Political Cultural and Social Issues
DfES Consultation on
Suitable and Efficient Home Education
So the government think that
some parents opting for home education "may not be in a position to
offer their children the well rounded education to which they are
entitled". What about the school, where children are not safe and
happy, and where an endless stream of supply and newly-qualified teachers
are sworn at and opposed at every turn? In the school where I last worked
until July this year the children were not receiving education.
DfES said that they plan to consult on "what light touch changes we
might implement to strengthen the monitoring arrangements for home
education". Oh, great, OFSTED for parents, silly grey men with
clipboards to squeeze the life out of your children's learning. Look at
what they have done in schools.
DfES have said that the state prescribes the form of education at schools
but not in the home, and described that as an anomaly at odds with the
improvement of educational standards for all children. They dictate what
the children eat at school, should they therefore be planning our menus
here at home, too? It is the educational gruel served up in schools that
led me to home educate our children.
DfES believe they have a duty to ensure parents are able to provide an
education that meets the requirements of being suitable and efficient. The
presumption being that the National Curriculum is some sort of plumbline
by which all learning is to be measured. But that very curriculum kills
the joy of learning ...
DfES have sought to reassure home educators about their intentions by
saying that the intention of a full consultation is to open up a
constructive debate on whether or not changes are required, and that the
consultation will consider "light touch" changes. I have been
speaking to DfES and the phrase they are using is "We are consulting
in the New Year  on the regulations on home education". They
have not yet set the consultation dates, but plan to start in January with
the usual 12 week period.
My years as a teacher tell me that the consultation is a paper exercise
and with its unlimited executive power the government will force upon us
what it imposed on schools -- I believe prayer alone will stop this.
[email received December 20,