A lurker sent this in; it is from ‘Barefoot Social Worker a radical social work perspective’:
Growing calls for greater regulation of home education need a social work response. Social workers are being asked to exercise greater controls over families who reject state education and keep home educated children under closer surveillence. This move is authoritarian and inconsistent with social work values and should be strongly resisted.
Apart from the threat to civil liberties there are serious questions to be asked about whether local authorities should be taking on additional responsibilities at a time of financial cutbacks. There is a workforce crisis in child protection social work and many frontline workers are already struggling to cope with large caseloads. Extending the social work role with home educators is definitely not a priority while high-risk cases go undetected.
It seems that there are some social workers who are against the Badman and Balls show.
The fact that there are SOME against it makes the problem just the same… if you are unlucky. If you fail to win a home in a decent place, you will be subjected to a ‘post-code lottery’ for Home Education where if you live in a place where there is naked hostility to HE, you are going to be brutally harassed, whereas if you live somewhere else, you might never be troubled at all. Clearly this is unacceptable; you cannot leave to the judgment (or lack of judgment, or prejudices) of individuals wether or not a family’s way of live is ‘acceptable’ or not. We have just seen what happens when the completely insane are let lose to exercise their power, judgement, mad appetite for destruction on people that they do not like for whatever reason. The future will be one of a wide spectrum of abuse like that, from ambushes and kidnapping down to incessant nuisance letter writing and everything in between. The law must not be altered to allow ANYONE to harass or interfere with Home Educators. Period.
It would be nice to hear social workers saying, “this is a step too far, we will not cooperate with the Badman and Balls proposals”. Teachers are already refusing to operate the levers of the police state; its up to professionals to refuse to destroy Britain by pushing back from their side.