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.