Friday, July 17, 2009

Home Education - progress with government

I had a useful meeting this week with civil (very) servants from both the Department of Work and Pensions (to discuss the welfare aspects of home education, the main point of the meeting) and the Department of Children Schools and Families (to bring in the home education review aspects).

Fingers crossed, I'll be able to report some progress on the welfare front - ball is in their court while they check if they really can do what they said they'd like to do. And no, this is not anything earth-shaking, but it would help.

I reiterated to the DCSF why (in particular) the time-alone-with-child proposals were unacceptable, and said that in my view they must keep education and welfare separate, and that proper training in home education should be required for all LEA officials having responsibility for HE. Did not fall on deaf ears, but there's a way to go to say the least in convincing them of our case.

Things will go quiet now as parliament goes into recess until mid October, but with home education due to appear in the Queen's speech in November it's going to be worthwhile educating MPs in the interim - getting to see them, helping them understand home education, and impressing them what a sensible and worthwhile bunch home educators are. If they remain ignorant they'll not take an interest when we need them to. In that context, though I admire the ingenuity of the best of the badmanesque blogs, please avoid personal abuse and vilification: it will not play well with MPs if that's what comes up top on Google, or if a newspaper is able to run a story of direct harassment: they get too much of both themselves.