Monday, 15 June 2009

Lord Lucas requests comments on Badman Report

Ok, just emerging from that shocked and stunned state after reading the Badman Report.
It feels like I've spent the weekend running around like Chicken Licken crying out 'The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!'

Anyway, back to some positive action:

Please add your comments, and demonstrate to Lord Lucas why we reject the Badman Report at

I've just added mine (yet to be posted up - there were only 6 comments when last looked). Here it is:

"Our family is still reeling from the report and the ignorance it demonstratesabout home education.Our family has made an active choice to allow our children to grow up following their interests and passions, to learn at their own pace, and without being subjected to the intrusion of testing and monitoring. As the saying goes 'thepig doesn't get any fatter by weighing it'.

I wonder if the government has plans to monitor and inspect all those parents with preschool children too? Or school children during school holidays?

I don't know anyone in social services who would agree that a yearly visit by astranger would be effective in identifying cases of child abuse, or providing an environment whereby a child might disclose abuse.

And of course there is the huge risk of false-positives caused by an inefficient system that is driven by targets. If you are searching for a needle in a haystack, then making the haystack bigger isn't the solution.

Recommendation 7 proposes a change in the law to give designated local authority officers the right of access to the home. This right is not even extended to the Police and Social Services unless there is probable cause, and defies theEuropean Convention of Human Rights article 8. Are we to be persecuted for making a minority choice in the education of our child?

We have never asked the LA for funding. We have never asked the LA for resources or facilities. We fund home education ourselves, often through outstanding resourcefulness and with considerable hardship.

And where is the money going to come from to administer this uneccessary and intrusive system?No doubt it could be better spent providing funding for grass root organisations that do a great deal of unspoken work to support families in the community. I'm not speaking here about the turgid machinery of the Sure Start Centres, but the small independent voluntary organisations where people meet and communities self-regulate; these are exactly the sorts of places where children ARE seen, where parents are supported and any concerns ARE noted and acted upon(isn't this the whole intention of this monitoring?).

If these recommendations go through then I suspect huge numbers of homeeducators will go underground. And I very much doubt that any of them will be voting for any party that supports this report."

For those who are interested, Lord Lucas (Conservative) has spoken in defence of home education prior to the release of the report:\.0

The cynic in me thinks that once the Conservatives realise just how many votes they could get from Home Educators in the fallout of this report, there might be a few more of their politicians speaking out!

Will post soon about more usual home ed stuff and I have lots and lots of photos to upload. Of course what I'd really like to be doing is HOME EDUCATING. Unfortunately, thanks to the government, I'm still trying to plough through the implications of the report and make some positive moves about fighting the recommendations. Grrr..


Jax said...

Link to Lord Lucas blog doesn't appear to work...

I think he hasn't been moderating his comments very quickly, there were 6 there this morning and I left one that isn't showing yet.

Carol said...

Great response - well done. Will be adding more comments when I can get my brain in gear....

Going by the amount of stuff on the yahoo groups I think most home edders have abandoned home educating just to try to do something about this scandalous approach. Ironic eh?! It seems there's loads of great ideas but I am a bit worried about how it all can be effectively co-ordinated. Where are EO and HEAS? Shouldn't they be acting more? Or am I just naiive?

Big mamma frog said...

Hi Jax, NOt sure why the link isn't working, maybe it just got swamped under the response?! Here it is again:
Carol, I think it's going to be difficult for the main home ed groups to coordinate a response that everyone will be happy with; it would be difficult for them to speak on behalf of all the home educators. EO in particular has caused alot of bad feeling among home edders over the past year, so I don't think many people woudl want them representing us! Personally I think after the usual writing to MPs and newspapers, the best responses are going to be those that are targetted locally. I like the idea that I've seen suggested, that home educators get together and organise an event that shows people in the community the positive side of HE. I think locally we're going to try and organise a BBQ, others have suggested a HE picnic...we need to show the public that we are just ordinary folk wanting to do the best for our kids.

Elizabeth said...

I do think we need to get every politician we can to be aware of the civil liberty issues, the cost involved and the inifficency of the report. The report seems to be based more on Badman's opinion than on facts. I don't see any back-up data to support his stats. The more politicians speaking up about it--the better chance we have for a Parliamentary debate.