It just got worse

November 19th, 2009

Dumped into our inbox; it’s worse than your worse nightmare:

This is bad. Here is the link to the bill on home education.

http://www.publicat ions.parliament. uk/pa/cm200910/ cmbills/008/ 10008.38- 44.html#m01s

You would have to apply to register your child for home education. It lasts one year. This seems to me to mean that you have to get permission to home educate your child, because in some circumstances, like when they decide your information is inadequate, the LA can decline to register your child, and if they think it would be “harmful to your child’s welfare” to home educate, the LA must refuse registration.

You have to give prescribed information about your child’s education when you apply to register. (To be defined in later regulations or guidelines.)

The local authority should arrange to see your child, and the parent or educator, at least once during the year, and visit at least one of the places where education is taking place at least once a year. These arrangements “may, unless the child or a parent of the child objects, provide for a meeting with the child at which no parent of the child or other person providing education to the child is present.” (So maybe you can meet at a museum? And maybe you can stop them meeting with your child alone, but then again, you may get a lot of pressure and they just might decide that you are not cooperating? see below.)

The local authority is to decide whether the education is suitable, whether it accords with the information you provided them, what the child’s wishes and feelings are, and whether it would “harmful for the child’s welfare for the child to continue to be a home-educated child.” I

The LA can revoke your registration if :

  • you “fail to fulfil an undertaking” given in your statement of prescribed information — ie you didn’t do what you told them you planned at the beginning of the year;
  • information provided in connection with your application is incorrect or inadequate in a material respect whether or not it was correct when you gave the information — I can’t figure out just what this means but it seems like if circumstances change, the LA can revoke your registration;
  • it would be “harmful to the child’s welfare” to continue to be home-educated; or
  • you don’t co-operate with the LA, by not cooperating with the annual meetings with you and your child or if you give an “objection to a meeting” and the LA decides this does not leave them “adequate opportunity” to decide if your education is ok.

I have to say the lawyer in me is very worried about how fuzzy these standards are, and the many opportunities to deny the right to home educate, fearing that in some ways this is worse than I feared from the dire Badman report . . .


So you have to not only be licensed, but you have to APPLY to be licensed.

Autonomous learners need not apply obviously.

This bill is completely outrageous in every way that something can be outrageous.

Notice at the end, there is language that hints they understand that ContactPoint is going to be scrapped:

A local authority in England must make arrangements to enable

them to establish (so far as it is possible to do so) the identities of


If they have ContactPoint in place, they would have written that the ‘national register of children should be consulted to create a list of all those who are unaccounted for’ etc.

But all of this is moot.

The legislation is drafted. They will successfully argue that it needs to be passed intact.

If they do pass it, there will be no route out for anyone that wants to educate their child at home without interference.

Take a look at this:


In determining whether the condition in subsection (1)(d) or (f) is

satisfied, an authority shall, so far as is reasonably practicable and

consistent with the child’s welfare, give due consideration (having

regard to the child’s age and understanding) to any wishes and

feelings of the child ascertained by them.

This essentially means that the the Local Authority becomes the parent of the child if you apply for registration as a home educator, and ‘your’ child can short circuit your parental authority, duty and care either by accident, misinterpretation or deliberately, causing your licence to be revoked, and your child withdrawn from your care.

For all those who bristle at the idea of children being property, your registration of ‘your’ child will turn over parental responsibility and ownership to the Local Authority, who will have control over your child in the same way that a parent should. Registration of your child is a transfer of property and of responsibility.

No doubt, this bill is going to be picked to pieces by the people who are good at that. There is nothing good to be found in it whatsoever; it is thoroughly bad.

This bill gives carte blanche to Local Authorities to absolutely control Home Education and Home Educators, and of course, the next round of legislation and or guidelines defining what a suitable education is is just around the corner, and will be the final nail in the coffin.

It effectively destroys it completely, leaving no room for anything other than what the Local Authority thinks is good for ‘your’ child.

They said that they respected Home Educators. This is their version of respect. They said that Home Educators would be operating within the law, unlike the Germans. Clearly there is not going to be any real Home Education at all in the UK should this bill pass.

I said that everything they say is the reverse of what they really mean; they said they want to strengthen Home Education, when they actually mean they want to destroy it. Well, now we see that this is precisely the case.

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