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January 03, 2010

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John

This may seem a gimmick, but in fact it far more fairly represents the geographical distribution of home educators than a single petition would do. Home educators are a diverse and heterogeneous group. I am not a home educator, but have followed the process of this legislation from its beginnings. Will it make a difference to me? Perhaps not, but if this process, with its blanket assumptions, deliberate distortion of evidence and shoddy use of statistics is symptomatic of policy making in general then this country has far more to worry about than the colour of the rosette the next Prime Minister wears. Yes, home educators are obviously a tiny minority, but I was always led to believe that labour polititians stood up for minorities.

kelly

Thank you for highlighting my previous comments in a new blog post. Another thing worth highlighting is that 5000 responses to a consultation is an extraordinary number. To put it in context, only 17 parents of 9.5 million schooled children responded to the consultation on School Report Cards. So to then ignore a response of 5000 and draft the Bill regardless of the consultation responses shows a complete disregard of the democratic process. It is no wonder that home educators then sought to find other avenues of representation. MP's may find it an irritation but I can assure you, people who legitimately home educate their children and who are constantly ignored are justifiably more irritated.

However, many good things have come from this. Our children are more politicised and so are we parents. I suspect you may see many home educators beginning to run for local and national offices in the future, so that this sort of travesty may never be allowed to happen again!

Jax

home educators resorted to the gimmick you refer to after exhausting all other rights to reply. We met with and wrote to Badman, who ignored us. We submitted evidence to the select committee - and the government introduced a bill before the select committee reported and before the consultation, which had over 5000 responses, ended. This is supposed to be a democracy and we are supposed to be represented - I have struggled to find any non home educator who thinks legislation is required apart from local authority workers trying to cover their own backsides - is that what we legislate for now? To absolve individuals of responsibility and remove parental rights?

And from what you are saying because we found a way to be heard MPs think they'd better change the procedures, can't have anyone else being heard, oh no. Do you realise how dismissive you sound of your employers, the electorate?

Tony

But in many ways Paul this makes the point for me - the state wants control and legislates over huge areas of our lives where quite frankly I just wish they would go away and do something useful

This article sums up the sense of it quite nicely

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6974016.ece

Safety net - yes but excessive intervention in all areas of life ? I'm getting the feeling its gone way too far

Parenting lessons for 14 year olds - the percentage of children who have babies in that age group is around 2% - so why do it for everyone at that age

Perhaps is the government did less then they might spend less ..just a thought

Jij

Home educated children have also proved they have educated themselves about parliamentary procedure and have set up the Home Educated Youth Council(HEYC). An amazingly proactive and knowledgeable group. Look out for them- they may be warming the seats in the future at the House of Commons.

Darren Midgley

I see Mr Darling didn't remove the tax he placed on Petrol/Diesel, Alcohol and Cigarettes when he cut VAT to 15% in Dec 2008, so that now VAT has gone back to 17.5%, Petrol/Diesel, Alcohol and Cigarettes have also gone up, even though these commodities did not benefit from the rate reduction.

another instance of hidden taxes by Mr Darling.

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