Saturday, January 31, 2009

When People Say "You Have Nothing to Fear"

Think again. The story of the Sibley children is not ancient history and we could well return to such similar scenarios if Local Authorities manage to persuade the DCSF to change legislation and/or policy surrounding home education.

If you haven't done so already, please respond to the consultation here.

I have summarised a few major points that can be made here.

4 comments:

Leo said...

Do you, personally, have anything to fear?

Carlotta said...

Yes, I think I do. I think that once they are through your door, you are no longer in charge of the evidence, they can say anything they like about you and your family and they are the experts.

Everyone keeps saying "oh you'll be alright, you don't live on a council estate, two parent family, etc. A consultant friend of ours who clearly lived in very satisfactory conditions, thank you very much, had to work extremely hard to fend off his own social services department from his home after someone reported the family for being unknown HEors. It really can happen to anyone, imo.

Leo said...

But it's not likely the social services come after you at all. You are a social person, you have plenty of friends in the community, you can get experts to witness for you if you want and you can afford a good lawyer.

It's poor families that are at risk.

Carlotta said...

I agree that not having money for a good lawyer can be a real bind, but I think one also cannot dismiss the fact that there are all sorts of prejudices out there.

An ex-child social worker friend confirmed to us that plenty of social workers have an anti-middle class ethic and positively loathe the aristocracy.

In certain jobs that I quickly left, I experienced a significant amount of prejudice simply because I had a middle class accent and one of our Health Visitors seemed to take against me as far as I could tell, on this basis alone.

No amount of schmoozing and appearing presentable will necessarily do the trick, perhaps because envy is a powerful thing.