I've been away for a while - trying to focus only on what I have to. Lots happening and will do a catch up post soon...
However I am moved to write today following the ridiculous media and government response to the court case about the awful death of 7 year old Khyra Ishaq. A large section of the home learning community have been waiting for this to happen - but it still doesn't stop you feeling extremely angry and upset. Why?
Well blatant lies usually make me get upset... as do attempts to take away freedoms and rights that are important to me and my family. I have not blogged about the whole Badman report fiasco, the worse than useless research methods, the outrageous disregard of the huge response from home educators, the resultant draconian measures proposed in the Child, Schools and Familys Bill, the rushing of this through parliament without adequate debate and the threats to our freedoms that all this affects.
That is because there are many eleoquent people doing it on our behalf. I will try to list them below but apologies if I miss anyone:
Educating out of the box
Sometimes it's peaceful
Dare to know this offers a great set of links to the documents and a history of the whole horrible mess.
Some of the British media (notably the BBC and the Times) have responded as expected to the news of Khyra and have focussed on the home education issue. Badman and Balls have been rolled out to say that this case prompted their concern and has led to them proposing new measures to monitor home educating families. They rarely highlight just how intrusive their proposals are.
They also rarely point out how the current legislation for England would be adequate if Local Authorities understood and followed the guidleines appropriately.
The Judge himself said the following about the case http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2009/B36.html:
"K's death was caused by and is the responsibility of her mother and the Intervenor, but on the evidence before the court I can only conclude that in all probability had there been an adequate initial assessment and proper adherence by the educational welfare services to its guidance, K would not have died. Merely looking at the photographs of the house and the conditions in which the children were living confirms in my mind that had social services even seen the bedroom in which the children lived or the Mer in which they were fed, they would undoubtedly have intervened."
so all I'm asking today is this.....
why are you going to invest huge amounts of money creating a new system that is going to stretch services even more when you could put energy into sorting out the perfectly adequate system which just needs to be supported by enough well trained staff and improving cross agency communication?
Your actions are highly likely to cause even more cases like this as services are overstretched.
Your actions are highly likely to end up forcing some children back into school (because local authority staff rarely understand that home learning can not be measured by your school system)
Your actions could make those children go back to being suicidal and self harming as schools continue to fail children with different educational needs
I am glad I live in Scotland (which has a much better system) but we must all support the UK wide Home Learning community. We must do this because we will be next - by we I mean all of us. Surely you do realise that your children are "hidden" during the school holidays and before they start school... Hope you wont mind them coming into your home, possibly talking to your children alone, and making judgements about your way of life. Hope you are ready too...