Friday, 4 December 2009

Anyone for Monopoly?

I used to love playing monopoly, and spent many happy (and not so happy when I was losing!) hours playing. I used to find the *go straight to jail, do not pass go, do not collect £200* part of it rather irritating, but the chances of landing that one were fairly small so it wasn't a big deal.

Imagine for a minute if every other space was a *straight to jail* one. I don't think many people would have bothered playing, and the game would never have become the world wide success it is today. It's quite amazing the number of different monopoly boards out there on the market now - Star Wars to Simpsons with many international cities having their very own boards. Would you believe you can even get a *make your own* board for real personalisation.

I never in my wildest flights of imagination thought that I would ever compare Home Education to monopoly, but this is what I am doing.

The latest government proposals regarding Home Education equate to the *straight to jail* space on every other square of the board.

If anything deviates from your plan -- SAO
If your circumstances change -- SAO
If your child doesn't want to meet, his/her opinion doesn't count -- SAO
If you don't make the meeting because you are away for more than 2 weeks and miss the notification -- SAO
If you are educating brilliantly, your child has 99 GCSES but you are unregistered -- SAO (they must not consider your provision)
If you have been refused registration once you can always be refused-- SAO

What is this SAO? It is a School Attendance Order, which basically means that you must send your child to the school named by the local authority otherwise you are breaking the law. SAOs can be used already, but local authorities rarely bother, partly, I think, because they are expensive and ineffective. Why? Well as the law stands, if a parent is issued with a School Attendance Order, they can take their case to court and it is up to the judge to decide if, on the balance of probabilities, an education suitable to the child's age, aptitude and ability is being provided by the parent. If the Judge decides it is, the SAO does not stand.

What this government proposes doing beggars belief. They are suggesting that what should happen is that if a School Attendance Order is issued, the court CANNOT look at the parent's provision.

Damned every which way.

For many years government and local authorities have wittered on about the *loop hole* that is Home Education. Of course Home Education is nothing of the sort, it is the default position, all others are imposters. Clearly though government wishes to shut off every possible *loop hole*, and yet, it says that it supports a parent's right to home educate?

This is not benign legislation, anyone who thinks it is is quite frankly deluded.

Thanks to Karen for the bullet points.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to you (and Karen) for giving us something succinct and hard hitting , to send out there to others. Excellent analogy!