Someone emailed me the link to the uncorrected transcript of the Select Committee. It is quite simply, one of the most amazing things I have ever read.
As I said before, this meeting will not change anything. It may however finally provide the push to galvanise Home Educators to mount a proper campaign to stop this insanity.
Graham, we have chosen this topic for a short inquiry because there is great public interest in it, in terms of wanting to make sure both that every child in our country has the full possibility of a good education, and that they are protected during their childhood. On the other hand, there is a strong movement towards home education, and a significant proportion of our school-age children benefit from home education. You have conducted a swift inquiry into this-I believe it took five months-and you have been doing some further research. That is why we have chosen this topic. We hope that we can help at this juncture, before legislation is introduced.
See? They are hell bent on introducing legislation. It is now a matter of how bad it is, what you are going to do in response to it, and what the Tories are going to do do dismantle it when they take over.
Ms Diana R. Johnson: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the Committee. I am pleased to be here this afternoon. I would first like to set out the Government’s position in a basic, plain way. It remains that it is a fundamental right that parents should be free to educate their child at home, if they wish to do so.
The question is not the right to educate at home, but what the shape that education takes, and the liberty to choose whatever form you like, without interference from the state. Autonomous learners know exactly what I am talking about.
We acknowledge that views on home education are polarised, with home educators feeling that local authorities do not understand the range of approaches that they can take, and home educators unwilling to accept that in a minority of cases home education may not be up to scratch.
This is a matter of principle. Local Authorities should only be concerned with the schools they have responsibility for. They should not be responsible for anyone who is outside of their schools. Home Education is a form of private education; Local Authorities do not inspect the homes of children who are sent to private schools, and they should not be sent to examine the homes and education methods of Home Educators.
In 2007, the Government published non-statutory guidance on monitoring home education which set out the legal requirements, and the approaches that we expected local authorities and home educators to take in working together to ensure that home-educated children receive a good education. However, it became clear during 2008 that neither home educators nor local authorities felt that the guidance was working, and that is the reason for the review.
The introduction of non-statutory guidance was a mistake. It put Local Authorities in an impossible position, and has led to this incredible, foul and loathsome report to try and solve a problem that did not and continues not to exist, but for the pointless and ignorant interference of agents of the state.
Graham’s recommendations fall into three broad categories: first, registration and monitoring; secondly, providing far greater support to home educators; and, thirdly, mechanisms for home educators’ needs to be considered explicitly in local authority strategies.
‘Registration’ and monitoring are an affront to every parent in this country. The reasons given for it are completely bogus, and furthermore, the use of the word ‘registration’ is completely disingenuous an an abuse of the English language. What is being proposed is the licensing of Home Educators. They will not use the correct words because they know that no one will accept the idea that they are to be licensed to be in charge of their child’s education.
I need to say at this point that I am not able to go into very much detail about the proposals on monitoring and registration today. As you know, they are out for public consultation, which ends on 19 October. We will have to consider carefully the consultation responses before proceeding. I would like to emphasise that no firm decisions have yet been taken.
Except that there will be licensing of Home Educators, no matter what the consultation says. This is a fact. The decision HAS been made, and anyone who believes otherwise is delusional.
Home educators have repeatedly asked for additional support,
Support is fine. Force the schools that you are in control of to accommodate Home Educators that want to take exams on demand. Really these schools should be for this, as Home Educator exam takers will boost their lacklustre league table positions.
and I am pleased to say that we have listened to them.
If we proceed to legislate, we intend to require local authorities to broker arrangements so that home educators who want to take public examinations can do so at centres reasonably close to where they live and at no cost. We will also put arrangements in place for authorities to consider home educators’ needs strategically, so that they are systematically considered and appropriate service is provided.
IF they proceed to legislate? Now that is the best thing I have read on this subject in months!
Finally, if and when the recommendations of Graham’s review are fully implemented, home educators will still have a considerable degree of freedom.
This is simply not good enough. “We will be taking away your freedom, but you will have some left, so do not complain… PEASANT!” is what this woman is saying.
They will not be operating outside the law, as is the case in the Netherlands and Germany where home education is illegal.
“We could have made it illegal altogether, so count your blessings… PLEBS!”
They will not have to sit national tests, as in Finland and Norway, nor follow the national curriculum, as in Denmark.
Now this strictly speaking is not the truth. Autonomous learners, who do not follow anything but what the child wants to learn as the ‘curriculum’, are without a shadow of doubt, going to be told that they can no longer do this if the recommendations become law. Is this person really saying that if the LA licenses an HE family and the annual plan they submit is that they are going to be autonomous learners, that this is going to be accepted?
I think not, and all of them know this but will not say it.
England will still be one of the most liberal countries in the developed world in its approach to home education, reflecting the careful balance we have to strike between a child’s right to education and a parent’s right to educate their child in conformity with their beliefs and philosophies. I very much look forward to the report that you will produce after you have taken evidence.
Education is not a right it is a good. Home Educated children ARE EDUCATED, and the form of that education is not the business of the state.
Q2 Chairman: Thank you for that, Minister; it got us off to a good start. Is there anything you would like to add, Graham?
Graham Badman: My thanks for this opportunity. I have not actually said anything about my report since I submitted it to the Secretary of State, and there are some good reasons for that. There were lots of invitations to talk about it, but I chose not to because I thought it would be prejudicial to an open process of consultation. To echo the Minister’s comments, if all the recommendations are implemented, there is nothing to stop home educators, many of whom I have met who do a thoroughly good job for their children, continuing.
Once again, it is not the matter of it continuing that is the subject; it is the FORM of that continuance, and of course he knows this.
They would be subject to registration and to what I regard as light touch monitoring,
Why should they be subject to licensing? By what right does the state and its foul aparatchick think that it has the right to license parents? As for light touch, this is nonsense beyond measure. This man wants to remove the right of parents to educate their children as they see fit. There is nothing light about this at all; in fact, the status quo is a light touch approach, where the LA have no right to interfere with you and your HE activity.
There are many people in the UK and all over the world reading this, and shaking their heads in disbelief. I am sorry to report that you are not asleep, this is real, you are not in a bad dream!
but as the Minister as pointed out, in one of the most liberal regimes in terms of a developed education system,
That is an interesting choice of words; REGIME.
we now have greater access to a range of services. I stated in my report that it seems perverse for any Government to express concerns about this group of people, yet not offer any resources to them.
Fine. Force them to offer resources to Home Educators. That would have nothing to do with onerous and immoral regimes of licensing that are being proposed. What these people are doing is conflating several different and unrelated items in order to get to the final goal of outlawing Home Education.
Strangely enough, if they opted just for forcing schools to offer exam facilities to HE families, they would get some registration; everyone who wants to take an exam has to register with someone, and in this case, it would be with the school. But this would not be enough for them. They want EVERYONE to be registered and EVERY autonomous learner family brought to book.
If I were before you, Chairman, as a Director of Children’s Services and you asked me, “What do you know about the 80,000 children in your care?” and I replied, “I’m awfully sorry, but I can’t tell you very much about them,” I suspect that I would not remain in the post for very long.
First of all, the 80,000 HE children ARE NOT IN THE CARE OF THE STATE they are IN THE CARE OF THEIR PARENTS. The state has no right to license these people simply because they chose a non state form of education. Be aware, Home Education is not a non-sanctioned form of education, it is simply like being at a private school.
That, frankly, is the situation in relation to elective home education. That doesn’t mean to say that it is bad; it means to say that we don’t know.
And you have no business knowing. The doctors that service these families know about these children, so does everyone surrounding the many social circles that they inhabit. These people ARE KNOWN they are NOT HIDDEN. Just because YOU PERSONALLY do not know what a group of people are doing, does not imply anything other than your own ignorance. You do not know what all Catholics are doing; are you now going to say that they too should be licensed because you do not know what all Catholic children ‘in your care’ are doing? This is the purest illogic of the most oily kind.
Children have a moral right to education;
That is not true. Education is a good, not a right. It is a good that all parents want for their children. This is why so many families are opting for Home Education both here and in the USA where there are ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND of them.
I place great emphasis on that. My report, I hope, sets out to balance the rights of the child with the rights of parents.
Children do not have rights in the same way that adults do. This false reasoning is nothing more than a pretext to set the state up as the ultimate parent of all children. You will see below the result of this highly suspicious and sinister thinking.
It seems timely on the 20th anniversary of the UN convention that we seek to examine whether or not this sector of the community actually honours children as expressed in the UN convention. I spent some time in my report discussing that and placed the recommendations in that context.
The UN is irrelevant. No Home Educator in the UK is a signatory to the UN convention, and they should not be bound by it at the word of one of its aparatchiks. You say it seems timely. Others say that it is not timely. By what power and right does one man declare unilaterally that the time is right to do this, and so, by his diktat, it should be done? Those who still believe in democracy ask yourself, “Who voted for Graham Badman?”
All that being said, if anything, the report is most critical of local authorities. If implemented, it will hold them to account through an audit regime for their systems of monitoring elective home education. I think it raises real questions about the support they have given and should give to statemented pupils; about their training, or the absence of it, of staff; and it crucially requires them to determine and analyse why those children left school in the first place. Ask that question: why did they leave, if indeed they ever attended?
This is absurd. The reasons why people are leaving schools are well understood. What is less understood is why nothing is being done to fix those schools, and why time and money and effort are going to be spent on Home Educators while the schools continue to rot.
I tried very hard to represent the views of the countless elective home educators who often spoke of their despair-I do not use that word without some caution, but it was genuine despair-at the schooling system. They had concerns about the understanding of local authority officers who did not appreciate the aims of elective home education. Elective home educators often viewed elective home education as a place of last resort where their children could escape bullying. They felt that many young people, particularly those with special educational needs and those on the autistic spectrum, were not being catered for. Added to that, there was a whole group of parents who had a philosophical belief in educating at home. There was a clear conviction on the part of many of them that they could do it better, and I respect that belief.
No, you do not. If you did, you would not have designed licensing and annual re licensing and a mandatory submission of a plan of what the HE family is going to do over the year. You do not respect in any way the beliefs of Autonomous learners or anyone that does not share you precise view of what education should be or what the legal status of a child is or what the proper relationship between the state and families should be.
But in turning now, to safeguarding, I recognise that this was the most controversial element of the report. Many parents felt that the initial press coverage of the review found them guilty, and they had to prove their innocence. I regret that, because I don’t think that is true, and I cite what they said to me-that hard cases make for poor legislation. And where there was no evidence-for example, on forced marriage, where I actually looked at the report that went to the Home Affairs Committee-where I could find no evidence, I said so.
And yet you continue to trot out the nonsense of Home Educators being statistically less safe than those at school. Furthermore, if you truly regretted the harm and hurt you were doing to Home Educators with your scandalous and vile report, you would have stepped in immediately to stop the press from misrepresenting your report, and you would have said that Home Education is perfectly safe, normal and of no concern. Of course, that would have meant rubbishing your own report which says the opposite of that.
In regard to safeguarding I simply ask two questions about well-being and safety. They are on page 28, paragraph 8.2. Basically, my two questions were, “Are the concerns for child protection over-represented within the elective home educators community; and if so, what could have been done through better regulation to ameliorate those effects?”
But it is the purely sinister recommendation that Local Authority workers be given the power to interview children alone without the parents present that is the thing that has astonished everyone; so gravely evil, so unprecedented that it was the true surprise of this report. No decent person would ever put such a proposal on the table. But there you go.
Finally, with regard to education itself I recommended further work to be done, to determine, in the context of what constitutes not 21st-century schooling, but the 21st- century education system that is required, what is suitable and efficient, now.
What is suitable is not your business. I can absolutely guarantee that if a group of Muslims set up a school in London where the only thing that is taught is the Quran, you would not DARE to say that the provision is not suitable. Suitable to whom? Who are YOU or anyone else to determine what is or is not suitable for ANY family? The fact of the matter is that only the parent is qualified to determine what is or is not suitable for their children, the state should have no say in it whatsoever. The state has plenty to take care of in the schools that they are in control of – those factories of illiteracy – and that is more than enough. The responsibilities and obligations that Ofstead manages should not be superimposed on families. Schools operated by the state provide a service that has to be accountable to parents; that is totally different to Home Educators providing for themselves. Once again, we see a group of people who do not understand the difference between the private and public spheres, and the reasons why people who work for the state should be accountable.
The definitions that we have got are only defined by case law. They are not legal, and they are pretty woolly. Although I came to no firm conclusions I recommended that further work be done on that; indeed, in the same way that I recommended that we explore more about autonomous education. We don’t know enough; we don’t know enough in terms of research, particularly on what are the outcomes for young people as a consequence of that.
You do not know enough because you do not care to look. In the USA, unschooling is widely practiced and the products of it are willing to talk about it. There is no mention of them, their results or how successful it is. Why not? Because to reference them would throw a spanner in the idea that what a suitable education is needs to be defined.
Lets be clear about this; this is a philosophical battle between statists who believe that only the state should provide education, and that the state is the ultimate parent of all children, and people who do not believe that. The people who want total control of education are behind this report. They are no different to the people in Germany, save that they are incrementalists and not smashers of people’s rights.
I began by saying that I’d written this report in seeking to balance the rights of children with the rights of their parents. I hope that, if implemented, it gives children a voice.
What this actually means is that the report is designed to supplant the parent as the ultimate guardian of the child. Since a child is not legally able to represent herself in any situation requiring informed consent, the state will step in and be the parent. See below to find out what this really means from the mouth of Graham Badman himself in one of the most sickening passages you will ever read.
I know that in itself is contentious. But I have also tried to give elective home educators a voice.
This is not at all true.
I recommended that they be engaged in the process of determining what is efficient in education, that they be involved in training, that they be involved in all the things that follow, and that, crucially, local authorities create a forum whereby they regularly hear from elective home educators about the services that are provided.
Home Educators have been involved in the many consultations, have been repeating the same things over and over again, and they have been ignored each time. That is why we are at this point. If Home Educators had been listened to, there would be no problem. The reality is that the decisions have already been made, and all the consultations and everything else are just window dressing and theatre. There is not a single Home Educator in the country that does not understand this, no matter what side they are on. The results of the consultations were overwhelmingly in favour of the status quo, and this made no difference to the outcome again and again.
I believe that the EHE community has much to offer in developing our understanding of the effectiveness or otherwise of the schooling system. It holds a mirror up to the schooling system,
Nonsense. Schools in the UK have been deteriorating thanks to a well understood process of interference in the teaching process. Home Education is a signal that a breaking point has been reached; many people are coming to it because their schools are failing their children. The philosophical crowd will always be there, but it is the new escapees that are the real testament to the failure of management culture, political correctness, zero discipline etc and their disastrous effect on the state school system. This is not ‘holding up a mirror’ this is a warning sign.
and to that end, I have to say, Chairman, I have been somewhat surprised by the reaction of a vociferous minority-and I do think it is a vociferous minority;
You do not know wether or not it is a minority, because no one is registered in your bogus system.
I can actually count the number of people who have done it. I have found the remarks of some of them offensive, but I draw comfort from an academic friend of mine who says that often personal attacks are made when logic has been defeated.
No one cares a damn about Graham Badman. If you had never written this terrible, offensive and horrible report, I doubt that there would be many people who even knew that there was a real surname of ‘Badman’. It is what you have written and what you are suggesting that has infuriated Home Educators, and quite rightly too.
I don’t regard those people as a majority.
And so, the minority does not have rights in the view of Graham Badman. This is rather like the idea of voting for the culling of redheads because the majority would find it satisfying.
The rights of everyone are equally precious and deserving of protection, and by rights, I mean real rights, not goods misconstrued as rights.
I think that I have benefited enormously from learning of their experiences, but I actually think that the change in regulation and greater scrutiny is essential for the children.
This is an opinion, and it is an opinion formed in a cauldron of simmering ignorance.
There is no excuse for any of this. This report should never have been commissioned or written. I hope to God that none of it becomes law, and that it is consigned to the garbage where it belongs.
I will leave it to others to take apart the drivel, misrepresentations factual errors, and other nonsense in this woeful transcript. But I will go down through some of the things that jump right off the screen.
Q24 Chairman: I read the report and imbibed as much as I could. On the one hand, as Chairman and member of this Committee, of course I want to make sure that every child who is home educated gets a good deal, and it is obvious that there are some absolutely fantastic experiences for a certain percentage of home-educated children. But there is obviously real evidence that for a significant percentage there are some pretty bad horror stories.
Where are the horror stories? WHAT horror stories? And even if there were horror stories that the chairman could cite, this is as nothing compared to the epidemic of illiteracy that the state system is responsible for, not to mention all the bullying, abuse and violence that dwarfs the numbers of any alleged cases of harm in Home Education, which no one can cite!
Ms Diana R. Johnson: The worrying thing for me as a Minister is that we do not have full data sets; we do not know about who is educating their children at home. The figures that we are looking at-perhaps 20,000 or 25,000-are estimates. There was work done by York Consulting a few years ago, trying to give figures, and even that body found it difficult. So, I think it would be very helpful to know who is home educating and what numbers we are actually talking about, and then as a Government we can feel confident that we know who these children are and be satisfied that they are getting a good education.
The only worrying thing here is that these people think they have a right to measure everything. Do they imagine, because ‘they do not have data’ that they should be measuring the amount of food children eat? Perhaps they do, and the only reason why they do not legislate for it is that it is not technically feasible. As a Government, you need to fell confident that you are properly serving the people who are already in your schools. This cannot be overstated. You are FAILING to educate millions of children.
Chairman: That does seem sensible. Annette, back to you.
It only seems sensible to people without morals or common sense.
Q25 Annette Brooke: I want to probe on registration and I will perhaps put my cards on the table: I am actually in favour of a simple registration scheme because I don’t want children disappearing below the radar.
This is nonsense reasoning, driven by a complete misunderstanding of what Home Education is. Home Educated children are NOT BELOW THE RADAR. They are known to their doctors, their community etc etc. This is just nonsense, and what infuriates Home Educators is that these ignorant people trot out this crap and are never pulled up on it at the time they are spewing it.
I think that point is important. However, I wonder if we could just look a bit at the applications for registration. Surely it is going to be fairly clear-cut that a local authority will have a right to refuse registration on the grounds of child protection, and presumably there will be a right of appeal because that would be a British justice situation. Can I ask you about the appeals process that might have been thought of?
Call it what it is, licensing. They will not have the ‘right’ to refuse licensing, they will have the POWER to refuse. There is nothing simple about a ‘registration’ (licensing) scheme; only a simple minded person would put it in those terms, or someone who does not want the true nature of this to be revealed too early. Just ask the people who were forced to write down their religion fifty years ago, or the people in South Africa about ‘simple registration’ schemes.
Ms Diana R. Johnson: I think you are absolutely right in that any process that is set up needs to be fair.
Utter nonsense. It is in no way ‘fair’ that parents should have to license their families with the state, and then be subject to a possible refusal.
We all know that having a right to appeal would be part of the fairness of any procedure. These matters are out for consultation, which does not end until 19 October. Therefore, I am not at this stage able to give you any definitive view about how an appeals procedure would work. All I can say is that being fair would obviously be a key part of any procedure created.
No one believes any of this is fair, representative, democratic or just. And that is a FACT.
Q29 Mr. Pelling: Could the flexibility go so far as to drop the idea of registration and just have the approach that there should be an obligation to receive advice? Could you go that far in terms of flexibility?
‘An obligation to receive advice’ I have never heard of such a thing, but if it means that you would be sent a letter upon de-registering from school, well that would be perfect. After having received the advice, you can then freely, without interference, discard it and get on with educating your children.
Ms Diana R. Johnson: I would say on that point that the reason why local authorities need to have numbers on how many children are being home educated in their local authority area is so that they can plan services and make resources available. That would be very difficult if you did not actually know how many children were being home educated. That is part of the problem that local authorities are describing to us at the moment-they do not actually know.
Once again, we see how this sham operates. They create a false need for information that makes licensing a prerequisite. After everyone is registered, then they can start to put the links into the chains of total control.
Once you accept the position that the state has no business interfering with HE, then the ‘problem’ of knowing how many there are becomes moot. And councils do not need to know how many HE families are in their catchment areas; as I said above, if HE families are given access to exam centres, the students would have to be registered well in advance of any exams they were going to take, this would give everyone concerned more than enough time to make accommodations. But this is not about accommodating anyone but the state, its functionaries and its most sinister elements who want unsupervised access to children.
Q30 Mr. Pelling: But there is a sanction, is there not, in terms of the local authority having gone through its registration process?
Ms Diana R. Johnson: Are you asking if there will be a sanction?
Mr. Pelling: Yes.
Ms Diana R. Johnson: Again, this is the consultation period, so I cannot say what will come out at the end of the consultation. Certainly, a lot of people have been writing in about the registration requirements, but it closes on 19 October and then the Government will have to look at it.
Once again, we see why these people can never be trusted. Anything that is to be licensed must have a sanction that can be imposed on those who refuse to comply, otherwise, there would be no compliance. This is the violence of the state, stated plain as can be said.
Q31 Mr. Pelling: So, in terms of the open-minded approach that is being taken to the consultation, it will still be a possibility not to have registration with sanctioning.
Ms Diana R. Johnson: I don’t want to pre-judge things. Clearly, in having a registration process, you would think that if you didn’t register, that would have to be thought through. It seems to me silly not to be registering everyone.
Actually the only thing silly here is Diana Johnson, this insane plan and all the people who are for it.
Graham Badman: I don’t want to fall foul of the trap of forgetting that hard cases make bad law. It is nevertheless the case that registration is a relatively simple process.
Physically it is only writing down your name and address and the names of all your children. Simple really. The only thing is that if you refuse, you will be fined, say £5,000. And then if you refuse to pay, you will be taken to court, and violence will be used against you to throw you in gaol if you refuse to pay. Then your children will be put into care, once again by force, because you are not there to look after them, and will have been put on the ‘children at risk’ register; nothing to hide, nothing to fear right?
Yes indeed, very simple.
You are talking about it happening only annually.
Can anyone tell me why something is called ‘registering’ when it happens more than once? Do you register for Sky more than once? Of course not. Once they have your name and address and the names of your children, you are REGISTERED. You will then be given a LICENSE to Home Educate, which will be renewed or not every year, subject to you satisfying them that you are good parents. To say call this ‘annual registration’ is completely idiotic.
It is not a great intrusion into families that are conducting a normal process of elective home education.
What is or is not a great intrusion to YOU is YOUR AFFAIR. There are many people who deeply resent this idea, people who operate on moral principles. And who has the power to say what is or is not ‘normal practice of Home Education’? By some people’s standards, autonomous learners are not in any way normal nor conforming to any standard; should those people be subjected to the petty, ignorant prejudices of the people in the Local Authorities who will be tasked with this? I think not.
What a nauseating and revolting line of garbage. But it gets WORSE!
But there are hard cases. There are some tragedies in our country that we need to try to prevent as far as we can. Let me cite something said by Daniel Monk, an expert in the legalities of home education, in the Child and Family Law Quarterly of 2009: “Parents who home educate are not simply performing a private duty, but also a public function. For all these reasons the case for compulsory registration is logical, legitimate and compelling.”
This man has given his OPINION that Home Educators are not simply performing a private duty, but also a public function. Many people believe that people are not the property of the state, and so therefore the duty of education is a purely private affair, and registration is therefore illogical, illegitimate and the arguments for it not at all compelling.
Q32 Mr. Pelling: Is it not the philosophy of this approach that it is important for the state to intervene in the life of the family to ensure that the rights of the child are protected? Is that not the backbone behind this approach?
Graham Badman: I interpret it in a slightly different way. The UN convention represents the wishes of this country for all the children in it.
This country does not have the institution of slavery. The children who live in Britain are not the property of this country, and are not subject to the wishes of it, nor are they subject to the wishes and whims of the UN. The UN convention represents the wishes of a small and perverted minority of statist social engineers whose desire is to incrementally dismantle the family world-wide. That is the truth of this matter.
All I am saying is that there need to be some changes to guarantee absolutely that the rights of children to an education and freedom of speech, so that they are able to give a view about their lot in life, are met. I agree with you, but I argue the case from the point of view of the rights of the child.
This is completely sinister. Children do not have rights in the same way that adults do. They are a special class of property with natural rights given to them by their creator. Education is a good, not a right, and freedom of speech in all of this is utterly irrelevant. This is most amusing from a man who actively wants to stop freedom of speech by blocking access to the submissions he used to craft this dastardly report.
Once again, the ‘rights of the child’ is nothing more than a pretext to make the state the parent of all children. Children cannot represent themselves in court, cannot sign contracts or do anything else that adults do that requires informed consent. If children have these artificial, synthetic rights foisted upon them, then the state has a way to access them by accusing the parent of violating the ‘rights of the child’. The whole idea is a sinister fiction, cooked up by social engineers and sick minded people who want to destroy the family. Do not be fooled by any of it. It is this sort of thinking that has destroyed the state school system. These people are not to be trusted, not with anything, at any time or at any place, and certainly not with your children.
Q33 Lynda Waltho: One of the areas on which I and my colleagues have been lobbied by many people is the proposal to interview the child and to enter the home. Many home educators have pointed out that even police officers need a suspicion or a warrant so to do. In your report, you concede that some local authorities are not making effective use of current powers. Will you spell out why local authorities need new powers rather than just a better understanding of what they can do already?
Here it comes….
Graham Badman: Let me quote a local authority, which said, “Given that Local Authorities do not have the power to see the child or enter the house, we have no direct way of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children currently being educated at home.
Is this about safety and wellbeing…
By submitting a report in the post, we cannot guarantee that children ARE receiving the provision identified, moreover, we cannot see if the child is meeting the every child matters outcomes.
or is it about the provision of education? That was an oily change of subject.
There is no way knowing that they are even in the country and we cannot be certain that they are living in the address provided. This has huge implications re: the ‘Children Missing from Education’ guidance and procedures.
This is true of EVERY CHILD IN THE UK. Are you suggesting that EVERY CHIHLD be subject to this sinister, sick and perverted intrusion? Because if you are not, the logic falls apart. Children spend the summer holidays ‘missing’, they may even be out of the country, or living at other addresses. Are you suggesting that these schooled children be subjected to this insanity? If not WHY NOT? There is no difference between schooled children and Home Educated children in this respect!
We feel as a LA that we have a duty of care to the children educated in our area and that we cannot fulfil this duty of care if we have no access to the child or the family.”
These feelings need to be put aside, and the LA’s need to be given a clear brief that does not include ANY responsibility for Home Educators that do not want anything from them. The fact that they are saying this is because they have been given duties that are beyond what they should be doing.
That is an accurate view of the response from local authorities, almost universally, in terms of the feedback on the report. Yes, of course, I understand the sensitivities of interviewing the child and the child alone, but I hope that, given what we have said about training, it is, in a sense, the last resort-that proper relationships are established and that it would only be in extremis that a local authority would want to use the powers. We have those powers, but it does not mean that we need to exercise them.
This is the same trash that was talked about the anti terror laws that were used for everything BUT terrorism. When they have these powers they WILL use them and they will use them FREQUENTLY and WILLY NILLY.
Crucially, I have also argued in the report that there should be the presence of another trusted adult.
Trusted, as in CRB checked, like those paedophile nursery workers who were all ‘trusted’?
The person does not necessarily need to be an unknown officer alone with the child. I understand those sensitivities and, again, I make the point in the report, in a direct quote from Jane Lowe, from whom I think you are getting evidence. She wrote a very good book full of case studies on the good practice in home education, and said that, if you educate at home, it is still first and foremost a home. Whatever training is given, officers need to respect that, and they need to caveat their approach by asking, “Have I assessed the risk appropriately? Do I need to do this?” I am arguing for a greater flow of information that would enable anyone with a quite proper regard for the safety of children to exercise the power without being draconian.
These statements make the blood of decent people curdle, they are so antithetical to what a moral, principled human being thinks.
But it gets EVEN WORSE!
Q34 Lynda Waltho: That is helpful. We have all been talking about the voice of the child throughout today’s proceedings. What if the voice of the child is not to meet with the officer? What do we do then?
Graham Badman: That is the one question that I was dreading from this Committee.
Lynda Waltho: Oh, sorry.
Graham Badman: It is a very good question.
Chairman: As you have been dreading it, can it be repeated?
Lynda Waltho: What if the voice of the child is that he or she does not want to meet, or refuses to meet, someone from the authority?
Graham Badman: My view then would be that it is up to the sensitivity of the officer to judge whether or not that is truly what the child wishes or whether it is a view that has been given to them by the parent that they have repeated. That is quite difficult to determine. That being said, we are making provision that other trusted adults can be engaged, and I repeat that speaking to the child and the requirement to speak to them would have to be used after a whole range of other avenues of approach and co-operation had been explored.
Chairman:And that my friends, is one of the most sick, twisted, perverted things I have ever read.(1)
These people are out to kidnap your children, by any means necessary. They want to license and control you and your family, invade your home and measure you, force you to report to them, and to satisfy them.
They do not care about your welfare, the welfare of your children, your children’s education or anything else about you. They all want a pice of you; some desperately want the data, some want to have access to your children so they can be forced to learn what they want them to learn, and still others want your children themselves for their own sinister ends.
Some Home Educators were hoping that this committee would offer a ray of light that this shabby, scandalous, thoroughly bad and sinister report would be discredited and somehow thrown out. They now see that this was an absolute impossibility from the start.
Whatever happens, the Home Educators that I know have universally said that they will not obey ANY regulations of any kind. Some of them have already left the country, many have plans to leave just in case, and others are hunkering down for a very nasty fight.
One thing is for sure; if you cave in and obey any new licensing laws, you will have only yourself to blame when you find that your LA is hostile to you and you are being ordered to send your child to school.
Personally, I never believed that this sort of fascism could emerge in Britain. There was always a feeling that there were some things that NO British government would propose, no matter what. It seems that I was wrong, and that ether the nature of Britain has changed, or the monsters have crawled out of the woodwork and found themselves on committees and writing reports with scabrous recommendations.
I would like to think that this is just a particularly sick and repulsive lot, and that somehow, balance (that much abused word) can be restored to this very beautiful land.
We shall see!