Sunday, February 07, 2010

What We Should be Doing

Forecasts vary but there are some MPs who believe that it is still perfectly possible for the Children, Schools and Families Bill to get through in time before the election and that Labour will lean heavily on their MPs and Lords in order to get this bill passed - (presumably leaving the Tories with the terrible mess that various sections of the bill will create).

Probably our best hope is to have clauses dropped or changed in the Lords. We should make quite sure that our Tory and Lib Dem MPs are on board, and must also ensure that we explain to the Lords that this Bill will have terrible consequences for home educated children and their families.

We are already hearing of an increasing number of home educating families who are being remorselessly bullied by their local authorities in anticipation of having these powers. HE families will have NO protection at all from subjective judgements about education should the bill go through, and explaining to the LA that we will see them in court in order to prove that a suitable education is being provided will no longer work if our reading of the proposed alterations to the School Attendance Order regime is correct, since it looks as if the courts will be specifically barred from considering whether a suitable education is actually being provided!

Please, please make sure your MP understands this, that the CSF Bill will damage the education of children, that it will prove an immense source of stress and anguish for HE families, who know that they can offer their preferred form of education but that they may well be prevented from doing so as some arbitrary LA official may have a vastly different view on the matter. And explain this to any Lord you think may be interested.


Anonymous said...

I share your desperation about this Carlotta. I am writing to any Lord or Baroness I can think of (about 30 so far), I have had three replies, all supporting us. Maybe it is the Labour MPs that hold the key. There are some that support us, but would they be prepared to vote against their own party? Doubtful. In Herts we have two Labour MPs, Barbara Follett who is stepping down, she's luke warm and Claire Ward, who home educators in Watford have been 'educating'. The rest are Conservative who all will vote against the Bill. I really don't know what else we can do, other than sit tight and wait for another opportunity to demonstrate our deep unhappiness. Fingers crossed, Karen.

Carlotta said...

Thank you so much for doing this Karen.

Reading HE lists is a rather scary thing to do just now since more and more families seem to be falling foul of their LAs. Right now, HE families can still say "see you in court" to the LAs, in the knowledge that the court will find that the family are providing a suitable ed, but this will all change come the Act, and so many children will therefore be let down by NULABs pathetic idea that you can enforce neurological conformity as if by fiat.

Fiona Nicholson, Education Otherwise said...

There is still time to make an appointment to visit MPs before Report and Third Reading on Tuesday February 23rd, especially since MPs will be on half term hols from next Wednesday 10th.

I wrote this after visiting a Labour MP recently, it sets out what the Bill actually says, as opposed to what the Government is telling MPs it says


Anonymous said...

most Labour M,P/s peers will vote along party lines so the bill will get though unless it runs out of time but it does not sound like it will and I do not belive the Tories will amend it claiming that they have so many other things to do!
It is going to be much harder to home eudcate in the future any one under 14 next year will come under attack from they LA but my guess is it be any one under 12 in an attempt to sterm th flow of children form state school into home education that is what it is really about keeping home education numbers down and they also know that joe public is not keen on home educators to!