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Call to arms - what to do about the Badman recommendations?

(23 Posts)
Callisto Thu 11-Jun-09 19:58:57

Hi all, I apologise for yet another thread about this bloody report, but I thought it might be useful to pool knowlege and resources, so to speak, to get ourselves writing to our MP's and responding to the DCSF consultation thingy.

I for one am intending to write to my MP(poor chap, that'll be the 3rd letter this year...) and I would like to respond to the consultation but I'm not sure the most effective things to say.

If anyone can help I'd be grateful.

chatterbocs Thu 11-Jun-09 20:07:07

Am I right in saying that at the moment these are only recommendations & nothing as yet is able to be enforced?

poopscoop Thu 11-Jun-09 20:09:40

callisto - are you an EO member? There are alot of discussions on what to do going on, in the members forum. Maybe take a look there. I will be having a thorough read later, just had a quick glance.

Callisto Thu 11-Jun-09 20:12:52

I'm not an EO member, and I realise that they will be organising people. I just thought it might be useful to spread the word here too.

Chatterbocs - now is the time for action then, before it is too late.

chatterbocs Thu 11-Jun-09 20:16:55

What kind of action?

chatterbocs Thu 11-Jun-09 20:27:36

I suppose that was badly worded. Have you had home ed visits before? Can we all not refer to our home ed reports to show that we are actually educating our children?
Or is this more about the possible intrusions into our homes & interrogations of our children? I can assure you that I am as angry as the next Home Edder but I think the proposals are going beyond Human Rights & cannot see that all will be passed.

gothicmama Thu 11-Jun-09 20:34:55

realise this is probably not tehe right thread for this but i urge you all to think about this:
Not all parents home ed their children for the same reasons as you do, as a society do we not all have to make some compromise to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children
In many ways the report is not about the quality of education - it is to act as a deterent to parents who keep children from education to hide a range of abuse

robberbutton Thu 11-Jun-09 20:52:28

If anyone is interested I've tried to summaries the report and add a couple of thoughts:

robberbutton Thu 11-Jun-09 20:52:59

summarise blush

poopscoop Thu 11-Jun-09 21:10:12

I think it could have large consequences for those who are autonomous educators. The inspectors are asking for what the education will be for the following year and then return to se that it has met expectation. If they are not satisfied then those children could be forced into schools.

Autonomous education cannot really be planned for the next year can it?

AMumInScotland Thu 11-Jun-09 21:13:11

gothicmama - the problem is that we can see exactly how the proposals in this report will harm vulnerable children. Children who have been removed from school because of bullying, children who will now be terrified that the same people who forced them to carry on going to school when they were "school refusers", and didn't believe anything they said, are going to be able to demand access to their home (possibly the only place they felt safe), speak to them without their parents present, and force them to go back to school if they give the wrong answers.

Yes there has to be compromise to protect children. I don't believe this is the right one.

If I believed that all LEAs would approach children with subtlety and concern, and approach parents with a positive attitude towards HE, then my concerns would be much reduced. But the experience of a great many HE families is that LEAs do not do this, and will not do this in the future if they are given more powers.

chatterbocs Thu 11-Jun-09 21:37:26

Which section requests plans for the following year?

Litchick Thu 11-Jun-09 21:53:23

Having representd a lot of HEing parents over the years against ex partners who were against HE, I've nver found any problem making the courts understand what children are doing and achieving whether autonomously educated or not.
I've also found that many HE kids are well ahead of what the state think s kids should be able to do.
And there are many experts out there who confirm that autonomous education works perfectly well.
I am very interested to know who the onus will rest on. Will it be for the LA to prove the parent is unsuitable or doing a poor job? Or for the parent?

I also think actually registering HEers will be great. It will show just how many of you guys there are. That you are not a barmy few but a sizable minority who deserve resources and finances available.

2kidzandi Thu 11-Jun-09 22:11:11

gothicmama, we have a justice system that assumes that every citizen in the country is innocent of any crime until proven guilty. Random checks are not made into every household and mandatory interviews with individuals are not enforced by police authorities "just in case" some sort of misdomeaner has happened. One could reason though that perhaps more crime would be prevented by such action. So why don't we randomly investigate anyone who simply seems likely to commit a crime due to having a more "risky" or "unorthodox" lifestyle? How would you like it if, because a crime is committed on your street you are forced to open your door to be investigated on the off chance that you may have had something to do with it, or done something similar?

No. We presume innocent until proven guilty, and even where a crime is suspected police must have enough evidence to arrest and interrogate someone.

That proceess will be sadly reversed here. Instead, parents who "unorthodoxically" make a lifestyle choice in which their children are educated by themselves instead of a third party will be presumed guilty until proven otherwise. Without evidence, their children will be subject to an interview by the authorities (rep. by a person/s) without their parents present. Parents will have to open their door to be inspected because 'some other parent has used HE to hide abuse so you might too.' It's not: well, unless we know for certain abuse is happening we'll assume you're innocent, It's: parents are capable of being devious ^even more so if they H.E^ so we have to monitor and watch them. They shouldn't be trusted.

To me that's the same as saying - and this happens - lots of kids wear hoodies while committing crime, so lets be suspicious of all kids who wear hoodies regardless of whther they're innocent or not.

Does that system sound right to you? Because it won't be long until it's every parent who moves a few times too many, every parent who misses a few health visitor appointments, every parent who does'nt send their child to nursery, every parent who chooses not to innoculate their child. And where will it stop?

robberbutton Thu 11-Jun-09 22:20:07

That's really well put 2kidzandi, thanks for helping me clarify my concerns over this!

chatterbocs - from Recommendation 1, section 12 of the report: "At the time of registration parents/carers/guardians must provide a clear statement of their educational approach, intent and desired/planned outcomes for the child over the following twelve months."

chatterbocs Thu 11-Jun-09 23:54:57

Thank you.

Callisto Fri 12-Jun-09 08:35:47

Well I'm aiming to write to my MP plus Mark Field and David Cameron. I don't think it will make a bit of difference writing to anyone in the Labour party (my MP is Tory). I'm also sure that recommendation 7 contravenes the human rights act and I intend to ask DC etc for clarification on this.

Thank you, Robberbutton for your summary. It will help me write my various letters.

robberbutton Fri 12-Jun-09 11:20:08

You're welcome

Gosh, we're going to be busy bunnies. As if HE didn't give us enough to do in the first place!

We need to tell everyone about this - in the review Badman said that he received 2000 responses, 3/4 of which were from HEers. That's not very many, out of a potential tens of thousands of families doing this.

I'm sure even some HE families won't see a big problem if they just read the media reports about having to register. That in itself isn't great, but there are FAR more worrying things in the review.

I am personally only against registration as I see it as a slippery slope - I thought that once we give up some of our rights, the Government will slowly begin to chip away at others. Slowly? Ha! Already, in Badman's second recommendation, he is suggesting minimum curriculum guidelines that HEers will need to follow.

The good thing is that this time we've got until September or October to respond, so we need to get mobilised. I absolutely refuse to believe that nothing can be done about this until they're knocking down my door.

robberbutton Fri 12-Jun-09 11:30:46


If you're not 100% sure what to say (I know I'm not just yet), keep an eye on all the various blogs that will be dealing with this. Dare to Know is a great place to start. I will post up my responses when I've written them -

Deep breath...

robberbutton Fri 12-Jun-09 11:33:18

WHOOPS! Sorry, wrong Dare to Know! I meant *THIS* *ONE* (sorry blush)

ommmward Fri 12-Jun-09 15:33:44

In the next week or two, I intend to send that message about all vegetarians being inspected etc to my MP, and ask him whether the lib dems would promise to revoke any law leading from this report. They have a whole thing going on about take back power and I think if we phrase it right we might be able to get then to see this attack on civil liberties as something they should loudly oppose

I have a feeling the conservatives are on our side. Isn't it shocking when the labour lot are clearly the fascists? But I might write to Mark Field and ask if I can do anything to help him spread the word.

I think I will write to Camilla Cavendish. This seems to me to have a kinship with the horrors of the closed family courts, which she has campaigned against. To have the Times on our side would be good.

Ditto Daniel Hannan (is that his name?) at the Telegraph. He's definitely a libertarian type and, again, might well move the DT to help.

And that makes me wonder if there's anyone at the Mail - because they would have a field day with this if we span it the right way.

The Guardian has that splendid HEing journalist who is I am sure doing what he can

In any news report I read, if I read a rentaquote saying something wrong or ill informed, I am writing to them waving all my titles and asking what basis they said that on since, oddly enough, I haven't come across it in the educational literature or in personal experience, and I'd be very interested to learn what evidence they have. Not demanding anything from them, just politely asking what expertise they have which leads them to make that statement. If 100 other people do that, the rentaquotes might think twice.

I'm quite close to exploring whether any of Balls or Badman's stuff might count as defamation. I was having a dream last night in which Balls found himself agreeing to an out-of-court settlement in which he immediately resigned his parliamentary seat, but not before cancelling the consultation and any planned legislation. It was only a dream.

I want to find out from lawyers if there is any way that the populace can, en masse, opt out of a piece of unwelcome statute law. If there is no consent of the governed, how do we tell them so?

And I will not, I repeat not being reading either the review or the consultation document until I can do so in a suitably zen frame of mind.

Oh, and I make a prediction that house prices within 15 miles of glasgow and edinburgh airports will sky rocket in teh next year, as those of us with difficult-to-leave jobs find ways of commuting from notb... am wondering whether I should buy a house up there quick while there are any left to be had for love or money...

I have already sent the vegetarian message to all my facebook friends, begging them to support my family

Callisto Fri 12-Jun-09 15:44:42

What about John Hemming - he is the LibDem MP who campaigns against closed family courts? He may be interested in this too.

AMumInScotland Fri 12-Jun-09 15:49:48

There's lots of nice towns not too far north of Berwick-upon-Tweed, just the other side of the border, in lovely countryside.... very handy for the East Coast main line...

We do have guidelines up here which were slightly stricter than your existing ones, but nowhere near these new proposals. Yet.

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