Boy, are UK Home Educating community cross, on form and ready for action! Whilst I sit here listening to the unmitigated joy that is home education socialisation going on the background (unstinting creative games, play-writing, read-throughs, dress rehearsals, model making, animation work, cookery, caring for younger children, dance routines, Google trawls on various subjects and almost non-stop giggling), I have plenty of time to pass this on!
NEW HOME EDUCATION ACTION GROUP GOES AHEd
Action for Home Education (AHEd), an internet-based rights group for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, launches today in Derby with a pledge to act to protect the rights of parents and children who wish to enjoy home-based education without undue state interference, which they claim has reached an intolerable high and is set to worsen.
AHEd has arisen from a network of committed home educating parents whose experience spans more than 25 years and in response to the increasingly urgent calls from many different groups and individual home educators, for an action group to complement the work of current home education support groups.
AHEd is an affiliate of the Scottish home education association, Schoolhouse,  who support families in Scotland, and a member of the Centre for Personalised Education Trust, whose trustees include the highly respected academic researcher on home-based education, Dr Roland Meighan, and whose member organisations are all committed to supporting personalised education.
Commenting on the urgent need for an organisation to tackle the challenges facing home educating families, co-founder and chair of AHEd, Barbara Stark, who has home educated her own children since 1980, said:
"For years home educators have tolerated unfair treatment and ultra vires practices by Local Authorities whose understanding of home-based education is, with few exceptions, minimal or non existent. We are tired of being subjected to unreasonable suspicion and unfair scrutiny when we are doing the very best for our children. We believe there are moves afoot by government to restrict traditional freedoms to educate children outside the school system and we are determined to do our utmost to prevent this." 
According to New Labour mantra, every child matters, yet it blatantly attempts to prescribe the same diet of schooling to every child regardless of his or her individual needs and wishes.
AHEd asserts that EACH CHILD MATTERS, individually.
Each child matters individually to parents and it is parents who have the duty to make important educational decisions. But AHEd members are deeply concerned that current proposals by government threaten to remove parental responsibility and substitute the state as the arbiter of what is best for children - from what goes into lunch boxes to what is put into minds; from the portions of vegetables eaten per day to the content of every lesson at
every stage for every child. As an alliance of concerned home educating families who put our children's needs first, we intend to make our voice heard by government."
Home educating parent and co-founding member of AHEd, Mrs Tech Wood, added:
"We must not allow the dark side of the state to create this unreasonable intrusion into private and family lives. There is a real danger that we will lose our choices on the basis that government no longer trusts parents to act in the best interest of their children. The time has come for us to stand up and defend our rights. We know from experience that our children thrive on an education that is tailored to their individual needs. Current and future generations must be allowed to continue to benefit from real choice in education because despite government rhetoric - EACH child matters."
EACH CHILD MATTERS and in order to provide properly for their individual needs, the freedom to choose the how, where and what of our children's education is essential.
(1) For comment, contact the Schoolhouse Press Officer: Alison Preuss, at firstname.lastname@example.org
(2) DfES are undertaking a review of local authority arrangements for home educators and have written to home educators saying that the state now wishes to prescribe the form of education that takes place in the home and impose compulsory home inspections upon families in order to question children in a new role as the decider and monitor of what all children should learn including those in private provisions and in their homes. DFEs have made it clear that they are considering changes in primary legislation to enable this. Current law makes parents responsible for the education of their children and does not support the level of surveillance and interference indicated by the department. The department has described these planned changes as 'light touch changes.'
Go here for varied comment from home educators related to this agenda.
Other Issues of concern to AHEd
· The Education and Inspections Act section 94 puts all children of compulsory education age who are present in public during school hours at risk of being stopped, questioned and removed to a designated place when they have committed no crime. Excluded children will be confined to house arrest. Home educators fear their children will be similarly abducted or removed, given
that current truancy procedures already involve them and cause them problems despite government promises to the contrary.
· Every Child Matters
· Children Missing Education
· Registration regulations