Yesterday a group of Home Schooled children visited the Houses of Parliament. Home schoolers in London get together several times a week for these sorts of educational and social events, and these were all very well behaved, confident and polite children.
Before they went into the palace itself, they were ushered into a room in Portcullis House, so the event organizer’s MP could come and talk to and welcome them.
The MP was Bridget Prentice, representative for Lewisham East. She was ‘a full on New Labour front bencher’ according to one of the mothers. There was a question and answer session. One of the children asked Prentice what she thought of Home schooling.
She said, “Unless there are exceptional circumstances, children belong in school because learning in groups is best for children”.
This was in front of a group of Home Schoolers, i.e. children learning in a group.
I am not making this up.
Parents think that the epidemic of crime in London’s schools are ‘exceptional circumstances’, certainly exceptional enough to warrant taking your child out of harm’s way.
and lets spare a thought for the beleaguered teachers:
A survey of teachers in Bradford found that half were suffering from levels of stress that required medical aid, said Sylvia Jewell, from Kirklees. She said: “It’s the Government’s fault because it piles one demand on us after another.” Gill Lee, from Lewisham, south-east London, said: “We have too much work, too little time, too little pay and too little control over what we teach.” Dave Clinch, another Lewisham teacher, said: “We’re being asked by the government to cram facts into children’s heads instead of giving them a global view of the world.” Pete Bishop, a principal and member of the executive, said: “Primary school teachers are being forced to write down plans for every single lesson they teach. It’s totally unacceptable.”
Once again, the quality of schools is a red herring; it is your right to home educate without state interference. Period.