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Old 28-10-10, 10:20
Ralph Lucas Ralph Lucas is offline
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Default Home Education legislation

Over the next six months or so we will have at least two Bills which potentially affect HE:

Social Security: new terms for current benefits, and the foundations of the new system

Education: perhaps something on the new SEN system, and the possibility of amending 436A and consequent guidance.

As and when I hear news I will post it on this thread.

I would be glad of your views as to how HE should be treated and consulted about either subject.

Ralph Lucas
House of Lords
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Old 28-10-10, 11:49
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llondel llondel is offline
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Welcome to the forums.

Perhaps when modifying the benefit stuff (assuming it doesn't just get thrown out), some recognition could be made of the fact that a home-educating parent is saving the country money because there is nothing payable to an LA or school for that child, and that any gain by removing benefits will be offset by the increase in the education budget. Big picture thinking, observing the overall effect and net gain (or loss).

Amending s.436a is a nice idea and would fix a lot of problems, but what are the risks that it might backfire and make things worse if a hostile amendment won through?
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Old 28-10-10, 14:57
Neil Taylor Neil Taylor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Lucas View Post
Over the next six months or so we will have at least two Bills which potentially affect HE:

Social Security: new terms for current benefits, and the foundations of the new system

Education: perhaps something on the new SEN system, and the possibility of amending 436A and consequent guidance.

As and when I hear news I will post it on this thread.

I would be glad of your views as to how HE should be treated and consulted about either subject.

Ralph Lucas
House of Lords
Thank you for alerting us.

Personally I would like to see s436a removed entirely, along with the truancy measures in the Crime and Disorder Act, since both act as a direct incitement, and quite deliberately so in my opinion to harass and remove the liberties of all parents, not just home educators. As home educators are well aware, LEAs commonly do not understand the law, and respect it even less, tending to hear only what they want to hear and making the rest up as suits them, or gvt incites. In this context s436a incites the hunting down of unregistered home educators by means which violate privacy, civil liberties, data protection and common decency. There is currently an epidemic of LEAs misusing CME by putting children on this register even after they have been informed they are HE, and illegally obtaining out of it, the testing and licensing some have always craved.

Both s436a and the truancy measures in the C & D act are both manifestations of state absolutism in education, an unwillingness to acknowledge parental responsibility and no routine oversight (and approval) of all education. They are both doing the same job, 'rounding up the strays'. While the administration may have changed, the effects of the nulabour poisoning of the public mind towards HE has left a terrible legacy for us, and we expect this administration if it is sincere to make significant efforts to disown and reverse that traducing and persecution which has amounted in some aspects to incitement to hatred of a minority group. Under such conditions it then becomes possible for the Met to include 'home educated' as one of the ten risk factors for victims of child abuse in their CRAM risk assessment, along with co-sleeping, which for infants can be advantageous as some paediatricians and parents understand very well. I would like to see this disgraceful inclusion of both bogus risk factors removed immediately. It really should be illegal to name home education a risk factor, just as stating someone's race or religion as a risk factor would be illegal. Home educators are sick of this kind of discrimination and being fair game because an unprotected minority group in law. What use is anti-discrimination law if it fails to protect everyone from prejudice and persecution and leaves 'legitimate' pariah groups to fend for themselves, even against their own gvt?

The primary legislation, and its accompanying guidance are a mess as a result of this ad-hoc creeping adulteration of law, in which s436a contradicts s437's negative injunction, turning it de facto into registration and testing. So I am very pleased to hear that revising, or as I've called for, scrapping s436a is on the gvt's agenda, because no amount of tinkering with guidance or guidelines will remove this menacing. We learned this lesson the hard way over the truancy measures in the C & D Act. The accompanying guidelines were meant to be an 'important safeguard' (clearly stating that home educators were not the target group and should be left alone) This was swiftly replaced by further guidance which omitted this 'safeguard', and subsequently reversed it, making us specifically the target group. But regardless of the content of the guidance the practice on the ground harassing and traumatising home educators never altered from that day to this, except to get progressively worse. The progress of CME guidance revision has so far mirrored the demise and reversal of this useless protection. So s436a does indeed need to be removed or the implicit and explicit incitements it makes to assume parental guilt until proved innocent has to go.

I look forward to a substantial undoing of the bad legislation that has turned gvt in this country from servant into oppressor and predator in the way home educators have experienced it under nulabour. Thank you again for appraising us of this and other legislative intentions.

Neil Taylor
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Old 28-10-10, 15:44
AmyT AmyT is offline
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Why not go the whole hog and do away with compulsory education. It would save an awful lot of arsing about. Not to mention acronyms.
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Old 28-10-10, 17:20
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Absolutely a sheer cheek! Education means different things to different people, let compulsory education go the same way as compulsory religious commitment!
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Old 28-10-10, 17:39
bornjoyful bornjoyful is offline
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Spot on Neil.

LL, following our conversation today, could you please explain to others reading this thread , how long it may take before S436a is looked at until it can get to the 'scrapping stage' (assuming this will happen)?

Also then how long for CME 2009 to reflect this or whether CME2009 can be looked at first? Could you explain the actual process?

You already agree that rewriting guidelines is a measure to bridge the gap before all this changing of legislation and guidance can happen and that it is an important statement from a new government- but my opinion is that if new guidlines are not introduced now I do not see how the stage is to be set and ground prepared for changing legislation. So could you explain , give your opinion, what good you think new guidelines may serve?

Clearly, the culture that Neil talks about has to change and the current guidelines are of no help- but if the 'offending legislation' is eventually removed and tertiary guidance (CME 2009 )is ammended to reflect this (either bfore or after S436a)-we would still be left with guidelines that confuse the LA and leave an awful lot open to their own interpretations- such as how often they deem it upon themselves to return and ask questions . Are people aware that there is no definition in EHE 2007 Guidelines of how often an LA can make enquiries , whilst in the Scottish 2008 statutory Guidance it is set annually?
A new set of guidelines could address these kind of ommissions and grey areas and also make a difference to the pathways that LAs are supposed to take in differentiating CME from EHE .... ....whilst we all wait for the offending S436a to get removed.

Do you think it is a good idea to try and get paragraph 87 of CME guidelines to point to the entirety of the old or new EHE non statutory guidelines?

Do you think it is possible to remove all EHE references in CME and if so what happens to the small number of offrollers and deregistrations avoidance of CME /truancy penalties which technnically ought to be considered CME?


So, LL finally, could you comment on the opposition to removing S436a and the consutative process for changing CME2009 and why you think that although it may be along hard fight it is indeed winnable?

in the meantime....I'm off to do more research on guidelines and guidance from all over the world on this subject (places where of course the laws are very HE friendly only!) and thank you for answering all 8 of these questions to me today already!

blessings Tania

Disclaimer - Unless otherwise noted the views made by this poster do not claim to be the opinion of all Home Educators In England.
It is each individual responsibility to decide whether a view is informed on opinion or fact ;>)
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Old 28-10-10, 18:00
raq23 raq23 is offline
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Quote:
Are people aware that there is no definition in EHE 2007 Guidelines of how often an LA can make enquiries , whilst in the Scottish 2008 statutory Guidance it is set annually?
are you suggesting putting in a proactive duty to monitor?
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Old 28-10-10, 18:11
bornjoyful bornjoyful is offline
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Raquel, can you point out to me where I may have given the impression that the word 'monitor' is 'on the table' in any way shape or form?
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Old 28-10-10, 18:12
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It is not 'set annually', this is the relevant wording:
Quote:
We recommend that authorities should ordinarily make contact on an annual basis with those families they know to be home educating in their area. This annual contact is not a statutory requirement. However, it is a suggestion as to how authorities may reasonably inform themselves in order to fulfil their duty to serve a notice on any parent who is not providing efficient and suitable education.
(my use of bold)
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Old 28-10-10, 18:27
bornjoyful bornjoyful is offline
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sorry you are right- the use of the word 'set' is incorrect.

however it is in there, that word 'annual'- currently we do not even have that in English guidelines...which leads back to a discussion about 'passage of time as a change in circumstance' and whether upon consultation , this would be challenged successfully and 'set' for us. (in non- statutory guidlines mind you). It was always a question about self determination before someone stepped in made suggestions for us that most HErs did not like

Can you explain how it came about to be mentioned at all In Scottish Guidance ?

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publicati.../12/17133313/0

4.2 Contact
We recommend that authorities should ordinarily make contact
on an annual basis with those families they know to be home
educating in their area. This annual contact is not a statutory
requirement. However, it is a suggestion as to how authorities may
reasonably inform themselves in order to fulfil their duty to serve a
notice on any parent who is not providing efficient and suitable
education.
We recommend that contact is made in writing initially to the family,
seeking a meeting or requesting an updated report. The primary purpose
of the contact should be for the authority to satisfy themselves that suitable and efficient
education is being provided. This can be done either through a meeting, at a mutually agreed
location, or through other means, e.g. the submission by the family of written, recorded or
electronic material. Authorities should not be prescriptive about the format in which information
can be submitted. The important factor is whether the information can demonstrate that suitable
and efficient education is being provided.
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