Sunday, 13 September 2009

A Life Line

Lots of children become home educated as a last resort, often due to special needs not being met properly, school phobia, stress and bullying.

Many children's lives have been saved because their parents discovered that school is not compulsory. Many others have been lost because they didn't. What is worse, is that often there is a conspiracy of silence among schools and local authorities. Time after time we hear of parents fighting for years with their child's school, desperately asking for help. Hardly any of these parents are told that there is another option. This despicable behaviour continues, even now when home education has a much higher profile than it did a number of years ago. Only the other week there was an example of this on national TV. There is no excuse for it, and the people who refuse to tell parents that there is another way, must accept that they have children's blood on their hands. If you think I'm being overly dramatic have a look at this.

As I said earlier, in the post about the legality of home education, it is the parent who is responsible for ensuring their child receives an education, and it is EDUCATION that is compulsory, not school. Why is this not something that every parent is told when they have a child, or at least when they are being offered places at nurseries and schools? Many home educators refer to this as "The Big Lie" and whilst we are starting to make in roads into it's demolition, it's a painfully slow process, which is a crying shame because whilst parents remain unaware, children will continue to die.

Deregistration on demand is a legal right that parents MUST retain. The Badman recommendations threaten to remove this lifeline, and we must not allow it to happen. The government have tried before to remove it, and failed. We must continue to demand that this life line remains. With children set to stay in compulsory education until they are 18, it is crucially important that there is a safety net for those it does not work for. Parents should not have to jump through hoops imposed by local authorities, especially when these local authorities are failing their child, to enable them to carry out their legally binding parental duties.