Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Letter of the Year ...so far

From Shena in the FT (you may have to register).

"Why does society need to ‘have a grip’ on education of my children?

Sir, In general, Rob Blackhurst's article (“A class apart”, FT Weekend Magazine, June 21/22) was very informative and accurate.

What a pity he marred it at the end with errors of fact. The “concept of universal education” in the UK is less than 140 years old, having been introduced by the Education Act 1870 for children between five and 13.

The national curriculum is not legally enforced “for every pupil at school - whether at Eton College or an inner-city comprehensive”. Only state schools must implement the national curriculum. Private schools (and home-educating families) may choose to use it but do not have to do so.

I was also disappointed that the last word was given to the general secretary of the teachers' union. Philip Parkin almost certainly knows nothing about home education and is unlikely to be in favour of any scheme of education that reduces the number of teachers required by at least 1,700.

Society does not “have a grip” on whether or not I feed or clothe my children. Why does it need to : “have a grip” on their education? The law leaves the primary responsibility for education with parents and provides for measures to be taken against parents who do not educate their children, just as it does for parents who neglect their children. What more is required?"

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

what a brilliant letter! Thanks for pointing it out

D

Anonymous said...

It looks there are anti-home ed rumblings going on Switzerland...

Ruth said...

I just ran across a reply to this letter from Philip Parkin, General Secretary, Voice {boo hiss!}

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ac1cf3ba-4fb4-11dd-b050-000077b07658.html

The old "absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence argument". {big raspberry}

Carlotta said...

Sigh...just ridiculous! He clearly knows very, very little....the idea that genuine home educators have nothing to fear from registration is utterly ignorant.

Apart from any other arguments (about how successful known autonomous educators are harassed by their LAs on account of LA ignorance of a system that is vastly different to their own,) why on earth should families have their privacy invaded when they have done nothing wrong!

(Registration would only solve Mr Parkin's problem if it also did involve complete invasion of family privacy.)