Tuesday 25th November 2009
An MP is raising a Parliamentary Petition against a controversial report which will require home-school parents to become licensed.
Graham Stuart MP has also formed an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Home Schooling with cross-party support.
Christian Voice have posted an online petition in support of Mr Stuart's initiatives. It is at www.ipetitions.com/petition/badman
The moves come as the Government announced a 'Children, Schools and Families Bill' which will implement the recommendations of Graham Badman on homeschoolers.
The Badman report said that home-schooling parents should be forced to apply annually for registration to homeschool. It also advised that local authorities be given the authority to enter private property and interview a child alone, something which even the police are not allowed to do.
Graham Badman, a retired director of
's Children's Services, began with the assumption that home-schooling parents are routinely abusing their children. This was despite there being no evidence whatsoever that home educated children are in any danger, a fact rather given away by the way his report ignored existing research into home education.
He then said the children's services of local authorities should have the job of monitoring home- schooled children to check they are "safe and well." Paradoxically, many home-schooling parents tell stories of their children being bullied or even abused in the State system.
Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, announced that he accepted Badman's recommendations on the day the report was published. Since then, there has been a peculiar advertising campaign by the British Humanist Association asking that children be not 'labelled' with the religion of their parents.
Many parents who home school are Christian. Others are inclined towards New Age thinking. What these parents have in common is a distrust of the State education system and the belief that they are responsible for their children's education. What the Humanists and the Government have in common is a feeling that the State should bring up the nation's children and that parents are at best an irritation.
Meanwhile, local authority children's services are still taking away children from loving, devoted, caring parents on the slightest pretext, and farming them out for adoption.
Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, commented: "Badman's proposals, which the Government have adopted, are sinister in their assumption that no parent can be trusted. They strike at the heart of family life. They also attack liberties that citizens of the
have cherished for centuries. These liberties include the freedom to educate their children in the way the parents believe is best.
"The Bible teaches that it is the parents' responsibility, not the government, to educate a child. Some parents may decide to use government schools, while others may decide to use a private school or to homeschool, but it is the parents' responsibility.
"If local authorities start from the premise that there is something suspicious about home-schooling parents, and that they are damaging their children by not placing them in schools, then the mind of social workers, who will be doing the registrations, will be looking for problems.
"I can see a scenario where parents take their children out of school, the local authority go round to investigate, using the powers recommended by Badman to interview the children alone from their parents, get something they can use against the parents, take the children into care and 'free' them for adoption.
"So I am praying that the Lord will safeguard the right of parents to home school their children, that He will judge those lawmakers who are trying to subvert this basic God-given responsibility. I am certain this is not just one more tentacle of the nanny state: this is a full scale attack on the rights of the family itself."