Saturday, January 16, 2010

What I think we should be asking for and why

Instead of proceeding with Schedule 1, the Secretary of State should strive to ensure that LAs understand the current legislation which, apart from the most recent, revised guidance on Identifying Children Missing an Education in January 2009, has evolved to allow for the fact that parents, not the state, should raise children.

He should help LAs understand the limits of their responsibilities under s436a of Education and Inspections Act 2006, in which regard we would ask him, instead of proceeding with Schedule 1, to take the pressure off LAs by reinstating the earlier version of Guidance on Identifying Children Missing an Education from February 2007. Section 3.3 of this guidance in effect allowed parents to determine the form of education of their children and enabled LAs to make a proportionate and less wasteful response to HE families.

There are plenty of reasons why he should do this in preference to continuing with Schedule 1. This course of action would allow for the right balance to be struck, allowing for a proportionate response on the part of LAs. On the other hand, Schedule 1 would be:

*useless in detecting hidden abuse, (what have abusive parents to lose by not registering),

*is extremely damaging (as parents now have to tailor an education to fit the LA inspector and not the child,)

*is extremely wasteful of public money (inspecting thousands of well-functioning families when social work departments can't cope with known cases of abuse),

*would be useless in protecting the government from red top abuse when a case is found. (The headline will be: Ed Balls enforces inspection of thousands of well-functioning families while social work departments are too overworked to deal with real problem cases).

*is an appropriation of parental responsibilities, (as the state would now raise the child by determining the form of education),

*is an invasion of privacy and an total devastation of children's rights. (A large majority of HE children do not want to see LA personnel).

*Since NuLab's Stop and Search powers have recently been deemed excessive by the European Courts, and given that Schedule 1 is similarly excessive in its impact upon law-abiding citizens, anyone wanting to use these powers should be very cautious indeed.


Fiona T said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

Also they won't then waste the money spent in starting an expensive programme and then discovering they should abandon it, as did New Zealand was it and somewhere else?


Carlotta said...

Ontario, I understand..

Anonymous said...

> tailor an education to fit the LA inspector and not the child

Great point to make to well-meaning people who can't see why we object to 'light-touch' annual inspections.

Schools are inspected less frequently (aren't they?) and yet school education is *entirely* tailored to inspections and targets -- or so it seems to me.

-- Tom

Anonymous said...

If you think of it from Labour's point of view, what have they got to lose from pushing this bill? If they get in again, then the LAs have got what they want, Balls can say he's 'protecting' children from potential abuse and he's ensuring that they get an education. If Labour don't get in then he has left a mess the size of New Zealand and Kansas combined for the Conservatives to mop up.

Anonymous said...

I dont think the money is they to put the Badman ideas into pratice do you?

Carlotta said...

No, in the real world, no, no they don't! But Ed Balls seems quite determined to bankrupt us good and proper. I don't trust him not to might take out an even bigger loan, get our credit rating destroyed, and generally be a complete numpty.

He does need to go asap.

Winter Lightning said...

Unfortunately the government seems willing to pull money from where it's needed - like fundamental scientific research (another battle) - in order to fund madcap schemes like anything that Balls wants to do.

Don't forget Balls' capacity for losing money with impunity; during his time as chief economic advisor to the treasury, he was part of a team that ignored expert advice and sold about half of the gold reserves when the price was at its lowest point for about twenty years. The price has since roughly quadrupled, so the effective loss is currently about £8 billion.