Thursday, November 19, 2009

Great News

...on Graham Stuart's Twitter (HT: Jemmo):

"I have confirmed with Michael Gove that the Conservatives will oppose compulsory registration of home educated children in the Bill."

Thanks to Firebird and Alice, we have news of today's debate on the Children, Schools and Families Bill, which I completely missed earlier.

It would be hard to overstate how much I appreciate Graham Stuart's contribution. He also provided a comment on the intrusiveness of the proposals at 1 hour and 51 mins into this session.

Sadly, a few minutes later, Mr Sheerman (head of the Select Committee) appears not to understand how the Every Child Matters ambitions are meant to apply to children and families.

Here's more on the Conservatives' plans for killing off the contents of the Queen's Speech.


Firebird said...

I put together a transcript from the Commons debate today. Unfortunately iPlayer isn't currently offering part 2 :-(

Graham Stuart - "Can I ask if he [Michael Gove] agrees with me that Local Authorities have sufficient powers now to intervene if a child who is home educated either causes concern to a Local Authority on either safeguarding or educational grounds and whether he thinks as I do that giving Local Authority officials the right to access people's home with no such cause for concern is in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and should fiercely be resisted?"

Michael Gove - "My honorable friend makes a very good point and I think he's quiet right to draw attention to the fact that the government's response to the Badman review unfortunately which places many admirable home educators in the dock. We should be working with those who want to home educate their children rather than stigmatising them."

Bob Russell goes off topic

Barry Sheerman [waffles a bit then] "does he [Michael Gove] really believe that the five outcomes [ECM] should apply to 99% of school children but not to the home educated?"

Michael Gove - "I think that the case is that the overwhelming number of children who are home educated are children who are benefitting from the dedication of individuals who have deliberately sought to forgo income and time in order to give them the best possible education. I think the Secretary of State agrees. I take the point that the honourable gentleman is making we need to have a debate a constructive debate about how we ensure that all children everywhere get the best possible support at every stage but one thing that I'm absolutely grateful to my right honourable friend (indicates Graham Stuart) for raising is the vital importance of not stigmatising those who choose to home educate their children and I'm sure the honourable gentleman for whom I have a great deal of respect would absolutely agree with that."

I think I might want to start a campaign to send Graham Stuart lots and lots of valentines cards next year :-)

Alice said...

Here is the link to Graham Stuart's speech from Hansard

Alice said...

I like this bit!

"As for parents who reject the Secretary of State’s school system entirely and sacrifice their time and career to bring up and educate their children themselves, they are stigmatised as more likely to be child abusers than normal people. It is an absolute affront to those in the home education community, and it is baseless. The scheme is all about getting home educators in a headlock and forcing their children back into the Balls fold."

Carlotta said...

So satisfying to hear someone finally talking so much sense!

Anonymous said...

I managed to watch the iPlayer thing while sorting the washing and cleaning the kitchen. nearly 2hrs worth. No wonder the country is grinding to a halt and no one bothers to turn up to Parliament-on the whole the thing was meaningless and a chance not to answer questions.

Balls came across as smug but lacking any credibility. Graham Stuart was a star and Michael Gove was quite good though I worry a little about some fuzziness in his approach to EHE.

The Select Committee have not reported yet (have they?) and yet we are treated to the Chair of the SC Baz Sheerman demanding to know is Gove and the Tories think the EHE community (preumably the 1% remaining of the 99%) should not be subject to the ECMs- as though Badman's recommendations are a jolly good idea.

The just say NO approach is looking better by the day.

Carlotta said...

I do agree, Mum of 6.