Sunday, February 19, 2006

All this Vigilance Stuff

There remains general unease on UK HE lists, what with the current review of the deregistration from school process, the children's database, the children missing from education initiatives, and this piece of largely state-sponsored and utterly biased research, that the basic freedoms we now enjoy with Home Education in England and Wales are under threat. This government, with nothing better to do than meddle in people's private lives, has dealt with smokers, fox hunters, (though the degree of civil disobedience in this regard is reported to be considerable), and they've apparently got their way on the ID card front, so we're probably for it at this rate, particularly if the education reforms result in a new set of people who are grossly dissatisfied with the outcome and therefore opt for Home Education in greater numbers.

We may therefore need to hold Schools Minister Jacqueline Smith to the following:

on 6th Dec 2005 she said:

"This Government believe that, for most children, school is the right place in which to receive education. However, we respect parents' fundamental right, under section 7 of the Education Act 1996, to educate their children at home if they so wish. Where that happens, the parents must take responsibility for ensuring that the education provided is suitable and, for children of compulsory school age, is full-time. We have no plans to change this right."

Given the above, it would appear that the government could not rightfully intervene to make the dereg from school process more difficult, but whilst they may have had no plans as of today....

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I have to say that I'm pleased about the smokers! And, I think, that if the state do have to intervene, preventing murder or forms thereof (smoking and exposing others to it certainly contributes to death!) is one of the better places to intervene!

D

Anonymous said...

Re: the report

It is appallingly biaised, suggesting that 'school refusal' is not a good reason for wanting to change the way you educate your child, for example. It is, though, true, as they point out, that access to KS4 exams is very, very limited if you home educate. What is frustrating is that they don't see that they could improve this access rather than just questioning the whole idea of having the child educated at home in the first place.

D

Carlotta said...

Hi D,

re: smoking,

...though I do think that the effect of the smoking ban will be to take smokers back into their own homes where they then subject their kids to the effects, so it just moves the problem from spaces where most people have a greater degree of choice as to where they do or do not go, to spaces where people (ie: children), have almost no choice at all.

Carlotta said...

and re: improving exam access...absolutely right.

Plus, how useful can research really be that only draws information from people (in this case the LEAs) who only have an extremely poor grasp of the subject matter.

Euwwwgh...

Anonymous said...

Actually, you are wrong re: smoking ban. Statistics in Ireland following the ban in smoking in public reveal that there has been - although can't remember exact figure - a reduction of 7-14% in sales of cigarettes. Apparently, there was already a significant increase in drinking at home (and decrease in drinking out) before the ban was implemented.

D

Carlotta said...

Ah that's interesting...so are you saying that kids will be exposed to drunk parents instead?

Oh...errr...! We..ee...lll, that's only half a glass.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Carlotta, if people go out and have a good time without smoking instead of with smoking is that actually going to make a significant difference to the lives of the children of the parents who a) already smoked at home and may still do so and b)got drunk whether they smoked or not?

As annoying as it might be there is, it would seem, some good in this! At least that is what I thought the moment I heard sales of cigarettes had fallen.

And, don't forget that if parents smoke at home they would take their kids out with them and smoke in their faces anyway in public (well before at least). Now, their kids will get time in public with mum and dad (in a pub as don't forget kids go to pubs too) without smoke. It's not at all clear that the situation will be worse for these children than it is, and it will be better for a lot of other people, including all the youths who would smoke all evening just because they were out with their mates and it is cool, and now they won't need to and neither will all the other people who don't really want to be stuck at home have to be stuck there in order to avoid stinking of cigarettes.

D

4 girls and 3 boys said...

I He all my children and not all came out of school for positive reasons cos school is not a postive place. Two have never been but they all get the same standard of educational opportunities as each other in our home. I see the LEA's still think they are entitled to monitor!! 3 of my children have diplomas but the LEA still complained cos they are not doing GCSE's. If taking GCSE's is their only yardstick for deciding if an education is efficient then we are all up poo creek.

Carlotta said...

Hi 4 boys and 3 girls...I feel like mailing your experiences to all NFER researchers since they refute most of their absurd underlying assumptions.

I gather though that doing this is unlikely to make a blind bit of difference, as HEors have previously tried to contact them about the errors in their research methodology, the evident bias and the agenda driven premises but they've heard nothing back...which I suppose is to be expected from people who are only affecting to do genuine research.

The best we can do is make public the kind of experiences of which you speak.

Leo said...

My dad was a heavy smoker and it did me no harm. Sorry, but passive smoking is crap theory.

Anyways... What is the gov saying? That children have no access to exams, because they don't let them, therefor it's the parents fault. What? Reminds me of natural consequences.

I am so thrilled to have this logic people worried about my child's education. One thing they don't know if the moment they try to force my child to school I am off the country.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

My grandfather died of amoking related lung cancer. He never smoked in his life; he just worked in an office of smokers,

D

Leo said...

D, I'm sorry to hear. It should not be a reason to want to coerce people, though.

I wonder why people are so sure that smoking causes lung cancer, when they don't have the clue of what causes breast cancer, stomach cancer, bone cancer, etc. It makes one very suspicious.

Anonymous said...

I believe that there is a lot of sound medical evidence behind the assertion that smoking causes lung cancer. It would be interesting to know from some one in the medical profession if this is not the case.

I'm not convinced, though, that the smoking ban is any more coercive than the current state of affairs, given that without it plenty of people are coerced in their choices because they can't enjoy many places in the evening without smoke.

Also, I gather, strangely enough, lots of smokers are happy to have the ban - perhaps as an aid to giving up?

But...I'm undoubtedly biaised because of my grand father and because when some one lights up when I'm sitting in a restaurant, for example, I feel as if my autonomy has been infringed. Technically, though, a pure Libertarian would disagree with me undoubtedly on an immediate assessment of the situation, as do you!

D

4 girls and 3 boys said...

Yes you can e mail it if you like but I think they won't listen. They have their minds made up, unfortunately, and no amount of evidence to the contrary is going to change it.

Leo said...

D,

"plenty of people are coerced in their choices because they can't enjoy many places in the evening without smoke"

Couldn't it be a better solution for non-smokers to open pubs exclusive for them instead of wanting the government to force everyone not to smoke? Couldn't this be decided by companies instead of the government? Shouldn't pubs exist for smokers?

"Also, I gather, strangely enough, lots of smokers are happy to have the ban - perhaps as an aid to giving up?"

People need better help than being forced I think. If forcing kids to go to school doesn't help them learn, perhaps the same applies for other things. Or not. I don't know.

By the way, I'm not a pure libertarian at all, I live on welfare and I'm not in the scene, I just like to think about things and play devil's advocate a bit.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leo,

Yep! Sounds as though your solution for smoking would be the fairest. The government had been considering some sort of part way measure. I don't know the details about what made them opt for a total ban. But perhaps, since, in the current climate, smokers are by far the biggest drinkers in pubs, they didn't know how to make this fair to publicans. With a total ban competition will still be equal.

I also agree that it is best not to need to be forced by external forces to achieve a personal goal. However, if an individual actively chooses that method of changing it is not really forcing...just a semblance of forcing.

I must say, given my own highly coercive background, I might choose that method myself as I am not always up to the sort of strength of mind that comes perhaps better to people who have been raised optimally without coercion.

D

Leo said...

Hi D

"However, if an individual actively chooses that method of changing it is not really forcing...just a semblance of forcing."

I am not sure about this, coercion tends to bring regret later even if the person chooses as a method for something at a given time. There's always something destructive about it.

Can you give examples where chosen coercion for changing can be positive?