Objection to Draft Legislation aka: HE children need safeguarding. Not!

Dear Sir/Madame,

I would like to make a few objections to the Improving schools and safeguarding children Bill.

My main objections are with the clauses “improving monitoring arrangements for children educated at home” and “A new set of guarantees to an individually tailored education for each child and their parents.”

It is obvious from these clauses in this Bill, that you do not understand home education, nor do you understand that the Parents are responsible for their children’s education and safeguarding, not the government.

Firstly, I object to the insinuation that home educated children need safeguarding.  The government has conducting four[1] reviews in the past three years trying to find proof that home educated children are at a greater risk from their parents.  The first three reviews found no such proof or any reason to regulate home educating families. 

The current review, conducted by Graham Badman was sent to a Select Committee[2] on July, 22, 2009, to determine the validity of the review.  Mr. Badman has received an unfair advantage[3] this month to gather more information to try and prove his conclusions.  This, by default, is his own admission that his report was not conducted properly and that he did not find sufficient evidence to back the government’s insinuations that home educated children are at risk.

To enter any recommendations from that review into your Bill before the Select Committee has finished their investigation, and the public consultation has concluded would be unjust.  The home educating community has been given no guarantees that they are going to be given time to review any new findings by Mr. Badman.

Secondly, if you understood home education you would realize that home educated children are receiving an education that is tailored to them as individuals, and is taught to them, in general, on a one to one basis.  How do you expect a teacher with a class size of 20 to 30 children to create and teach an individual programme to every child in a classroom?   I’m sure the teachers would like to hear how you are going to make them do this before you implement it.  And thanks, but the parents have already received their education.

To add any new measures to regulate home educated families when there has been no just cause is an unfair intrusion into the privacy of their homes.  If there is a problem in England with the safeguarding of children, then maybe you should invest the money wasted on home education reviews to bolster the Social Services Agency.  Give them the support and money they need to hire more staff and to train all of their staff to the highest standards. And leave the sanctity of English homes intact.

Sincerely


[1] DfES Response to Statutory Guidance on Children Missing in Education, November 2006

 DfES Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities, July 2007

 DCSF Statutory Guidance on Children at Risk of Not Receiving Suitable Education, October 2008

 Review of Elective Home Education in England in 2009—which has been referred to the Select Committee

[2] http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/csf/csfpn220709.cfm

[3] http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/everychildmatters/publications/documents/laeelectivehomeeducation/

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