Wednesday, 1 July 2009

These are some of the concerns that I have about Badman's proposals:

This is a post by Imran, one of the most thoughtful and articulate posters on the home education support lists.

He has very kindly given me permission to reproduce this here.

He put my concerns more clearly than I can.

"Parents will be asked to submit a 12 month plan to the LEA.
Children will have the right to attend school even if the parents wish to carry on HEdding It seems to me that there is scope in the proposals for HEdders to be measured against standard LA benchmarks. If we fail to meet their measures, then they may refuse to allow children to be HE'd as they will consider that we are not providing a suitable education.
Badman's asked for "suitable education" to be defined clearly. The definition that the LA comes up with may not be one that encompasses the full diversity of educational approaches or of the different cultural groups. Either way, there seems to be a clear shift in power from parent to state. My children are no longer mine to educate as I see fit. I will need state sanction under Badman's proposals.

For Muslims, it may be that Quranic instruction is not recognised, or certainly not given the importance that Muslim HEdders would give to it.
We may be required to teach children as young as 6 about sex education.
Badman's proposals will let people into our homes who may not be sensitive to diversity.

If a black family refuses to send their children to school because of the way that schooling has generally failed black children, parents power to educate at home could be at the discretion of the same agencies that have made such a mess of education in Britain, are going to have power over how we bring up our children.

One of the purposes of schools, when they were originally set up in Prussia in the early 19th century was not just to weaken the bond between parent and child, but also between child and Church. Thus as adults, they turn to the state for guidance, not their families or the Church - the State. In my opinion, school is a secular entity. Children don't learn about spiritualism or religious belief in school. Sure we have RE lessons, and learn about different faiths, but they are taught as separate subjects disconnected from life. In a religious household, the religious practice is woven into the day to day living of life. It is not separate. Its part of the home, key to family life.

I don't trust this government - New Labour have a really poor record with regards to their treatment of Muslims and issues important to Muslims - to do the right thing for religious families, or minority families, or unschoolers. This government has ongoingly promoted a one size fits all approach to education. HEdders come in way too many shapes and sizes, for such an approach to be effective and feasible.

Badman's report is just a 21st version of what Johan Fichte urged the Prussian Royal Family to do: use schools to weaken the bond between parent and child.

To come back to your question, is there a website that makes the implications clearer? I don't know. Perhaps someone else can post a response to that one. You may find it useful to read the report yourself. You can download it for free from here:

Now what I said about Muslims and black families could also be applied to Christians and Hindus, and Jews and any other group whose freedom to bring up thier children as they see fit, will be undermined by Badman's proposals."

I worry very much about this.

I am not a religious home educator but I am an autonomous one and I have my own philosophy which rejects the coercion involved in schooling. I believe people should be free to make their own choices as long as they do not harm others.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I am a fan of Imran's.


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