(UPDATE1:- I see that Blogdial has picked this up – well done, please tell everyone asap. There are a lot of other outgoing links in Blogdial about this matter, which later you may care to follow. UKIP (and here too): Renegade Parent: old Gerald Warner: the Quisling-Graph for once is good and right, and this editorial too. plus links to the usual GramscoFabiaNazi Maoist lefty stuff as well, for entertainment if it were not so sinister and if the buggers did not really mean it, as they do.)
(UPDATE2:- And here’s Daniel Hannan, on how Thatcher saved Britain. That’ll get the Ballses, Ed and Yvette (she a chav or summat?) ranting.)
NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International
Release Date: Thursday 11th June 2009
Release Time: Immediate
Dr Sean Gabb on 07956 472 199 or via email@example.com
For other contact and link details, see the foot of this message
Release url: http://www.libertarian.co.uk/news/nr075.htm
“HOME EDUCATION AND THE BRITISH STATE :
KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OUR CHILDREN”
The Libertarian Alliance today denounces Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in the British Government, for taking the first steps towards what will be the outlawing of home education.
[Mr Balls has accepted a report recommending that all home educating families in England will have to register annually and demonstrate they are providing a suitable education. It further recommends that children should be forced into state schools if parents do not meet certain standards set by the education bureaucrats. See here for further information: http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2009_0105 ]
According to Sean Gabb, Director of the LA:
“The right of people to educate their children within the values of their family, their faith or their community has always been respected by the British State. Parents have been legally obliged to proved their children with an education – but have never been obliged to send them to school, or even to notify the authorities of what they intend.
“The current proposals sound moderate. The talk is of giving support, not of forbidding. But they are the first step to outlawing home education. Registration will, for the first time, let the authorities know who is educating their children at home. Once these parents are known, they will be visited and inspected to ensure that they are providing a ‘suitable’ education. What this means – though not all at once: it will take several years of salami slicing – is that parents will be hit with impossible and ever-changing health and safety rules. They will be forced to keep records in rigidly prescribed formats – records that will almost certainly demand disclosure of the race and probable sexuality of the children, and that will (if not first lost on a railway train) be shared with foreign governments and private companies. paper qualifications may be required from parents. They will eventually be forced to teach the feared and discredited National Curriculum.
“At no point will home education be made into a criminal offence – as it is in Germany and Belgium, among other European countries. Instead, it will be surrounded by so many rules and by so much supervision, that most parents who now educate at home will give up. Many who carry on will be picked off one at a time – their children conscripted into a state school for some trifling infraction of deliberately conflicting and arbitrary rules. In extreme cases, parents will have their children taken into ‘care’.
“The motive for regulation is not the safety of children or to provide them with a decent education. State schools do not – and are not intended to – provide children with a decent education. Their purpose is to indoctrinate children with the values of the Establishment. These values used to be love of Queen and Country and a perceived obligation to go and be shot at when rounded up and put into uniform. Nowadays, the values are politically correct multiculturalism.
“As for regulation as a guarantor of safety, we only need look at the nursery worker arrested this week for sexual assaults on children. Since this is a matter before the courts we make no comment on the woman’s guilt or innocence. We do note, however, that she will have been closely examined by Ofsted, and checked against all the relevant databases, and judged officially safe with children. Anyone who thinks regulation makes children safe needs his head examined.
“This current proposals will lead ultimately to a state of affairs in which children can be torn from their homes and forced into schools where they will be brainwashed into values that their parents find abhorrent – and where they will probably be kept illiterate and innumerate as these things were once measured, and where they might also be bullied into suicide or lifelong depression.
“Ed Balls, the Minister concerned, wants all this because his Government has turned Britain into a soft totalitarian state. No child – except, of course, of the rich, who can always buy their way out – must be permitted to escape the ideological apparatus of the New Labour State. Home educators are the equivalent of the Kulaks in the Soviet Union. They show too much independence. They must be destroyed.
“The Libertarian Alliance denounces Mr Balls and the Government in which he is a Minister, and calls on people everywhere – British or not, parents or not – to write to him expressing their own contempt of and opposition to this attempted mass kidnapping of our children.”
The address details for Mr Balls are as follows:
The Rt Hon Edward Michael Balls MP
Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families
Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BT
His Deputy, Delyth Morgan, can be reached as follows:
Baroness Morgan of Drefelin
Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families
Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BT
For those who think these things still matter, Mrs Morgan should be addressed in correspondence as “My Lady”
Letters should be brief. They should refer to the report “Review of Elective Home Education in England (June 2009)”
(available at http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/everychildmatters/_download/?id=6080 )
Points worth making are:
- Home education is a fundamental human right. In a free country, people are left alone to bring their children up in the values and traditions of their own communities or faith. This right has always so far been respected in Britain.
- The mainstream of research into home education is unanimous that children educated at home receive a better education than at school – even when the parents have little formal education of their own.
- The current proposals are the thin end of a wedge that will make home education impossible in practice for any but the best-educated or best-connected.
- The current proposals open homes to inspection by probably hostile officials. These officials will inevitably discriminate on the basis or race or religion or class or sex.
- Parents will be made to teach subjects that they may find abhorrent in ways that may be inappropriate to their own circumstances.
- The regulatory system will be expensive and bureaucratic. It will put children at risk by gathering information on them and then losing it.
END OF COPY
Note(s) to Editors
Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. He is regarded as one of the most prominent British writers on home education. He is co-author of “Homeschooling in Full View: A Reader“, 1995. His “Home Schooling: A British Perspective” can be read at http://www.seangabb.co.uk/academic/homeschooling.htm
He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Extended Contact Details:
The Libertarian Alliance is Britain’s most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published over 800 articles, pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at http://www.libertarian.co.uk
Our postal address is
The Libertarian Alliance
2 Lansdowne Row
London W1J 6HL
Tel: 07956 472 199
The Libertarian International – http://www.libertarian.to – is a sister organisation to the Libertarian Alliance. Its mission is to coordinate various initiatives in the defence of individual liberty throughout the world.
Sean Gabb’s personal website – http://www.seangabb.co.uk – contains about a million words of writings on themes interesting to libertarians and conservatives.
Hampden Press – http://www.hampdenpress.co.uk.– the publishing house of the Libertarian Alliance.
Liberalia – http://www.liberalia.com – maintained by by LA Executive member Christian Michel, Liberalia publishes in-depth papers in French and English on libertarianism and free enterprise. It is a prime source of documentation on these issues for students and scholars.
As a home educator of two boys I was beginning to feel increasingly isolated. Thank you LA for writing such a comprehensive statement in support of our human rights.
My children are very aware of what is going on, regarding Badman’s HE Review, as they have access to the internet and to me. My eight year old has asked whether “they” can take him away from us? And my 11 year old has asked whether he will have to undress in front of anyone for a safe-and-well-check? This is government abuse of my children. How is the fear this review is creating going to affect my children both in the long term and the short term?
If local authority officials are allowed into my home for no other reason than the fact that we Home Educate what kind of invasion in the right to privacy and family life is that?
Aren’t the current laws of the land sufficient, when implemented correctly, to safeguard children from abuses wherever they take place? I will not have my children fearful of the knock on the door from the government’s agents unless I have gone to sleep and woken up in Nazi Germany.
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Thanks. The homeschooling book, by the way, came out in 2005, not 1995. I find as I grow older that it becomes hard to remember what century it is….
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Hello, thanks for this – I have linked to it on my website. This is not a home education issue, it is civil liberties issue – and a monumental one at that. Hopefully with articles like this manyother people will see this.
It is worth noting that the recommendations not only include compulsory registration and monitoring/inspection of education and welfare against state-defined criteria, but also automatic access to the home to determine innocence, rather than because of reasonable suspicion of guilt, as well as the power to see children without the parent present.
There are three key issues here:
1. the conflation of education and child protection issues (a BAD thing – the two should always be dealt with separately), and
2. the requirement to prove innocence in order to parent (in relation to clear-cut issues of actual harm as defined in law)
3. the requirement to prove innocence in order to parent (in relation to the very subjective issues of education and general welfare that are only broadly dealt with in law forthis very reason)
Aside from the serious constitutional issues of the presumption of guilt, this last point troubles me the most. Who is the state to decide what it is appropriate for my child to be learning, when and where? To decide whether it is appropriate for me to allow her to fall over and scrape her knees? To sleep in a bed with her?To let her run around naked in the sun?
Already I see evidence that my actions could place me on some kind of “at risk” register, despite my having extremely good and rational reasons for parenting my individual child as I do. These statist moves have extremely sinister implications indeed.
The incessant & objectively God-damned churning forth of endless (!) legislation & regulation! I believe your NuLabourSameOldAssholing shills positively pride themselves in the sheer /volume/. Over here, the Senate have voted to hand over tobacco “regulation” to the Food and Drugs (Mis!)Administration…. These people are objectively a load of demented careerists & professionals (the one that ain’t merely twats, I mean) and want a situation in the end where you will likely need a prescription for as little as a bottle of vitamins….
No “self-medication”…no self-care…NO self-reliance.
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I’ve mentioned it at Counting Cats In Zanzibar as well.
Thank you for your support. We need all the help we can get against this vicious attempt to nationalise home education and control our children.
Thank you for highlighting this issue.
Chair Education Otherwise Government Policy Group