In a curious twist of fate and in a moment of data loss that will no doubt be of extreme concern to Mr Ed Balls MP and the DCSF themselves, these Guidelines For Local Authorities on Elective Home Education, have gone missing from the DCSF website.
This is a strange thing; these guidelines were thrashed out as a result of the last EHE consultation, between government and home educators, and are the current best practise guidelines for LAs when visiting and being involved with HE families. That was done at public expense – only 2 years ago. YOUR MONEY. Which they are now spending AGAIN on the basis, presumably, that they didn’t do it well enough last time. Although, most people concerned seemed to think at the time that if there had to be guidelines for education officers visiting families, then these were a good example of how to conduct the event.
It must be very worrying for Mr Ed Balls MP that these have gone missing from the DCSF website, when so much money was spent on creating them and when it is so vital that there are proper guidelines in place so that no one ‘slips through the net’. Luckily for him, various people saved the guidelines and they are being hosted in a place where any HE family or LA who might want them, can find them.
Or indeed any of the MPs who might be involved in turning the LATEST review into legislation (your money again, only 2 years on from the last one). Or indeed the Select Committee who are just about to start looking at the conduct of the Badman Review process itself.
How odd that they might go missing from the DCSF website, just when people might legitimately want to look at them to see if the review was necessary in the first place, or if indeed it covered ground already covered by guidelines that would act within the law. Not outside it, requiring changes to our constitution to make it legal.
Odd indeed you might say. Unless you think that conducting a 3rd review into Home Educating families on the suspicion of abuse, despite no evidence at all that it takes place or has occurred, is reasonable. Unless you think LA officials/Social Workers (see how easy it will be for all HE children to become ‘known’ to the SS) should be allowed entrance to a family home purely because of their educational choice and those parents should be forced to allow officials they don’t know (and can’t prove to be safe) unsupervised access to their child. Purely because they are home educated. Without having to prove or provide any evidence of suspicion of abuse. Guilty until you prove yourself innocent. Never mind what the trauma to the child or parent might be.
Imagine if they did that just because of your race. Or religion. Or because of your colour. Or because of the area you lived in. Or the friends someone said you had.
Then it would be called persecution. And rightly so.
If any of the dreadful, shocking and invasive nannying stories in the press have started to twinge at the edges of your comfort zones recently, then it is time to stand up for the people already under fire and sign the petition.
They came for the parents of truants, but i did not speak out because my child always attended.
Then they came for the home educators, but i did not speak out because i was not a home educator.
They came for the people who spoke out, questioned and ridiculed, but i did not speak out because none of their concerns were ones which bothered me.
They came for the parents who wanted to help at Brownies, but i did not speak out because i had no time for volunteering at my children’s groups.
Then they came for the parents whose children were being failed in school, but i did not speak out, because my child was doing well.
They came for the parents who questioned medical decisions, but i did not speak out because my child was healthy.
They came for the parents who had concerns about vaccinations, but i did not speak out. No vaccine has harmed my child yet.
They came for the parents who shared childcare so that working was affordable and their children were happy and content but we used nurseries, so i did not speak out.
And then they came for me – and who was left to speak out for me?
There is a news story for every one of those lines. They are on the BBC, in The Times, in The Telegraph.
Still in your comfort zone? Please sign.