With new bills about to be introduced in both Wales and Scotland which will have the effect, if enacted, of legislating parents out of their children’s lives, these are very worrying times for all families.
Such a profound shift of responsibility for the education and welfare of children from parents to the state is one that evokes sinister reminders of Nazi Germany. (In case anyone had forgotten, the law banning home education in Germany was passed by Hitler in the 1930s and is still being upheld, often brutally, in 2012).
In Scotland, home educators are fortunately on the case and have responded robustly to the proposals put forward for a Children and Young People Bill. This, the Scottish Government disingenuously claims, will help progress children’s rights and make Scotland a great place to grow up in (aye, right) when in fact it is a universal surveillance project to track and monitor all children (and every associated adult).
Giving legal force to the widely discredited GIRFEC (commonly known as Getting Information Recorded for Every Citizen) is nothing short of irresponsible when it has already caused no end of problems for families whose personal data has been routinely and unlawfully shared by so-called professionals with zero understanding of the principles of confidentiality and informed consent. Not only that, Big Brother Scotland wants to impose a ‘Named Person’ on every child, whose role it will allegedly be (but we know better) to ensure children get the services they need. Hey, but wasn’t that always the parents’ job (except where specific circumstances dictated otherwise)? Thankfully, voices of dissent are at last beginning to be raised outside the home ed community, which was, as usual, first to blow the whistle.
Which brings us to Wales…
The Welsh Ass Government has announced equally misguided plans to blatantly breach the ECHR, usurp parental rights and assume responsibility for the education of all children in Wales. For no good reason whatsoever, and despite trying, and failing, to sell the tired old cover story about “protecting the chiiiiillldren”, Welsh politicians have decided it would be a wheeze to track and monitor children whose parents take responsibility for their education rather than risk using local schools. Maybe, given their poor track record, they just want to learn how education actually works, but questions must surely be asked about why they are so desperate to build bigger haystacks with other people’s money, placing intolerable strain on public services that Welsh taxpayers actually need, want and have the right to expect. For the latest media coverage, see this forum thread.
Hands off home ed and all our children, we say!
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