Saturday, January 09, 2010

Impact Assessment Revision

Diana Johnson admits that the Children, Schools and Families Bill's Impact Assessment on home education will need to be revised, which is only right when you consider that this is what the Select Committee had to say about it:

"98. Given the evidence that we have received and the nature of the registration and monitoring proposals presented in the Children, Schools and Families Bill, we do not believe that the Department has put forward a realistic appraisal of the likely costs of those proposals."

Let's hope the DCSF does a better job this time. However, it doesn't augur well since on another matter, Johnson continues to stick rather stoically to an utterly fictitious representation of the Children, Schools and Families bill, playing the impact of it as "light touch", both in her evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) and in her letters to MPs and sadly she isn't the only one. Ed Balls is also utterly misleading in his representations of the Bill. He said:

"...the Bill makes it clear that there is a right to see the child on their own only with the permission and agreement of the parent and the child. There is no right for the local authority to enter the home or see the child without their agreement. That is clear in the Bill. It is important that the hon. Gentleman is educated about that before we take the debate any further, because home educators watching this debate on television might think that what he has said is correct. It is important to clarify that it is not correct."

What he doesn't say is that the Bill makes it clear that if a family refuse to let the LA in, they will have their registration automatically revoked, so it isn't the lovely, free choice that Ed pretends it is. Sorry Ed but the gentleman you address (Graham Stuart MP) is educated about this, and you either aren't or are deliberately being misleading. A forced choice is an oxymoron.

It seems that both Ed and Diana persist in rather stolidly side-stepping the Select Committee's criticisms such as this one:

"The Children, Schools and Families Bill is somewhat disingenuous — allowing a parent or a child to refuse such an interview, but making refusal a potential grounds for the local authority to revoke registration to home educate should it not be able to ascertain the necessary information by other means."

Please write to your MP now to expose the fictions for what they are, and ask your MP to attend the 2nd reading of the Children, Schools and Families Bill on 11th Jan to alert the House to these problems. See here if you need more info on how to do this easily.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wonder about Balls. Does he actually know he isn't telling the truth? Perhaps he actually doesn't understand the thing. He doesn't come across as having a great deal of understanding sometimes- or often in fact.

Anonymous said...

Balls lives in a world where truth is a flexible concept; it can be transformed by rhetoric and with the help of a few fake experts producing dodgy reports.

Trying to argue with this is difficult; for example, it doesn't matter that the Badman statistics were nonsense - it's all simply a matter of opinion and DCSF can always find an alternative opinion.

Anonymous said...

Balls is like my not-MIL. Whatever is said by them is the truth and everything else is wrong. The simple act of saying something makes it true... awfully 'god-like' for a personage that insists that God is a figment of the imagination....