Private Members Bills, which allow MPs and Lords to propose new legislation very rarely become law, however they are interesting clues about current thought inside government.
Two Bills caught our attention.
The first Bill, The Home Education (Duty of Local Authorities) Bill, proposed by Labour Peer Lord Soley, asks for measures that would allow home schooled children to be monitored by local authorities so that they could assess their educational, physical and emotional development. The measures would be inserted into the Education Act 1996, the go-to piece of legislation on education provision.
Home schooling is a growing trend in the UK. It makes sense that home schooling should be addressed in this Act, as all other forms of education are detailed there, however this Bill concerns us a great deal. Local authorities already have powers to investigate home schooled children. Many parents also choose home schooling for their children because they wish to be free from the limited curriculum currently doing the rounds in our generic school system. This Bill could have a profound effect on that freedom.
The Bill sets out a list of requirements on parents who elect to educate their children at home. They include an annual review by social workers on each home schooled child, which includes not only an educational assessment, but emotional and physical assessments as well. In order to do this, social workers would be allowed to visit the child’s home, see their work, and interview parents as well as any children involved. This could lead to social workers querying the content and style in which parents are choosing to educate their children, without having proper training in this area, and profoundly distorting the potential benefits of this kind of schooling.
Researching Reform has also assisted on cases where home schooled children were being targeted by at least one local authority through the production of policy documents which invited social workers to treat home schooling as a form of neglect and gave them permission to remove home schooled children from their families and place them in care.
It’s also likely that the requirements in the Bill would place an enormous amount of strain on already stretched local authorities, and would lead to a clumsy doubling up of services, especially as many home schooled children will be attending doctor’s surgeries for vaccinations or medical conditions where GPs would already be assessing their welfare, for example.
The Bill had its first reading on 27 June. The next reading has yet to be announced.
The second Bill we spotted aims to do something really rather wonderful. The Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill, sponsored by Lib Dem peer Baroness Hamwee, aims to reunite refugee families and provide them with legal aid where needed. The Bill would do this by:
“[Making] provision for leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom to be granted to the family members of refugees and to refugees who are family members of British citizens and settled persons, to provide for legal aid to be made available for refugee family reunion cases.”
You can read the clauses of this Bill here.
The first reading of this Bill was also on the 27 June. A date for the second reading hasn’t yet been set.
The law is already fine on home education (HE). Most local authorities have teams dedicated to inspecting home education and many parents voluntarily allow annual inspections. Those kids that have such inspections are probably more closely monitored by the state than those in a school that knows when OFSTED is coming and gets the polish out. Kids fail in school and get shrugged off, so where is the educational comparison? Home educated kids tend to do much better not only in terms of results but the better quality exams they often have to take (IGCSE).
If HE kids are monitored for educational attainment, how is that to happen when their parents are not bound by a curriculum? So even a mild effect could be that HE parents are forced down the same educational content channel as the state or they cannot demonstrate compliance with standards, regardless how far their kids are. One of the benefits of HE, for instance, is that kids can immerse and specialise in one subject for a few weeks, which is far better matched to human memory processes. A young child tested in something they are not currently focusing on could be scored badly.
The real problem with this is social workers and their doctrines entering more homes. They cannot do what they are trained to do, now they want to expand. At present, it seems most of the local authority HE teams are quite reasonable, helpful, and trained as teachers. HE is not a social work issue.
The truth is that the state’s hounds have been trying to kick down doors, (and have done, literally) to stamp out HE on the basis of one or two serious review cases where the victim kids were HE. Well, what about the thousands of victim kids missed who were at school? Or the schoolkids whose dilemmas are known but nothing is done for them?
The best thing the state could do is offer more assistance to HE kids. They should be allowed to use school facilities such as libraries, go on school trips etc. Or the state should pay for their exams. That would provide a two-way benefit. The problem here is that many kids are HE because the state is shite. So it is not for the state to intervene but provide good reason for those families to interact with the state. Perhaps if they did, the state might stop viewing them as aliens.
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dr. manhattan62 said:
“documents which invited social workers to treat home schooling as a form of neglect and gave them permission to remove home schooled children from their families and place them in care.”
As we are all aware Local authorities have used a range of excuses to remove children from good stable homes.
their in house solicitors are very good at manipulating every loophole and leave no stone unturned when it comes to aggressively preventing parents having their children returned.
Money Money Money, thats what its all about. the sooner the Govt stops any form of profit being made from looked after children the sooner the corruption will fade away. as long as theres lots of money to be made the corruption will continue to attract the wrong kinds of people to local authorities. its that simple.
Another major part of the problem is Forced Adoption. Social workers know that 90% of the time they will get what they want from the family courts. again Abolish Forced adoption and the corruption will literally fall off a cliff. only parents who dont care about their kids will consent to Adoption. i would guess that will be around 10% or less of all the Adoption orders put to the courts. it really is that simple. take the profits out of kids in care and it will die a death. the numbers of kids being taken will drop like a lead balloon.
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As a mother, grandmother, and retired headteacher I endorse both the previous statements. Education is not about social services, and these should not be used as an excuse to interfere in home education unless the issue is one applicable to the social environment of the child/children concerned.
Too much interference in the education of our children has already resulted in too many mistakes and muddled thinking as ministers are replaced at the whim of a new prime minister or change of government – and all too often those new appointees have shown themselves to be utterly ignorant of what is required.
The way has been left open for civil servants with personal bees-in-their-bonnets to impose their pet theories on hapless teachers and schools. These in turn are forced to implement them and suffer the all too often barrage of resultant flack when things go wrong.
Before imposing yet another set of rules and regulations on teachers or parents, test and retest the proposals as rigorously as possible to ensure they ARE improvements and not merely change for the sake of change. Consult and discuss with parents and teachers BEFORE jumping into the cauldron – and LISTEN to what they have to say.
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Reblogged this on Musings of a Penpusher and commented:
Not another excuse for more bureaucratic interference PLEASE.
Imagine the embarrassment of home educated kids being taken into care under Lord Adonis’s scheme and placed into posh boarding schools, and scoring less in exams than HE kids typically do, en route to snorting coke with prozzies and becoming Chancellor.
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Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..
Sharon J. Bainbridge said:
I would like Dr Judith Reisman to investigate our Government! How long are they going to get away with abuse on children, and families in this Country?
When Dr Reisman attended a Conference at the Swansea University, she found herself surrounded by an Elite Paedophile Ring, trying to promote CHILD ABUSE with Paedophile Information Exchange. This was back in the 70’s. Her Witness Statement is on my Blog.
A few years ago, I questioned why the Lottery was funding the Swansea University to brainwash Student Girls into selling their bodies to dirty old men, to get an EDUCATION. Labour, Martin Caton MP, told me, “THE STUDENT GIRLS ARE OLD ENOUGH TO BE PROSTITUTES!” I sent this to Dr Reisman, and she confirmed it is linked to her Witness Statement, and the Elite Paedophile Ring.
Then there is Forced Adoption for Profit, as proved by John Hemming MP. Social Services getting paid to destroy families. Taking them from poor families, and placing them with the Middle Class. Paying them £400+ per child, per week.
So no, I do not want Social Services anywhere near my child, or any other children!
Social Services destroyed my Nan’s childhood. She was a child orphan. Made to eat and sleep in a shed. She went from one abusive family to another. When she finally was placed with a loving family. Social Services decided to move her, to yet another abusive family, claiming she was not doing well in school. When in fact, they just hate the idea of a child being happy.
Thankfully, my Nan was a strong women. She helped save the £1, and got in debt helping children all around the world, because she knew just how corrupt our Government Systems are. That debt, has now been paid off.
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