Saturday, July 04, 2009

My MP's View of the Badman Report

I was just about to send my mail of yesterday when what should drop on my doormat but a letter from my MP as follows:

"re: Home Education

You have contacted me in the past regarding the review of Home Education.

The Liberal Democrats believe that parents should be allowed and supported to home educate. Home education can provide a fantastic opportunity for many young people.

The Badman review has some clear flaws, not least in the very short consultation. Home educating parents as well as other groups, should have been given a much greater chance to contribute to the reivew.

I also agree that we should avoid creating unnecessary powers for local authorities. However, the right balance must be achieved between allowing the freedoms which many parents are able to use to give their children the widest possible opportunities in life, and making sure that all children are receiving a good and safe education.

We believe that parents should notify a new local authority if they move into a new area - there is no requirement for this at present. It is not acceptable that some Local Authorities almost totally wash their hands of pupils who are being home educated. Many home educators will not want or require support, but, if wanted, assistance should be available, for example to help arrange examinations.

There are a host of reasons why parents choose to home educate their children and we would want to ensure that the child's safety and interests are put first, and that the child's education is given the priority which it deserves.

With best wishes,

xxxxxxxx"

I think I will still send the Right Honorable Gentleman an amended version of my letter, for whilst it is great to see that he has already acknowledged at least some of the flaws in the Badman report, it may be that he is yet to understand the full extent of these errors which have only recently been revealed through the aggregation of the FOI results on the number of abuse cases in the HE community.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, it's better than we think that the sun shines out of Balls and Badman is to be knighted and given a million pounds to run the new version of Notmyschoolthankyou.
They're getting there, but slowly.

Apparently, the gov. is also trying to sneak in ID cards (yes, I know - I thought they were dead too). The Identity Cards Act 2006 (Provision of Information without consent 2009) and two other related statutory instruments on Wed. 8th July.

Where is Guy Fawkes's address again?

Danae
http://www.threedegreesoffreedom.blogspot.com

Irdial said...

However, the right balance must be achieved between allowing the freedoms which many parents are able to use to give their children the widest possible opportunities in life, and making sure that all children are receiving a good and safe education.

We believe that parents should notify a new local authority if they move into a new area - there is no requirement for this at present. It is not acceptable that some Local Authorities almost totally wash their hands of pupils who are being home educated. Many home educators will not want or require support, but, if wanted, assistance should be available, for example to help arrange examinations.


This is the part that is not correct.

The idea in Britain that everything should be balanced comes from the BBC's mantra of balanced reporting in its journalism. There are some things in life that are not balanced, and balance should not always be sought after, especially between things that are not in any way related.

As in the above response, 'making sure that all children are receiving a good and safe education' is not something that can be balanced against a family's right to educate as it sees fit. What a 'good' education is is not up to the state to determine. The safety of Home Educated children is not and has never been an issue, so the idea that there is some balance to be struck is total nonsense. While we are at it, we can say with certainty, that all Home Educated children are getting a better education than they would be getting at a state school.

The Liberal Democrats say that they are against the ID card. One of the provisions of the legislation swirling around the card is the fine of £1000 for not informing the government of any change of address. Now, the irrational LibDems are saying that they think that parents should be compelled to notify a local authority when they move. Which one is it? Are they FOR the provisions of the ID card or AGAINST them? These people really are amongst the most confused politicians I have ever had the displeasure of reading.

Next this strange creature says that many home educators will not want or require support, but it should be there if needed and that it is not acceptable that Local Authorities 'almost totally wash their hands of pupils who are being Home Educated'. If that is the case then the LibDems should make a simple policy decision:

"Local Authorities have no responsibilities to monitor or register Home Educating families. However, if a Home Educating family requests help from the Local Authority, that authority should do everything it can to assist the Home Educator. For example, if a Home Educating family wants to arrange examinations, the Local Authority is obliged to take steps see that it happens. This should be done on a case by case basis."

And there you have it.

Local Authorities are obliged to remove rubbish from your home when you telephone them (for a small fee sometimes) and so why should they not arrange for your daughter to sit an exam in the local school should you require that?

Schools would be very happy to accommodate these students, since having high performing HE children bumping up their stats will make them look good!

Anonymous said...

The lib dems are a wishy washy bunch aren't they!

Carlotta said...

"Making sure that all children are receiving a good and safe education' is not something that can be balanced against a family's right to educate as it sees fit."

You're quite right, of course Irdial. It is a flat contradiction, not a balance. I wonder how best to explain this, other than by saying that in implementing Badman, the state appropriates responsibility for education and will have to take the flak when it fails children.

mum6kids said...

To nutshell the reply:
Dear mother
Of course home ed is a good idea (it's cheap) and should be supported just so long as it is done just how we think fit.
Yours
nice-soft-leather-jackboot

Anonymous said...

This is the bog standard Lib Dem line. Home educators need to go to MPs' constituency surgery.

Fiona

http://www.freedomforchildrentogrow.org/heconsult.htm