Thursday, April 08, 2010

We've won a battle, but not the war

Thanks to the support of opposition MPs, home educators yesterday saw the Ed Ball's "flagship" CSF Bill take some heavy damage.

Clause 26 - the home education clause - was thrown out of the Bill.

Home educators across the country lifted a glass/cup at 9.30pm to toast our relief, and all the efforts of hundreds of parents and children across the country who had spent the last twelve months fighting off the invasive, aggressive agenda of this government against our community.


The war isn't over. Labour and the current DCSF leading civil servants have succeeded in casting aspersions onto home education, and in sowing poisonous seeds of doubt in the minds of local authorities, children services professionals, and the general public.

Home educators have now got to weed out all of those lies, replant healthy relationships (you can tell I've been gardening today!), and generally spend precious time and energy (that we'd rather be spending on our children) on trying to fix things.

Most of all, we have to consider how we are voting on May 6th. I'm not the only home educator who is aghast at the thought of having to vote tactically JUST on the basis of one issue. There is so very much within the Tory manifesto that I disagree with, but this one policy affects us right to the core of our family in a way that nothing else could (other than policies that infringe our Christian values and lifestyle - which is why I personally won't be voting Lib Dem), so I am left with very little choice other than to vote for the Conservatives this time.

I am under no illusions as to what might come after a Tory win, in terms of home education getting back on the agenda, but I think that will be secondary to the local level (and media level) battles that will face us.

To put it bluntly, most local authorities didn't know how to correctly operate within the existing legal framework, when it came to home educators. They didn't know the powers they had, and they didn't understand what powers they didn't have.

DCSF have played with their minds over the past fourteen months, and all the inaccurate statistics, misinformation and rhetoric has now left us with the situation where schools are refusing to take children's names off of school registers ("because you have to get permission now from the LA"), where local authorities are turning up with tickbox forms to "assess the suitability of your educational provision" and much more.

Unless there is a change at senior level in DCSF, then even a change in government will not be enough to bring clarity and calm to the situation.

I allowed myself the luxury of a celebration last night, but I remain in battle mode.

1 comment:

midkent said...

Really enjoyed reading your blog, so much more than just home education, but more a fantastic lifestyle. So much for us all to learn.