Wednesday, 21 October 2009

DCSF ". just embarrassing themselves now" AHED press release

DCSF ". just embarrassing themselves now"

Moments before the deadline, a home-educating parent reported that their
submission to the latest consultation on home Education had received the
number 5340, an unprecedented public response with the previous record for
DCSF being only in the hundreds.

One of the respondents, a fifteen year old supporter of Action for Home
Education, declared today that Ed Balls and the DCSF are "just embarrassing
themselves now" as he battled to understand how the government can be so
short sighted about the opposition to the recommendations in the "Badman
Report" (2) on home education.

This rather gives the lie to Graham Badman's assertion to the Children,
Schools and Families Committee (12 October 2009, Q2) that the opposition to
his report comes from "a vociferous minority" that he can actually count.
But "why" asks JK, "are they still not listening?"

In the last 90 minutes of the consultation responses were being recorded at
about three every minute, but we also know that some submissions went in by
email or on paper and those are unlikely to be included in the automatically
generated numbers from the online system.

Diana Johnson (Children, Schools and Families Select Committee 12 October
2009,) promised that consultation responses will be carefully scrutinised
and taken into account before policy is made. "But," said Barbara Stark,
Chair of the AHEd group, "we have been very worried that the review was not
really independent and was used by Ed Balls to create policy-based evidence
in order to bully home educators, Most of these responses will have been
from ordinary families who see big government threatening their way of life
and their family choices."

Clare Murton, AHEd supporter said, "This government has lost sight of the
distinction between public and private to the point where even our
youngsters are mystified at their ignorance and arrogance."

Many parents will recognise the frustration these parents feel with the
shortcomings of the state schools, but not many will realise that if they
chose to decline the state's humble offerings in any sphere of life, not
just education, they may be forced to expose their homes and children to
close scrutiny.

Only recently we have seen attempts to screen, control, tax and register
mums and dads who choose to share their child care arrangements but things
are now going too far. Mr Balls and the DCSF have to be made to understand
that normally peaceful home educators who just want to get on with their
lives are drawing a line in the sand - the British public are fed up with
such interference and we will tolerate it no longer. We will NOT comply with
your disgusting agenda for us and our children. If necessary, many of us
will choose to go before the courts to fight any criminal sanctions that
government may introduce. Does NuLabour really want to be remembered as the
government that persecuted law-abiding parents doing their best for their


(1) Action for Home Education

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