Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Homeschooling Threatened in England

There's been a lot of talk on the homeschooling lists lately about a report in England recommending that strict regulations be placed on home education, ultimately threatening its legality.

Why should we care? After all, it's all the way across the pond, and we gave the king the boot centuries ago. Well, the truth is that the world is a much smaller place now, and things that happen in Europe frequently find their way across the ocean to our shores (and vice versa). When homeschoolers are threatened in any part of the world, homeschoolers here are threatened as well. Besides, as Americans, we want the citizens of the world to enjoy the same rights that we have.

The Report to the Secretary of State on the Review of Elective Home Education in England, make by Graham Badman (yes, his real name - and the guy he reports to is Ed Balls ... really), is a response to allegations that homeschooled children are at more risk of abuse than those at school. (As we all know, abuse can happen whether a child is in public school, no school, homeschool, or even exclusive private school. Abusers don't need the cover of homeschooling.) 

His own report makes it clear that the allegations are unfounded.

If the recommendations in the report are followed, the government would be established as "parent of first resort," giving the state automatic access to private homes to interview children without another adult present. That gives me cold chills. Just the thought of our government, any government, being the parent of first resort to my children is horrific. 

There are plenty of other recommendations of the report that are scary, but that one item is enough to make me want to rally the troops. 

Whether you homeschool or not, choose to put your child in public or private school, or even have a glimmer of thought that parents should have the right to choose alternative education, please consider signing this petition. We truly live in a global community now, and homeschoolers in England need our help.

Oh, and if you want to spend a few minutes laughing, check out the spoof blog of Graham Badman, written by some unknown extremely clever writer. You really need to start from the first post, though, for it to make any sense (only eight posts).

If you liked this post, you might enjoy "The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List"

Photo of school crossing sign in England from here

1 comment:

  1. No wonder I keep hearing of England being referred to as the "Nanny State." Sounds like they're a few unfortunate steps ahead of us in that regard. And that bill sounds eerily similar to the one just proposed (and vetoed by Gov Perry) in Texas!