Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Letter to the Times

Says it all really:

Friday 13th April.

Sir, the government has needlessly placed itself in a quandary by proposing compulsory registration and monitoring of home educated children with the threat of prosecution for non-compliance.

On the one hand, the government states that "responsibility for children's education rests with their parents" and on the other that its aspiration is  "to ensure all young people receive a world-class education".  It fails to recognise that the number of home educated children is increasing because a good education in the state system can no longer be assured, yet it recognises that most parents "are educating their children well."

Children of parents who rightfully decide that the state's offering is unsuitable face a level of scrutiny not afforded to their peers. The problem is that home education is just that - education in a private home.  Control of home education is indivisible from the control of family life.

The problem for the parent and child is intrusion and loss of family privacy.  The problem for the government is that if it wishes to quality-assure education, it must then take on the legal liability for that education and expect to be sued when interventions fail.  Either the parent or the state must be responsible - there is no half-way house with this. 

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