Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Letter from David Cameron

Copied below, a letter recently received by a home educator from Tory leader, David Cameron, which confirms our suspicions that the Conservatives have a far better grasp of the issues.

If your Conservative MP hasn't signed the EDM yet, it would be great if you could direct him/her to this missive:

" I share your concern about the direction the review has taken. I was impressed by the commitment that you as home educators have shown to your children. You and many others make sacrifices, forgo income, put careers on hold and battle bureaucracy in order to give your children extra care and attention. I think such commitment is admirable, and the taint of suspicion which this review has allowed to hang over home education is deeply regrettable.

I strongly believe that we should trust parents more when it comes to determining the shape of their children's education and the whole thrust of our policies for schools are driven by a desire to give parents more control. While improving state education is our principle mission, I am deeply committed to respecting individual choice and there are many reasons, some very personal, which may incline families to opt for home education. I want a future conservative government to support them in that choice.

Of course I am also determined to ensure we have the highest standards of child protection and safeguarding in this country, but I share your concerns about the way in which issues of home education and child protection have been conflated in a way which seems to me unfair on so many exceptionally dedicated, and loving parents.

My apologies for the delay in replying. I have actually taken the time to talk to my Head of Policy, Oliver Letwin MP, who has been having his own discussions with Michael Gove MP about how we respond to the Badman Report. This is resulted in a newly-approved early day motion which Conservatives will sign. I have attached a copy of it here and I hope you will agree that
it moves matters forward in terms of our response in this very important
issue.

David Cameron.

EDM 1785
That this house acknowledges and celebrates the hard work of the many home educators in Britain who teach their children to an exceptionally high standard; recognises the excellent value they represent to the government; notes with concern the conflation of welfare concerns with education issues in government statements on home education; further notes with concern the
recommendations of the Badman Review which suggest closer monitoring of home educators, including a compulsory annual registration scheme and right of access to peoples homes for local authority officials; and calls on the government to focus on its own ability to fulfil the every child matters objectives rather than undermine the independence and integrity of home educators by enforcing the Badman recommendations.

4 comments:

mum6kids said...

Is that strange feeling that I remember from so long ago---hope?

I am relieved that David Cameron has written this. Now then, lets get to a GE.

Anonymous said...

Great, but will they repeal anything that gets passed before the election? I have a horrible feeling they're keeping their options open, giving themselves room to wiggle out of actually doing anything should the legislation be passed before they take over. I can imagine the discussions the Conservative party have been having about this..."Review and legislation are both c**p, but if we stop it going through, or repeal it when we get in power, and then a home ed child abuse case comes up we'll be crucified by Labour and the Press, so...put out some nice statements to make it look like we're giving an intelligent response, then after Balls has got the legislation through, throw up hands in horror and promise to "look into it" once we're in power. Though when we are there will be "many important things we have to do, but we haven't forgotten the repeal of the home ed legislation and will get to it as soon as we can"."
And nothing will happen as they sit on their hands over it, to cover themselves, just in case....
The politicians who oppose this need backbone as well as intelligence, and looking at the lot we have, of all parties, well, I am still waiting for evidence of spine, real principles, rational thought...
I hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

I agree anonymous well said! they will not repeal it and will say we have to look into it!

GoodWife said...

Noticed you say we have a "bit of a lull" before the Queen's speech on THE list ..... would that be the 6 days (a whole 6 days!!) before?? ie the speech is next Wed (at the same time as Iain Campbell of DCSF is talking to the Staffs LA conference)....?