Homeschooling Update from the United Kingdom

As reported elsewhere in my writings about the Badman report, Great Britain narrowly missed a legislative bullet that would have crippled independent homeschooling in the UK. Homeschoolers fear the government will attempt similar legislation again soon, as the article I reproduce below from The Journal of Personalized Education Now indicates.

Of particular interest to all homeschoolers is the second paragraph. The idea that children must be protected by the state from their parents because some parents may be sex abusers takes the concept of children’s rights to an Orwellian plane.

Note: I kept the British punctuation as it appears in the original article.

Home Education Update—only a small celebration

By Leslie Barson

Home educators and their supports can breathe a very short sigh of relief as the clauses relating to the compulsory registration and monitoring of home education in the then Children, Schools and Families (CSF) Bill were removed in the ‘wash up.’ Both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats had made it known to the home education community that they would not let the CSF Bill pass in the ‘wash up’ if it included the clauses on home education. They were true to their word and all the clauses were removed before the bill passed unopposed into law. The fact that these two major parties agreed to this owes much to the determination, organization and intellect of the home educating community. Some celebration is deserved!

This attack by government has to do with the fact that the main responsibility for education in law resides with parents, not the state. It is the only area in law where parents still retain the prime responsibility for their children after the passing of the Children Act 2004. The state holds the principal responsibility for children in every other area of their lives. Coupled with the media fuelled ‘terror’ campaign which sees all adults as sex abusers it has been easy for government to convince the population that it knows what is best for children. It prepared the ground for government to pass any law accordingly. Parents who protest are immediately suspect. We are headed to a situation of having to prove innocence… an impossible thing.

The removal of the clauses is greatly welcomed and has bought time for everyone interested in freedom and self-autonomy in education. It is, however, only a battle won. The war is not over by any means. Next time we will not have an impending election to break the flow of legislation. This is an attack on all our civil liberties, schooled or home educated. It is one more example of a ‘citizen’ being replaced with ‘client’ and ‘consumer.’ We will need your help again soon. Watch this space!