Thursday, November 19, 2009

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

WHEREAS the recommendations of the GRAHAM BADMAN REVIEW OF ELECTIVE HOME EDUCATION have been accepted in full by the Secretary of State.

AND that these grossly disproportionate recommendations hold serious implications for the civil liberties of parents, children and families in this country.

AND that these recommendations place primary responsibility for assessing the suitability of education and the welfare of the child on the state, rather than the parent - with no prior evidence that either is unsatisfactory prior to this grossly intrusive intervention.

AND that the recommendations of the review assumes that the home is an inherently unsafe or unhealthy place for the child to be.

AND that these recommendations undermine the role of the parent and trample over family freedoms in its haste to set parent and child up against each other, bestowing additional and selective "rights" on home educated children that only the government can adequately minister to.

AND that these recommendations destroy the very possibility of true autonomy in learning.

AND that these recommendations operate from a position of requiring proof of parental innocence rather than reasonable suspicion of guilt.

AND that these recommendations discriminatorily use the coercive and interventionist tools of parental licensing, warrantless entry to the home, inspection according to arbitrary external standards, and an unconscionable new power to interrogate the child without the parents present.

AND that the outcome of these recommendations will be horribly discriminatory to a minority community, the measures eventually having to apply to anyone who has their child at home with them: parents with under 5s, those whose children attend private school, and also those with school-aged children who are at home in the evenings, over the weekends, and throughout the summer holidays.

AND that the outcome of these inspections will be based on the very human whim and prejudices of a local authority officer, who will have the power to destroy the life and education that that parent has conceived for his or her child.

AND that if the government is to avoid further discrimination it also stands to reason that each child who attends school must be given the same "rights" as home educated children - to "have their voices heard" regarding whether or not they are happy to be educated in school, whether they are satisfied with their teachers and whether they feel safe in such an environment.

WE ACCEPT that it is right that appropriate and proportionate action, as currently outlined in the law, may be taken to rectify a situation if there are serious concerns about a child's welfare, observing that a child being at home with its parents is not, and never has been, in and of itself a child welfare issue.

AND HEREBY RESOLVE that any such utterly disproportionate legislation if passed will fundamentally alter the relationship between citizen and state, and would constitute a fundamental violation of our rights,

AND that any such legislation is illegitimate on its face.

NOW UNDERSTAND that by this declaration, Parliament is PUT ON NOTICE that I and others will not co-operate with any such legislation, and strongly caution you not to consider, debate, or enact any such legislation.

~~~

We're not actually home educating at the moment, but we remain very sympathetic to the cause.

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