"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
-Charlotte Mason

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Home Educators in record petition to MPs, and some thoughts from me :)


The law is that children should receive a "suitable education" for their age and aptitudeMore than 70 MPs have handed in petitions from opponents of plans for the compulsory registration of families who educate their children at home.

Commons petitions from more than 120 constituencies were presented - a record on one subject in one day.

They call on England's ministers not to go ahead with plans for a register or with proposals for council officials to be given new powers to enter homes.

Ministers say the reforms will check children are "safe and learning".

The plans came from a review into home education carried out by Graham Badman, which reported in June.Kent's former head of education had been asked to check if local authorities were monitoring and supporting home educating families properly.

As part of this, he also looked at whether home education could be a cover for abuse.

'Harass families'

The presentation was led by Conservative MP for Beverley and Holderness, Graham Stuart.The petition for his constituency said:

"Petitioners believe the recommendations are based on a review that was extremely rushed, failed to give due consideration to the evidence, failed to ensure that the data it collected were sufficiently robust, and failed to take proper account of the existing legislative framework".

It went on to say the proposals should be withdrawn and instead steps should be taken to make sure local authorities were following existing guidelines on home education.Our reforms are looking at how we can put in place better checks and balances, so we can be confident every child is safe and learning.
Diana Johnson, Schools Minister.

In a statement on his website, Mr Stuart said: "These petitions show the extent of opposition across the country to proposals which will give local authorities the power to harass families who educate their children at home, even when there is no suspicion they have done anything wrong."

On the basis of a rushed study and flimsy evidence, the government is proposing to spend tens of millions of pounds going into the homes of home-educating families and subjecting them to inspections and a licensing regime."

Schools Minister Diana Johnson said:

"We fully support the right of parents to educate their children at home, that is why, as part of our response to Graham Badman's review, we are providing more support to those parents who choose to do so."

''Children who are home educated will have better access to things like school libraries, sports facilities and music lessons and we will also provide more tailored support for children with special educational needs"

''Our reforms are looking at how we can put in place better checks and balances, so we can be confident every child is safe and learning."

What Schools Minister, Diana Johnson said at the end of this article, I found very positive, I myself am not against the Education Authorities making it compulsory for all home educators to register, as I think it is something which needs to be done, because unfortunately not everyone who keeps their children at home are genuinely home educating them, there are always cases of child abuse coming up, and if this is something that needs to be done in order to make sure children are genuinely be educated and looked after then so be it.

I hope though that we will get the support we need, and not be looked down upon or criticised, and that there will be more facilities available for those who are home educating, insha Allaah.

I may be close to having a visit from the LEA, my daughters go to a school in the afternoon where they learn Qur'an/arabic/Maths/English and Science, and today the LEA turned up unexpectedly, they questioned my youngest daughter, now the teacher has said I need to fill some kind of form in, presumably for the LEA.

I can feel myself panicking already, and the stress is slowly building, I keep asking myself 'why all the panic?' for me, I'm worrying because my one daughter is very behind, last year didn't go as well as I'd hoped, and I'm just worrying that they're going to refuse my application of home educating, especially my eldest.

Is this what happens? could they just insist I put them in school, or would they give me time to come up to what they would call 'standard' ?

In some ways I'm also looking forward to having contact with them, if they do contact me that is, not to always have that worry, and just to keep me on my toes more insha Allaah.

Anyway will keep you updated insha Allaah.


ummrashid said...

Under the current rules you would be given time to make any improvements suggested. However, it is not compulsory for your child to meet some kind of benchmarks at the moment. Not everyone learns at the same pace, and children will naturally be at different stages.

The new rules however may lead to greater use of benchmarks or assessment, should they be passed into law

Umm Khadijah said...

Wa alaykum assalam Umm Rashid,

Jazakillaahu khairan for giving me a bit more insight into this issue :)