulted, in 1983, with the socialist French Government under Mitterand assuming control of all private and religious education which received government funding?

The following is what I came across recently; the corporate claws on our children before home-schooling managing to even get a real start:
http://www.innovation-unit.co.uk/projects/next-practice/next-practice- in-system-leadership---all-through-schooling.html
The Innovation Unit was launched in 2002 by Tony Blair; it concerns itself with establishing all-age (0-19) schooling and making sure, it seems, that Every Child Matters and not a single one is left off the production line.

Quote:
Next Practice in System Leadership - All-through schooling
In Darlington, an Education Village has been formed from a special school, a primary school and a secondary school, and a new 'whole village' leadership structure is being established to lead education from 0 to 19. Similarly, in Hailsham, the secondary school and its feeder primaries are establishing whole town delivery of the five Every Child Matters outcomes through a joint Executive Governing Board.

In Leeds, inner city secondary schools are federating with the local primary school to create all-through education, led by an Executive Headteacher. In Bedfordshire, Biddenham's plans to create a 0-19 inclusive school will even embrace home educated pupils in flexible and personalised provision.
Yewlands is a 'family' of seven schools involving one secondary, one special and five primary, based in a challenging and mainly urban context on the northern edge of Sheffield. Their aspiration for their field-trial is to construct a 21st century model of leadership and governance across the family.


Those who mean to control our children have thought much further ahead than we have, and have plans already in place for how they will execute this control. Check this: 'establishing whole town delivery of the five Every Child Matters outcomes through a joint Executive Governing Board' whatever that means Question Confused but I am sure they do mean it.

I like Paul Wright's comments:

Quote:
paul wright
Keep your kids strong and bold and resistant
My boys are doing lovely and I'm happy with their operation through this essentially obnoxious process. As things get worse, parents need to get bolder in their attacks on the system
Keep a very close eye on what's happening in your kids school and be sure to counter the schools propaganda with your own story


This may be our line of defence. Evil or Very Mad
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Caz
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.xconomy.com/2008/01/25/school-is-boring-nicholas-negroponte -on-education-the-xo-laptop-and-life-after-intel/
Quote:
One day in early November, the first batch of mass-produced XO laptops—the little green-and-white machines designed by the One Laptop Per Child Foundation (OLPC) to revolutionize education in the IT-starved developing world—rolled off an assembly line in Changshu, China.


They really don't stop. Every child, everywhere. From the above post:

Quote:
What We (the U.S. Department of Education) Can Control or Manipulate? .......perception of need to use technology."
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The people who started their own school, Melbourne, Australia.

from:
http://www.fcs.vic.edu.au/philosophy.asp

Quote:

We were on the verge of giving up all hope of finding a school that truly served the child, when a bold thought entered our heads – START YOUR OWN SCHOOL.

Faye had been a secondary teacher and a social worker. Philip had been a philosophy lecturer and had often written on education. We knew what we wanted in a school. In a nutshell – a happy lifestyle which encouraged interpersonal communication skills and self-confidence.

We could bring this about through:

1. smaller, conversation-sized classes,
2. a wider circle of adults for the children to relate with, and
3. greater involvement in the world outside of school.

How shall we break through the obstructive and exhausting tangle of red tape associated with the founding of a new school? We could not. But we judged that our obligation to children was greater than our obligation to bureaucracy.

So without even rising from the kitchen table, we declared the school open. Four years later, it was officially registered.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thankyou for posting all this. What if your British citizen and want to live out of the Uk. Are your kids still on a database if homeschooled abroad?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

another piece of worrying news is that the govt want all five year olds to reach a certain standard of literacy!!! and if they dont reach this standard, the school will be seen as failing. This will affect Waldorf Steiner schools where children dont learn to read very much until the age of 7 and none of them suffer for it later on in their schooling. also it could affect home schoolers and summerhill school. write to your local and national newspaper, and m.p to complain. In England, school children are the most tested out of any other developed country. this causes stress related illnessess never seen in such large amounts before, in young primary school children. this is a form of mental cruelty.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frazzel wrote:
another piece of worrying news is that the govt want all five year olds to reach a certain standard of literacy!!! and if they dont reach this standard, the school will be seen as failing. This will affect Waldorf Steiner schools where children dont learn to read very much until the age of 7 and none of them suffer for it later on in their schooling. also it could affect home schoolers and summerhill school. write to your local and national newspaper, and m.p to complain. In England, school children are the most tested out of any other developed country. this causes stress related illnessess never seen in such large amounts before, in young primary school children. this is a form of mental cruelty.


Absolutely.

This "you must have a maths and english GCSE to do anything" nonsense really gets my goat to. I've worked with kids who have major school issues but are proper little grafters when it comes to work who've been totally stymied by that one.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is also about eugenics:
Quote:
The Forgotten History of Eugenics

High-stakes testing has its origins in the eugenics movements and racist assumptions about IQ. We forget, at our own peril, that this legacy hangs over current demands for increased testing


http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/13_03/eugenic.shtml
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fitzroy Community School in Melbourne, Australia, has produced a wonderful set of materials for teaching reading and maths skills, now being used in 3000 odd schools in Australia and overseas as well. For those considering home-schooling!

http://www.fitzroy-phonics.com/
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I agree that it's important that people have access to information on home schooling - I think that someone needs to write a post here in support of the current education system and state schooling.

I have worked in schools for 12 years and I have seen nothing but an improvement in the ways our children are being taught. I obviously have the usual concerns about SAT testing, academies, the expectation of literacy standards for 5 year olds etc but the days of text book teaching have gone and in my experience children are being taught valuable skills including critical thinking and debating. The PSHE and literacy curriculum encourages time for the children to discuss issues and develop their own ideas and opinions. This is far removed from the vision that you set out in these blogs. Current educational philosophy encourages children to talk, debate and discuss more than it's ever done before thus the 'Daily Mail' complaints about too much talk in classrooms.

I have huge sympathies with the truth movement and do believe 9/11 is shrouded in lies but I want to reassure you that their are many education professionals out there with our children's best interests at heart and who believe that a child should leave their classroom at the end of the year a free thinker!
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

from: http://epsl.asu.edu/ceru/index.htm

Quote:

Arizona State University
CERUCommercialism in Education Research Unit

CERU conducts research, disseminates information, and helps facilitate dialogue between the education community, policy makers, and the public at large about commercial activities in schools. CERU is the only national academic research unit dedicated to this topic. CERU is guided by the belief that mixing commercial activities with public education raises fundamental issues of public policy, curriculum content, the proper relationship of educators to the students entrusted to them, and the values that the schools embody.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emmanuel wrote:
Thankyou for posting all this. What if your British citizen and want to live out of the Uk. Are your kids still on a database if homeschooled abroad?


I haven't read all of this material on the following website, but these people may be able to help you:

Action on Rights for Children is their website: http://www.arch-ed.org/

This is their blog about the National Children Database: http://www.databasemasterclass.blogspot.com/
Quote:

Everyone wants to know about the most recent database developments - especially the planned Children’s Index - but that’s like making a cake by starting with the icing. To appreciate what the Index is about, it’s necessary to understand the systems that already exist and something of the law/policies behind them.

Start here, and simply go through the postings in number order.

What we’re giving you is a factual outline of the children’s databases and information-sharing projects, information about the processes used to identify a particular child as a ‘target’ and to assess him/her, and also a bit about the law and policy involved. To cater to all tastes, we’re starting from an assumption of little knowledge but hope you feel reasonably confident to enter the debate on children’s databases by the end of it. There are plenty of links to help you find out more.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,,2259509,00.html

Quote:
Home-school Germans flee to UK


A 1938 law designed to ensure state control of all children has provoked a family exodus to Britain

Charlie Francis-Pape and Allan Hall in Berlin
Sunday February 24, 2008
The Observer

Families are fleeing to the UK from Germany to escape a law introduced by Hitler that could lead to their children being taken into care if educated at home. One father, who arrived in Britain with his wife and five children last month, has told The Observer that his family had no choice after being warned that their children would be taken into foster care unless they enrolled them at local schools. Another, who fled in October, said he believed the 70-year-old law was creating hundreds of refugees and forcing families into hiding to protect their children.

Home-schooling has been illegal in Germany since it was outlawed in 1938. Hitler wanted the Nazi state to have complete control of young minds. Today there are rare exemptions, such as for children suffering serious illnesses or psychological problems. Legal attempts through the courts - including the European Court of Human Rights - have so far failed to overturn the ban.

Klaus Landahl, 41, who moved in January from the Black Forest in Germany to the Isle of Wight with his wife, Kathrin, 39, said they had no option but to leave their home, friends and belongings in order to educate their five children, aged between three and 12, legally and without fear. 'It feels like persecution,' he said. 'We had to get to safety to protect our family. We can never go back. If we do, our children will be removed, as the German government says they are the property of the state now.'

The family now live in Shanklin, surviving off savings while Landahl seeks work to support them. His wife said they chose home-schooling to spare their children from bullying and to allow them to focus on their individual interests. 'In school in Germany they expect you to be like everybody else; you cannot be different,' she said. 'If you don't have the correct clothes, like Nike and Adidas, or if you wear the wrong colour, other children will not accept you.'
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not abused in 'care' homes then Rolling Eyes how happy we can all be that the government cares for our children so much more than we do - another move towards the Brave New World and this excuse for a public servant is now culpable.
Clinically Paranoid Children's Minister: Home education 'may be cover for abuse'
Parents educating their children at home could face tighter controls under new plans.
By Graeme Paton, Education Editor - Last Updated: 10:25PM GMT 19 Jan 2009

Baroness Morgan, the Children's Minister, said home teaching could be a 'cover for abuse' in extreme cases Photo: REUTERS
Ministers have launched a review of standards for up to 55,000 young people taught by mothers and fathers outside school.
It will investigate current procedures for monitoring home education – as well addressing concerns over the safety and welfare of children.
Baroness Morgan, the Children's Minister, said home teaching could be a "cover for abuse" in extreme cases.
But parents' groups were infuriated by the comments.
Ann Newstead, spokesman for the charity Education Otherwise, said claims that children were safer in the hands of the state than parents was "offensive" and "not born out by an increasing number of families in the UK".
Annette Taberner, member of EO's policy group said "No other community would be expected to suffer the prejudice and discrimination which our community has to endure. Our community will be infuriated by these latest statements."
The review – being led by Graham Badman, former director of children's services at Kent Council was launched following a public consultation on the issue of children missing education.
Some local authorities and children's organisations raised concerns about their ability to properly monitor children's welfare under existing guidance.
Under current rules, parents do not have to formally register their child as "home educated".
No official statistics exist on how many children are taught at home, but it is thought the number could be as high as 55,000.
The Education and Inspections Act 2006 placed a duty on all local councils to make arrangements to identify children not receiving a proper education, but they have no power to inspect the quality of lessons for youngsters taught at home.............
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/4291728/Childrens-Minister-Home-e ducation-may-be-cover-for-abuse.html

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The coming war against Home Schoolers
Peter Hitchens

I knew this was coming. The inflamed, all-seeing red eye of political correctness, glaring this way and that from its dark tower, has finally discovered that home schooling is a threat to the Marxoid project, and has launched its first open attack on it.

Before long, those who wish to declare independence from the state system (and cannot afford monstrous private school fees) will face endless interference, monitoring and regulation.

How do we know this? On the 19th January, an obscure person called Delyth Morgan levelled what I regard as an astonishing smear against people who educate their children at home. She suggested that such parents might be abusers, saying (I have taken these words directly from the Education department's own website): 'Making sure children are safe, well and receive a good education is our most serious responsibility.


http://www.annmorgan.org/

'Parents are able, quite rightly, to choose whether they want to educate children at home, and a very small number do. I’m sure the vast majority do a good job. However, there are concerns that some children are not receiving the education they need.

'And in some extreme cases, home education could be used as a cover for abuse. We cannot allow this to happen and are committed to doing all we can to help ensure children are safe, wherever they are educated.
'This review will look at whether the right systems are in place that allow local authorities and other agencies to ensure that any concerns about the safety, welfare or education of home educated children are addressed quickly and effectively. The review will of course talk to home educating families to ensure their views and experiences are heard.'

The nerve of it is amazing. She first suggests the existence of abuse, then produces no evidence for this claim, then says that one purpose of the inquiry is to see if there is any evidence of such abuse. But if they haven't any evidence, on what basis do they think they have the right to launch such an investigation? It is sadly true that, if you want to wreck someone's reputation, you accuse him of child abuse. Everyone will immediately back away, and guilt will be presumed.

There's another point here. What's the logic? Even if a small number of parents were found to be using home schooling as a cover for child abuse, which so far as I know has not happened in Britain, that would not warrant an inquiry into home schooling as such. You might as well investigate all primary schools, or all nurseries, on the basis that some children who attend them are abused. There are many places apart from schools where children may be observed by doctors or others who might detect abuse.

I haven't any evidence that any members of the House of Lords abuse their children, because there isn't any. But on this logic, that state of affairs would presumably entitle the Department 'For Children' to probe their Lordships' House for evidence of such abuse, at taxpayers' expense.

Talk about having it both ways. One thing or the other, but not both - as Bertie Wooster said to Roderick Spode, when he discovered him combining leadership of a fascist movement with a ladies' frilly underwear business.

The precise terms of reference, if you want to know them, are these :"The Elective Home Education Review will investigate:

• Whether local authorities and other public agencies are able to effectively discharge their duties and responsibilities for safeguarding and ensuring a suitable education for all children.

• Whether home educating parents are receiving the support and advice they want to ensure they provide a good, balanced education for their children.

• Consider what evidence there is to support claims that home education could be used as a ‘cover’ for child abuse such as neglect, forced marriage, sexual exploitation or domestic servitude.

The guidance on children missing education is the first step in clarifying expectations in respect of the current system for supporting and monitoring home education. It also makes clear that parents’ right to home educate is not being altered and that suitable home education can take many forms.
Home education is just one area highlighted in the guidance, as it describes many circumstances which can lead to children missing education. The guidance describes how important it is for local authorities to tackle all problems around children missing education, in order to meet the vision set out in the Children’s Plan, particularly keeping all children safe from harm.
Graham Badman, former Director of Children’s Services at Kent County Council will lead the review, which is expected to conclude in May 2009. "

Oh, and look who else is along, our old friends the NSPCC, who you might have thought had enough to worry about elsewhere. But no. Diana Sutton, Head of policy and public affairs at the NSPCC, is quoted on the same Departmental website, saying:
“We welcome the Government’s decision to review the guidance on home education. We believe the existing legislation and guidance on elective home education is outdated. We support the view set out by the London (LA) Children’s Safeguarding Leads network that the government should review the legislation to balance the parents’ rights to home educate their children, the local authorities’ duty to safeguard children and the child’s right to protection. We welcome the fact that this review will look at where local authorities have concerns about the safety and welfare, or education, of a home educated child and what systems are in place to deal with those concerns.”

You work out what that means, or why an organisation supposedly devoted to stamping out cruelty to children should be involved in this, standing, metaphorically, at the minister's side. I will, as they say, move on.

Who is this Delyth Morgan? Well, technically, she is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children, Young People and Families. This means she is Junior Minister for what used to be the Ministry of Education, in the House of Lords.

But who else is she? Officially, she is Baroness Morgan of Drefelin, raised to the peerage at the unusually young age of 43. Why? I think what follows helps to explain. She has a degree, as it happens in physiology. She was educated at a comprehensive school (unlike me), a College of Further Education (like me) and London University. She is married with a daughter. She seems to have spent much of her adult life toiling for right-on pressure groups : She was Campaigns Coordinator of Shelter for two years, then Director of the Workplace Nurseries campaign for four years; then she switched to an interest in health - the national Asthma Campaign, the long-term Conditions Alliance, a cancer 'taskforce' and various NHS committees. She was a very active chief executive of a body called Breakthrough Breast Cancer. I'm not sure if she was a paid employee in any of these posts. She is plainly a committed Labour activist, not just someone made a Labour Peer because the government liked the look of her. She drove a busload of Labour politicians round the country during the 2005 election. She was a mainstream candidate for Labour's National Executive in 1999, which suggests some deep roots in the party.

Why should she be less than keen on home education? Why is she even interested in it? English law since 1944 has allowed parents to educate their children at home without any state interference at all. In this, we are quite unlike Germany, for instance, where it is a criminal offence to do this - a law, I believe, dating from 1938, when Hitler wanted everyone brought up as a National Socialist, but somehow not repealed by the new Germany. I'd be interested to know the legal position in other countries, but I think it's illegal in China, legal in most European and Commonwealth countries. Many of the 50 United States used to have legal restrictions on home schooling, but most if not all have now been repealed, thanks to a powerful popular campaign, supported by huge numbers of parents who now reject the US state system - mainly on religious grounds.

PM5598183Film Mean Girls st That development, unlikely here, may still haunt leftists in this country. In that very funny movie 'Mean Girls', Lindsay Lohan plays a Chicago teenager who has till now been homeschooled by her globetrotting academic parents. There's a hilarious fantasy clip, when her schoolfriends discover this, illustrating what most urban liberal Americans think "Homeschooling" means - a group of stump-toothed, unwashed boys in some West Virginia trailer park talking, very, very slowly, about how Jesus lived at the same time as the dinosaurs (or something like that).

This is of course rather unfair. Certainly the home education movement is largely Christian, and Christian in a pretty uncompromising and Protestant way - that's why it has rejected state schools from which Christianity has been expelled thanks to an absurd misreading of the US Bill of Rights. Roman Catholics tend to use the network of parochial schools instead. But the education achievements of homeschoolers have been considerable, and they regularly capture many of the best scholarships at Ivy League universities. There are also a lot of them, sharing many non-school activities, which disposes of the cliche (invariably trotted out by opponents, and based on nothing) that home-schooled children do not have any social contact with others of their own age. What they do have is much more contact with adults who think it worthwhile to say 'no' to them when it matters, who read to them and converse with them and teach them morals and manners. But let that be, I'm sure we'll have a chance to debate this.

What the modern left really don't like about homeschooling is that it is independent of the state, and threatens its egalitarian monopoly from below. If it became a mass movement, it would be very dangerous to their project of enforcing equality of outcome, while using the schools to push radical ideas on sex, drugs, morality and politics.

They can (just about) tolerate the super rich in tiny numbers sending their offspring to schools that cost £30,000 a year plus extras - though the growing refusal of such schools to use the government's diluted exams may lead to a severe clash here too. More and more are opting for International GCSEs, similar to the old 'O' levels, which state schools are effectively barred from using , instead of GCSEs. They are also dropping the discredited A-levels in favour of the 'Pre-U' and the International Baccalaureate. This has happened, just as the Charities Commission, under the quangocrat Dame Suzi Leather, has been given a brief to make things tough for such schools, who would become even more expensive, and probably impossible to maintain, if their charitable status went. It will be interesting to see what happens.

And as long as it was just a matter of a few retired hippies and eccentrics keeping their young at home, which it was until very recently, home schooling didn't matter. But what is happening now is that many parents are taking their children out of state schools because a) they are being horribly bullied in anarchic classrooms and playgrounds and b) they have begun to notice that many of the schools aren't teaching them anything much anyway. - despite years of propaganda, stunts, gimmicks, 'specialist status', absurdly glowing OFSTED reports and allegedly improved (but fiddled) exam results.

If all the plumbers in your area were no good at fixing leaks, and kept flooding your kitchen, you'd teach yourself plumbing and do it yourself. The results couldn't be worse. Why not take the same view with schools? Why not just keep them at home and do a better job yourself? Of course this is impossible for couples who both trudge out to work every day. But one way or another there is now a significant minority of households where this isn't the case, where homeschooling looks like a serious option and may take off. I suspect the left-wing establishment want to nip it, hard, in the bud. Though of course I'm not prejudiced, and will wait with interest for the report.

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2009/01/the-coming-war-against- home-schoolers.html

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crackdown on home-schooling as parents face annual checks and registration
By Laura Clark - 11th June 2009

Parents who home-school their children will be required to pass annual checks or see them sent back to school under a crackdown that sparked fury this evening

Ministers announced a new monitoring regime after a review raised concerns about the quality of education in some homes.
Parents who wish to educate their children at home - around 80,000 across the country - will be put under a legal duty to register with their local council every year............

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1192413/Crackdown-home-schooli ng-parents-face-annual-checks-registration.html

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:54 pm    Post subject: Home Education Under Government Threat Reply with quote

'Parents educating their children at home have reacted with anger to government proposals to force families to register with local education authorities on the basis that home education (which is legal) allegedly increases the risks of child abuse.
The national home eductaion organisation Education Otherwise, rejected the Badman reports "disproportionate and unreasonable recommendations" for compulsory registration and invasive monitoring.
Former special professor of education at the university of nottingham, Roland Meighan, comments"i have found in my investigations since 1977 that the bad cases are so rare that inspectors, and just occasionally, journalists, invent them".

NB: any parents that face harrassment by the authorities may find it helpful to defend themselves using the human rights act and getting as much publicity as possible.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was reported on South Today but I couldn't find a link.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have just pulled my 8 yo daughter from mainstream education to begin home ed. Loads of reasons - the system failing her miserably, disagreeing with what's being taught, bullying etc, etc. Haven't heard anything *yet* from the LEA Home Ed. outreach worker for this area (other home edding parents tell me he is a switched on guy and very supportive ...). It was the knowledge of these newly proposed sanctions that actually made me hasten the decision to do this - it's been an 'easy' process so far, just de-registration from school and that's it. I shall update on here as stuff unfolds - if anything !
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wildheart wrote:
Have just pulled my 8 yo daughter from mainstream education to begin home ed. Loads of reasons - the system failing her miserably, disagreeing with what's being taught, bullying etc, etc. Haven't heard anything *yet* from the LEA Home Ed. outreach worker for this area (other home edding parents tell me he is a switched on guy and very supportive ...). It was the knowledge of these newly proposed sanctions that actually made me hasten the decision to do this - it's been an 'easy' process so far, just de-registration from school and that's it. I shall update on here as stuff unfolds - if anything !


Good stuff! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck Wildheart. Ceretainly has some benefits if you can home school but also some drawbacks, like socialising. Also depending on the childrens age trying to explain to them why your home schooling without creating some paranoia about other children and schools in general. We have a couple of families in our church who home school and their children are probably well ahead academically of their peers in general school. The older children in one family are all into alex jones, illuminati 9/11 truth so it cant be a bad thing Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

home education is the way to go; it avoids children being bullied, finger printed in infants school without parental consent

www.leavethemkidsalone

no brain washing of both children and parents

good luck
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More alt. ed. in Cameron's gun sights?

So, kids, anyone for double physics? (But no worries if you don't fancy it)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/dec/01/ofsted.schools
Official approval at last for school where almost anything goes


Link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdwjvxcJHTA

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Home Educators Beware Of Social Services!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf5XR7w9H-Y&feature=autofb

This video is to show how happy and content our family was until social services came to steal our children. Due to the lies told by the Wolverhampton Home Education Officer CLAIRE BISHTON then the further lies told by SARAH O'CONNER we had to flee the UK in order to protect our children.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nonsheep - I have been in tears watching your video this morning - it has chilled me to the bone.

Anyone who bothered to look can see that your children are happy, contented, well looked after and in a secure and loving family unit with their parents. That some faceless bureacrat can dare to try and rip your children from you and cart them off to live god knows where (with god knows *who*) makes me feel physically ill - seriously.

You were in Wolverhampton ? Wolves SS are obviously 'twitchy' after the appalling case of little Khyra Ishaq who was removed from school under the pretence of being 'home schooled' and then went on to die of starvation in foul and squalid conditions. This all happened under Wolves' neighbour, Birmingham Social Services, who failed miserably to protect a helpless little girl. The school tried to raise their concerns but nothing was acted upon and, I believe, other people close to the family did also - and still she was left to die. Us 'true' home educators - who are only exercising our right to educate our own children at home - get treated as criminals with something sinister to hide because we just want to be left alone to get on with feeding our children's natural curiosity in our own way. Something very messed up about that.

I and my fellow home edders just *knew* that the home ed. angle would be the focus of this tragic case when it was reported in the media - giving well timed publicity just as the 'Badman Review' http://www.freedomforchildrentogrow.org/8318-DCSF-HomeEdReviewBMK.PDF was due to be looked at in Parliament ... funny that.

nonsheep - I and my family are sending you all our love, strength and good wishes for a happy and peaceful conclusion to your story. I shall pass on links to your video to everyone I can.

In Love & Peace x

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update on the Childrens, Schools and Families Bill which included a clause for new Hom Ed. legislation. In the 'wash up' before the General Election it's been dropped -
http://www.freedomforchildrentogrow.org/update.php?show=single&ID=270
Wednesday 7 April

Government Forced to Drop Home Ed Clause

(via BBC Democracy Live).
"The Children, Schools and Families Bill is set to complete its remaining stages in the Lords. The government has dropped several of the key measures from the bill owing to opposition demands, including: guarantees of one to one tuition for children who fall behind, mandatory sex education for those over 15 and a new registration system for home-educated children. Historically the government is forced to make concessions to opposition parties during the so-called "wash-up" period to ensure that its legislation is passed before Parliament breaks up for the general election. The provisions that remain in the bill are concerned with special education needs pupils, excluded pupils and allow greater access to the media in Family Court proceedings. "
Ed Balls has stated that: "It is our very clear intention to ensure that all the measures you have rejected are included in a new bill in the first session of the new Parliament"

And this 'analysis' Rolling Eyes from The Times Education Correspondent, Nicola Woolcock ... some good comments underneath the article, including two from Mike Fortune-Wood of http://www.home-education.org.uk/
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/education/article7090645.ece

So, a reprieve of sorts. It almost makes me want to vote Conservative. Not.

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