I thought I’d seen it all.

This week the submissions to the select committee inquiry have been made public. Many ppl have blogged their shock about some of the contents, or their pleasure in reading some of the reasoned arguments against the Badman review. Ppl have also wondered why the whole thing hasn’t just been thrown out – but I don’t think the select committee has that kind of power, and I have a bad feeling that when it comes down to it, they are going to do absolutely nothing to help us.

Some of the responses need reading several times over before you really get what’s behind them. I wouldn’t advise that you do this if you have any problems with high blood pressure though.

Take the ofsted response for example. Set aside for a moment the question of why precisely ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) feels the needs to get involved at all here – in my mind it’s nothing to do with them, parents are responsible for children’s education, and ofsted is only responsible for checking out institutions that deliver education on behalf of children.

Nevertheless, they have stuck their oar in. The bit that I’ve had to read and reread and then finally have explained to me slowly is this:

Current guidance states that parents may employ other people to educate their children and that parents are responsible for ‘ensuring that those whom they engage are suitable to have access to children’. Registration would not of itself prevent those who have a conviction for offences against children, including parents, step-parents or privately-employed home tutors, from home educating children. Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks should be a requirement of registration.

I thought that this meant that parents would have to ensure that ppl tutoring their children were CRB checked. That’s bad enough when you are talking about group ‘lessons’ where parents are usually still there with their children anyway. Do private tutors engaged by parents of schooled children need to be checked? But if you read it carefully, it can’t mean that. What it actually means is that Ofsted think that all parents and step-parents should be CRB checked as a condition of being registered getting a license to home educate.

I don’t think I’ve ever put this on my blog before. But WTF?


A thousand times no.

And if you’re going down this path, surely you have to CRB check all parents. Remember that children are left alone with their parents for years before mandatory educational age. So when it says as a condition of registration it ought to say as a condition of registration of birth. At which point, if the parents are unsuitable you can have that nice little newborn away from them promptly before they get any bad habits and you’ll easily hit all your adoption targets.

Got a better explanation for what it means? Put it in the usual place.

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  1. C and P with permission,
    please read the last story, maybe this will happen soon?

    A home educating Story.

    Jessie is 11 years old, she has been home educated for a year. Jessie used to go to school, but was bullied relentlessly.

    The school did nothing to help, infact instead of the bullies being punished it was suggested that Jessie moved to another school. Her parents Peter and Jane decided to home educate her.
    For the first six months Jessie was de-schooled, a process which every school child needs to go through when starting home education, she started to relax and enjoying her lessons with her mom and dad. Peter and Jane took turns to do lessons as they both worked, Jessie also had to go to a childminder two days a week when both mom and dad were at work.

    The LA decided to check up on Jessie, to make sure she was safe and learning to her ability. So the ehe officer arrived at the house, she spoke to Peter and Jane, had a look at Jessies work that Jessie had left out for her, she was happy to show the ehe what she had done, but Jessie wasn’t there, she had gone swimming with the home ed group.

    The ehe officer was not happy and reported back that although work was being done, without meeting Jessie she was not able to say if it was enough work, that Jessie was happy and safe.

    The wheels turned……

    Two days later an L A officer arrived at the door, Peter was at work, Jane and Jessie were doing some geography, pouring over maps and having fun. Jane answered the door and was told that the LA officer had to speak to Jessie alone. Jane went in and spoke to Jessie, but Jessie didn’t want to talk to this strange man without her mom. The officer asks if there is another adult available who is not so close to Jessies education that can sit with them. There is not. Jessie starts to cry, she wants her mom, she doesn’t understand what she has done wrong.
    The L A officer arranges to have Jessie removed from her mothers presence for questioning as he feels that she doesn’t want to talk in front of her parent.

    Where is the child abuse in the above?

    A school child story.

    Jilly (aged 7) is excited, she has her Uncle Martin from Australia coming to stay for two weeks. At school in the playground she tells her friends.. “The only downside” she says “is that I have to sleep in with my mom and dad so Uncle Martin can have my room” she moans. The teacher walking past hears just part of this (I have to sleep in with my mom and dad) and worried she goes to phone the LA…

    The wheels turn.

    That evening Jilly is helping her mom to put the z bed down in her parents bedroom, Mom tells her to fetch her fav teddybear as well. They have a screen that they put up to give Jilly a little privacy. There is a knock on the door….

    Its the LA officer, he tells the parents that he has legal right to enter their home and speak to Jilly alone, he doesn’t explain why. They tell Jilly that this strange man wants to talk to her and they will just be in the next room… Jilly starts to cry, she doesn’t know this man, this isn’t Uncle Martin, she wants her mom and dad! You know the rest, it will be assumed that Jilly doesn’t want to talk without mom and dad, so there must be something wrong, they must be prodding her into saying these things, she is removed for questioning.

    Where is the child abuse?

    An under fives story.

    John is a happy healthy 3 year old, always getting into mischief as they do at that age. He loves to go to the park and go on the swings. One day after a trip to the park, John trips on a loose paving stone and falls flat on his face. His mom picks him up and rushes his home to clean him up. He is distressed and a passer by see’s him and his mom rushing along the road, she sees where they go and yes she phones the LA.

    The wheels turn…

    You know the rest of this story. I don’t have to tell you! The rights of the child means the child must be listened to, unless the child says I want my mom and dad, then the rights are ignored.

    Where is the child abuse?

    The New baby

    Kelly and Micheal are excited. As all new parents are! They have a wonderful Nursery all ready for their beautiful baby boy, they have named him Robert after his Grandfather. Kelly, two weeks after the birth is starting to get her figure back, not through good diet though, through stress. They are hoping that this w/e they can pick up their baby from the hospital…

    Oh Didn’t I say? Robert was born a healthy happy baby, but now you have to be crb checked before you can bring your baby home.

    Kelly and Micheal are lucky, they had to wait just two weeks for their checks to come through. Sian and Henry had to wait three months for theirs, their baby daughter was fostered out until they were cleared…

    Does the above sound silly? Maybe it does, but the way the Gov is changing Child protection laws, the way the Gov assume all parents are potential child abusers, the above may not be so far away from the truth.

    Whether you are a parent or a grandparent is this how you wish to see our home life becoming? NO?? Act now, before it is too late, write to your mp’s tell them to leave home edders alone, tell them to stop trying to take over our children, tell them to leave our parental rights alone.

    Above all tell them, you are innocent until proved guilty, not the other way around..

    In all cases of child abuse lately that has been highlighted for the reasons for these changes in our parental rights. all these children were known to the Social services or other child protection agencies, all these officers have the law behind them, where they can remove children from harm if they have proof. Unfortunately these agencies do not use the laws, do not talk to each other and do not work together. It is not the majority of parents that are abusers, it is the system and the agencies, they need fixing! This new law will not fix what is broken, it will only add more abusive ways of disturbing children in their comfort zones..

    Speak now. Protect your child and protect your rights.

  2. No, i think you are right. And i am really just in despair. I cannot but think that some time soon they are going to turn up on my doorstep and threaten to take the children into care unless i register them in school immediately. I just have no idea what we have done to warrant this type of persecution 🙁

  3. I think we are not compliant or conforming. The comments on yesterday’s guardian article (not linking it, it doesn’t need any more traffic!) were eye opening I would have said. I assume that guardian readers are reasonably well educated and intelligent (which may be a false assumption) and the overwhelming view was that it was perfectly reasonable for the state to control what individuals did and examine those who were not fulfilling the standard roles.

    I imagine this is how it began in Germany and Russia…

  4. I find it truly terrifying that after years of wondering how free or not free to be with information on my blog thanks to trolls, weirdos or perverts, i now find myself most afraid that my government know where i live.

  5. I’m pretty sure they’ve actually stated openly that their plan is precisely that, and more. I think this is ID cards by the back door. They make anyone who wants to avoid surveillance and intrusion seem like a pariah by associating dissent with paedophilia. Employers are said to be considering not giving anyone without a CRB check a job if there’s a chance their work would bring them into contact with children, for instance heating engineers who need to fix a boiler in a private home or a school. So in other words, that’s everyone.

    There are really broad agenda here.

  6. “Do private tutors engaged by parents of schooled children need to be checked?”

    No, not at the moment. I’ve never been CRB checked. (I think it must have been introduced after I left work.) I’ve never been asked about it by anyone, not one single parent, nor the teachers who recommend me to their pupils. Quite ironic that I might need one now to teach my own children. Parents (and teachers who know me) trust me with their children but the government doesn’t trust me with my own. Go figure.

  7. Think my first CRB check (or some such) was for teacher training back in 1993? Might not have been called CRB then, but they definitely checked up on something before you could go into schools.
    .-= Jax´s last blog ..I thought I’d seen it all. =-.

  8. i have thought the same; i cannot see how the rules of the new proposals would allow parents to ‘teach’ or ‘deliver’ the curriculum at home unless they were also vetted; the adult work at the time of ‘delivery’ is not as a parent, but as a teacher, therefore it would fall into the new style rules.

    i haven’t blogged about that because it sounds so absurd, and people might think i am also being followed by a giant spiny iguana called gerald.

    yet i honestly do not know how to get out some of these fears in my head without sounding paranoid! i do not think the general public is quite aware of some of the implications here; some have not heard of the badman review and on the face of it they see no problem.

    i feel i just have to keep going, and hope people and ordinary readers keep with me and start to realise that education, and our freedoms, come in many forms and they are all worth protecting, right across the spectrum: from the formal and conventional through to those of us who are followed by giant spiny iguanas.

    and i am glad you blog too, although i guess your iguana is not called gerald.
    .-= grit´s last blog ..Somewhere there is a place for us all =-.

  9. I totally agree that writing this sort of thing out makes me sound paranoid, but it is possible to be both paranoid and correct. (Is it being paranoid if they are out to get you?) And in this case, I think it needed to be said, just in case other ppl were sitting there reading that submission thinking, no, it can’t mean that. But I think my readership here is mainly HE, whereas yours is much wider, so I can get away with paranoid, whereas you might put off some ppl you can otherwise inform.

    Hello Gerald.

    I’ve no idea what my iguana is called, I never thought to ask.
    .-= Jax´s last blog ..I thought I’d seen it all. =-.

  10. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    Not everyone has an iguana.

  11. Sarah Barrnard says:

    That first story made my blood run cold. One of those moments where you suddenly realise you have walked right to the edge of the precipice and were millimetres from plunging to your death! when the LA came to see me last year just after we took Hannah out of school I sent her to my mum;s for the afternoon. She was so utterly destroyed by school that she had been signed off with stress and anxiety and one day I found her holding a piece of broken glass in her hand. “You;d better put that down sweetheart,” I said. “you could cut yourself.” “It doesn;t matter” replied in a flat little voice. At five, my daughter was thinking about self-harming. Surely it would have been abusive to leave her *in* that situation?

    In any event and unsurprisingly, since I think in an adult you;d call what happened to her a nervous breakdown, she doesn’t like hearing it discussed. So I met with the LA to show them my plans. They turned up early to catch me out..I wasn’t in when they knocked on the door, but arrived while they were standing on the doorstep. I made them go away until the agreed time.

    They twisted my words. And I’m a feisty, opinionated adult well used to standing up for myself! but they made “she doesn;t like hearing about the cicumstances which lead to our decision to take her out of school” into “she doesn;t like being home educated.”

    And they threatened me. They acknowledged that they had no legal right to insist on seeing her but that “it would look bad before the panel” if they said they hadn’t been allowed to see the child. So I called my mum and asked her to bring Hannah back. The EWO came back again later to meet her. I wasn;t sure at the time about giving in to their threats, but reading that, I think I did the right thing. Utterly abhorrent though it is that they did that to us and even though it makes me feel dirty for letting them do that to us.

  12. Tragically. I think you are correct.

    OH made a valid point. He said that if this is what the MPs decide, then we should demand that MPs lead by example and all go through hoops publicly.
    .-= kellyi´s last blog ..todays letter is ‘B’ =-.

  13. Im sure you’ve heard about hte Queen’s announcment today 🙁 To say I’m depresssed as hell, doesn’t cover it.

    However, that isn’twhy I popped on here – I noticed I’d not seen any enteries from you for a while.. and I wondered…. patter of tiny feet??? 🙂


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