Home educators upset by new proposals
Proposals to undermine the rights of parents come under fire
A back-door attempt to introduce routine Local Authority intervention in parenting has attracted heavy criticism from a cross-party Parliamentary Select Committee, whose report was released on 16^th December. The huge civil liberties implications of the proposed Children, Schools and
Families Bill are hidden under what the MPs tactfully describe as “less than robust” evidence about safeguarding concerns and educational outcomes of home-education.
The catch-22 style clauses in the Bill will empower LAs to issue School Attendance Orders to any home educators that do not allow routine access to the family home and for their children to be interviewed alone, and who do not conform to what is likely to amount to “school at home”. It
effectively removes the option to choose many perfectly valid and effective approaches to education, and will impose a “guilty until proven innocent” regime on parents who give up considerable time and income to offer their children an alternative to the school approach.
But the issues contained within the Bill, which is being fast-tracked through parliament, are much further reaching than people thought. According to campaigners, it threatens to undermine the rights of parents and shift responsibility over to the state.
Campaigners from Action for Home Education are asking supporters to sign the petition at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Home-ed-families/
More information available at available from the Home Education Forums and Indymedia websites.