Sunday, February 15, 2009

HE Parents Jailed for Truancy?

Well it could easily happen.

On the subject of regular truants, we hear from the BBC:

"...after more than a decade of crackdowns the most recent figures show that the rate of unauthorised absence in England is a third higher than in 1997. "


"...up to 2007 there have been 133 parents imprisoned in England and Wales."

Of course, if the government do change the law, as they seem to be threatening to do with this new review, we are likely to see a whole new swathe of parents fall into the "truancy" category and this time parents who are clearly providing a suitable education, but just not one of which the government approves.

If the law changes so that home educators everywhere must do the government bidding and be automatically assessed for suitability of education according to government criteria, we can expect to see more School Attendance Orders being issued to families who were in fact providing a perfectly suitable but not government-approved education. We can expect to see more of these SAOs being ignored by home educators who know that school is not the best place for the education of their children and we can therefore expect to see such parents to included amongst the number of those prosecuted, fined and imprisoned. All uselessly, expensively and damagingly.


Anonymous said...

I'm getting a bit worried about what the Great Ones will consider 'suitable' education.

Carlotta said...

I think this is a very, very serious concern. Autonomous education is at serious risk, imo.

Anonymous said...

What concern is it for you? You're middle class enough. You have a husband that can pay you a good lawyer. You have been following the national curriculum enough to satisfy any authority. Your children are advanced for their age. You are popular in your community and you can prove you do all sorts of social and educational activities everyday. You can have people witnessing on your behalf.

Stop pretending this will hurt you. It won't.

Carlotta said...

I meant to rang, that the way I envisage possibly going to jail, is if they do instigate something like the Bedford scheme where we all have to do distance learning, signing on, passing SATs, doing GCSEs. Have just spoken to the children...they think this an appalling idea.

If the government do this, and they then whack a SAO on us, if children still don't want to go to school, they will have to jail me. That is that.

Anonymous said...

The only way they can effectively force the children to do tests is that they are done at school. Is it that what they are suggesting?

Carlotta said...

I reckon they could force English HEors to do tests under threat of being issued with an SAO.

This does happen elsewhere, eg: until very recently this was the sort of situation that existed in France, though I gather that recently the authorities are loosening their grip on French HEors and are allowing them to use their own initiative:

Anonymous said...

Well, that's the situation in Portugal.

Are they actually suggesting doing that?

Carlotta said...

I am now reading between the lines, but I get the impression this is certainly on the cards :(

Badman asked EO how HEors would like to define suitable. The fact that he thinks this is necessary at all unnerves me.