Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The View of a Schooling Parent

Jennie Bristow, writing in Spiked On-line, explains the importance of the implications of the Badman recommendations for every parent everywhere.

"...the idea that there should be no opt-out available – that all parents have no choice but to submit to official control over their children’s education – cuts to the heart of the question of parental autonomy. The acceptance that parents can choose to educate their children themselves if they want to is a tacit recognition that state education is a service that parents can access for the benefit of their families. The new proposals shift that balance of power, so that state-monitored education becomes something that all children must receive – and in the case of home schooling, parents are mere practitioners, delivering an officially approved scheme of work. This means that the scope for parents to decide that, actually, the curriculum or teaching practice on offer within schools is not the best for their child, becomes much more limited."

and:

"For all the nonsense talked about choice in education, our only real choice as parents comes from the knowledge that if our children’s schooling becomes really bad, we can always pull them out of it."

5 comments:

Jax said...

It's an excellent article, I enjoyed it.

Elizabeth said...

Carlotta--does it actually legally say somewhere that the LEA HAS to make SURE an education is taking place? I read both the 1998 Human Rights Act and the 1996 Education Act--and I couldn't see it specified anywehre that the State must make sure it is carried out. I saw that if it was suspected or brought to their attention--but couldn't find that they had to make sure. Did I miss that specific clause somewhere?

Evan said...

Interesting One!
Life Style Rescue

Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing that out, a timely post that helped illustrate an argument elsewhere.

Carlotta said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Sorry not to have got back to you earlier!

Well, the latest (Jan 2009) Guidance on the duty to identify children missing a suitable education does seem to put the onus directly on LAs.

This does however represent a massive change in interpretation of the Education and Inspections Act 2006. The first set of guidance that issued from this (in 2007) supported the notion that HE children should be identified, but not that the educational provision be adjudged suitable in anything other than a proportionate sort of a way.

ie: bit of a history here! For further info, check out links in sidebar for the relevant Guidances - 2007 and Jan 2009, and Ed and Inspections Act 2006.