Protest away my children!

Today was the first time I went out to protest against an issue that I’m passionate about and personally affected by. The Badman review will have such an awful impact on so many decent families, that it’s just not possible to sit by and watch what happens. I’ve heard time and time again from home educating parents that the recommendations, if they become law, won’t affect them because: “they aren’t the people the government is after”. Well-neither are we. We are educated people and have a nice, clean, stable home life. We have two very intelligent, talented, sociable, polite and extremely happy children. No, we have nothing to fear from home visits. Other than the loss of our family’s privacy-which is, so far, a right protected under UK and European law for all families. Not just for those who choose school.

I can not, and will not, sit idly by and let these recommendations pass.

I will not let inspectors in my home and they will never talk to my children without one of us with them.  Never.

If that is going to happen in my home-it’ll have to be law for every family in the country. Every child who’s school is failing-their parents are going to be inspected. The law states that the parents are responsible, so no matter whom you delegate the ‘teaching’ to; the parent is legally responsible to make sure the child receives a suitable education. The children in failing schools are not receiving a suitable education.

I will not ‘apply’ to home educate my children on a first off basis, never mind a yearly basis.

As the parent I am the one responsible, by law, to ensure my children receive an education. I, as the parent, am the only one who will decide who will do this, and how it will be done. I will not seek the government’s permission to educate my children at home. As their parent, I need no one’s permission to be with them. If this is the case-the government will need to grant every parent in the country yearly permission to be with their own children. If I’m not to be trusted with my children between the hours of 9am and 3pm, what makes them safe after 3pm?

I will not supply an educational approach and our goals for a twelve month period. I will not do that for one day.

Firstly, as I, the parent, am the only one responsible for this, I do not need to have what we do approved by anyone but ourselves. I am not working for the government, therefore I owe them nothing. And if we are forced to do it for 12 months, then every parent in the land will have to supply an educational approach and plans for all the days the children are out of school.

Hasn’t Mr. Badman even noticed that there isn’t a 12 month school year here in the UK? Or maybe that’s what’s in the plans. I can just hear all those awful parents shouting for joy over that one. You know those parents, the ones who can’t wait for the school holidays to be over, those who dread the time spent with their children when school is out. Those who think we are ‘strange’ or ‘brave’ for wanting to be with our children on a daily basis. I wonder why it’s not considered mental cruelty in this country for parents to say they can’t wait to get rid of their kids and send them to school. Hearing that cannot make those children feel wanted or loved. Maybe it’s those families who should be inspected?

No thanks, Government. I do not want, nor need, any support from you.

Like my parents, and the parents for thousands of generations before hand, I will raise my children as I see fit. I will do so with their well-being and happiness at the centre of all we do. I will make sure they are able to face the world when they are young adults. They will know the things they need to survive-and I can do it without reporting in to you every year.

My children will know joy and freedom, they will enjoy their childhood. My children will know how to read, to write, and to communicate with those around them. They will know how to do the maths they need to survive, and more. They will know the history of their people, their country and their world. They will understand the science that is around them, and they will learn to explore and question all they see. They will be actively engaged in doing what they can to preserve and protect our natural world. They will be able to read a map and find their way home from wherever in the world they have gone off to explore. They will learn to enjoy the cultural pursuits the world has to offer. They will explore dance, artworks and music in a variety of ways. They will know how to source, grow and prepare healthy food. And mostly, they will know what it is to come from a loving environment, which is already providing them with these foundations so that when it comes time for them to face the world on their own, they will be secure, happy and confident adults, ready and willing to take on the challenges of the world.

And thanks to you Mr. Badman and your report, my children have learned that their government, like all governments, is fallible. They’ve learned about our parliamentary process. They’ve learned about what being a citizen is, and the importance of being an active citizen. And no, though you may have given us an opportunity to do it for real and not in a mock situation, I did not need your help to teach my children about these issues. But it is thanks to you, that my 6 & 7 year old have had to go to the streets to protect their way of life.

(OK-the pictures show the real deal-we very happily and excitedly went off to do our civic duty! You didn’t really think we were going to teach them to stage guerrilla warfare on the streets of Oxford? Peaceful, happy people do peaceful, happy protesting!! But active citizens we will always be! And what’s wrong with following a demonstration with a picnic?*)






Being us, no trip to Oxford is without a long visit to the bookstore. Here’s Kieran reading Gulliver’s Travels when we got home!


*The UK Home Educators participated in about 40 ‘Not Back to School Picnics’ nationwide to protest against the Badman Proposals. Our insipration came from this group of wonderful home educators:

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11 Responses to Protest away my children!

  1. Sarah says:

    lovely photos and great post 🙂

  2. Susan says:

    Love your post, we have a blog post on our site about how Mr Badman has helped our autonomous HE because the children have done loads of stuff about politics since then as well as making protest poems and articles. It was rather tongue in cheek as like you we didn’t actually need his help!

  3. Kelly says:

    Well said Elizabeth, loved the photos

  4. Merry says:

    I agree with everything you say except one thing. I’m not sure you are right that you have nothing to fear. The worst thing about this review is that it will make it hard to counteract the whim of the individual inspector. You could do a brilliant job and have brilliant children but if it happens not to correspond with his/her ideas of how children should be or be educated… bang goes your right to educate.

    It is that which frightens me.

  5. Maire says:

    Totally agree except that I am with Merry about it being a bit of a gambol with the inspectors. fabulous pictues, there is a Flickr group
    if you would like to add them and extend the pr period.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks everyone! Merry & Maire–I’m really not worried–because as I said–they aren’t coming in! 😉 (Or at least I’ll hold out as long as possible)

  7. Hannah says:

    Fantastic post Elizabeth :o)

  8. Hannah says:

    Wrong smiley, sorry! Was meant to be this one 🙂

  9. Ali Moir says:

    Excellent passionate, yet very reasoned, argument. Great post and lovely pics, thank you very much

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks Ali!

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