Accompanying information (forwarded with permission):
"Petition to Parliament : Deadline for signatures - November 30th 2009.
The debate in the House of Commons on the Badman proposals could be as early as December 3rd.
In response, Graham Stuart MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Home Education has offered to organise a Petition to Parliament.
The link to the petition, which has been written by Graham Stuart's office, can be found here.
A number of MPs have told us that petitions to Downing Street have much less effect than a Petition to Parliament.
The key thing is the number of constituencies where a Petition to Parliament is signed, rather than getting a huge number of signatories from any one constituency.
The Petitions to Parliament are taken by MPs to Parliament and are recorded in Hansard.
Graham Stuart believes that home educators have an opportunity to raise the greatest number of petitions ever presented to the House.
Q & A:
Q What does the petition say:
A: The Petition to Parliament says that the signatories are concerned about the recommendations of the Badman Report and believe that the recommendations are based on a rushed review which failed to consider and evaluate evidence and failed to take account of the existing legislative framework. The Petition goes on to say that measures in forthcoming legislation should be not brought forward or should be withdrawn and that the Government should take steps to see that the Home Education Guidelines are properly implemented, learning from best practice in local authorities.
Q: Who has put this together?
A: The wording of the petition has been devised by Graham Stuart MP's parliamentary research assistant. Graham Stuart is also Chair of the new All Party Parliamentary Group.
Q: Why does it say "not to bring forward, or to withdraw"?
A: This is a form of wording devised by the MP's parliamentary research assistant which takes account of the fact that the Children and Families Bill will not be withdrawn, since most of it deals with the Schools White Paper. Clauses of the Bill can be withdrawn or the Government can allow clauses to be defeated on a vote.
Q: How did this come about?
A: Graham Stuart MP spoke about an All Party Parliamentary Group to constituents and to home educators who gave evidence to the Select Committee and also to those who attended the Select Committee to watch the proceedings. The topic of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Home Education also came up at the Education Otherwise Parliamentary Event on October 20th. As a follow-up, home educators were invited to meet Graham Stuart and at the meeting the subject of the Petition to Parliament was raised.
Home educators who had been involved with organising the Parliamentary Event, whether or not they were able to attend, have remained in touch with each other and have been a point of contact for Graham Stuart's researcher. Graham Stuart asked for a web page which would feature the petition and would enable home educators to sign up by constituency. (The usual Petition to Parliament is from a single constituency) Roarke volunteered for this task.
The final wording of the Petition was sent to the web page designer on Thursday 12th. GrahamStuart wanted people to be able to sign up as co-ordinators as soon as possible. The first emails thanking volunteer co-ordinators were signed by Roarke as web page designer. Roarke is not signing subsequent emails since he does not wish his role to be misunderstood or overstated.
Q: Is this an Education Otherwise thing?
A: Some of the home educators talking to Graham Stuart are postholders in Education Otherwise. Other home educators talking to Graham Stuart are not postholders or members of EO. Education Otherwise is not in any sense controlling or directing the Petition to Parliament. Graham Stuart asked for a web page which could be promoted to as many home educators as possible so that anyone could come forward and volunteer to co-ordinate a constituency petition.
Here's what you can do:
1. Volunteer to be the local coordinator for the signatures on the petition papers.
You will receive a file with the petition which you will print out and post or email to people who contact you and ask for a copy. You will be responsible for coordinating the collection of
petitions signed by local home educators and presenting it to your MP (along with other local home educators if possible) You will get information on how to gain press interest for the presentation.
2. If when you click on the link, someone has already volunteered to be co-ordinator in your constituency, click on the link to email them and get a paper or electronic copy of the petition.
3. Ask friends/ family who live in a constutuency where no one has
volunteered if they would organise a petition from their area.
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All petitions will be presented in parliament by MPs on or around 3rd December 2009.
Hence we need petitions returned to co-ordinators by November 30th at the latest.
The idea is to have as many MPs as possible present petitions on that day. The number of signatories is, of course, significant , and the more the better - but more dramatic will be the numbers of MPs who present petitions (ie, the number of consituencies represented - so even if you only have one signature on the petition for your MP to present it is still worth it!)
Click on the link above to volunteer to be your local co-ordinator or to find out who your local co-ordinator is so that you can arrange to sign the petition.
We have only two weeks to organise this!
Graham Stuart believes that home educators have an opportunity to raise the greatest number of petitions ever presented to the House. We cover almost every constituency and the issues we are raising affect every family - home educators or not.
Freedom for Family Education-- because FAMILIES raise children! "