Sunday, 22 November 2009

The impact of the impact assessment

The impact assessment [opens PDF] for the Children Schools and Families Bill has been released. The CSF Bill section 26 relates to the proposals for licensing and monitoring home education in England.

Page 87:
"Children in the first year will all receive 2 * 4 hour meetings with LA officer
50% of children in the first year will receive an additional 2 * 4 hour sessions.
All children receive 1 x 8 hour visit at the end of the year.
50% will receive an additional 1 x 8 hour visit."


Remember: I have done nothing wrong. No one has any evidence to say I have done anything wrong. The same is true of nearly every other home educator in England. We are ordinary, honourable, law-abiding people doing the best for our children that we can. There is no evidence anywhere that says otherwise. The very few kids who have a bad time of it at home are caught by Children's Services or Education Welfare. Whether these services act to help those children depends on how well they understand their duties and the legislation that supports them in the pursuit of those duties. That is beside the point. Even by Badman's figures, 0.4% of the 20,000 children (about 80 kids) have been found and put on protection plans and the other 19,920 are not a problem. There is no suspicion that they may be a problem. There is no evidence of anything amiss, and without evidence there is no case for intervention.

What of the other 20-60,000 children who are not known to LAs, my own included; children that, a few LAs say (despite not knowing them, and having no objective definition of the term 'adequate'), are receiving an inadequate education? There is no evidence of a problem with them either. Not a sniff, not a hint, not a concerned note from a neighbour or doctor or an offhand comment from a friend or relative. Children not in school do not live in a vacuum. If there were a problem, someone would have noticed.

And yet the state will waste precious resources, which could be used to help children who actually are in need, on sending an inspector to my house for two four hour sessions and an eight hour session every year? And to do the same for every one of up to 80,000 other children who have also never given the slightest indication of a problem? All based on some unidentified person's "concerns" and another man's made up statistics? Statistics that are at best debatable, at worst conclusively proven to be wrong?

What the hell are these people on? Are they trying to drain Local Authorities of resources to help those actually in need? Do they want more Baby P's to happen? Or do they realise they are going out after the next election, and want to leave a big stinking mess on the desk of their successors?

It has been pointed out that registered childminders are inspected once every 3 or 4 years by Ofsted, despite the fact that they look after other people's children, often very young, and sometimes including those with special needs. I spend the daylight hours with my children and so I have to be inspected for a total of two working days every year. And they dare to call this proportionate?

Every good person should be outraged and amazed at this insideous Bill, and this attendant impact assessment, and should be writing to their MP right now. Every good person should be declaring their intent to oppose these massive and expensive intrusions on the privacy of families across the country for the sake of their own children, the children of all other home educators of England, and the children whose welfare is being put at risk because attention and resources are being diverted to hound the innocent, purely due to ideology, ignorance and fear rather than any evidence of need.

And their estimated cost of this unbelievable crime against children and the family? £20.5m to start up, £10m p.a. thereafter. Are they out of their tiny little minds? How can any reasonable person believe this?

This is not acceptable, it is a huge waste of time and money, and it will cost children their lives. I will not participate with this process. To hell with them all. If any of this goes through I will lose any tiny scrap of belief in this country that I still have. I will know for certain that the English Law is not just an ass, it's a corpse, and that England itself is heartless, soulless and dead.


  1. Hear Hear!
    It is said that Clinton's officers removed the W from every keyboard in preparation for George W Bush's arrival in the oval office! I think Brown's officers are trying very hard to remove the L for liberty!

  2. I don't think it was even 80 on CPP's - i think it was 80 'known' to Social Services, which can mean anything and nothing.

    My best hope is they will sink under the weight of what they create. There is reasonable evidence to say they will (ContactPoint etc)Until we are the database that gets left on a train.

  3. excellently said Jemmo!!

    yes Merry it was 80 'known' and we've been referred twice because of our horrible neighbour and nothing came of it , it was malicious just because we are different from the norm ........ it probably was just the same for the other 78!

  4. In his evidence to the CSF Select Committee Badman changed his tune and said that his 0.4% referred to children under CPPs. Graham Stuart MP picked him up on this and said that his Report had referred to children 'known to Social Care', and Badman repeated that he actually meant those with CPPs. I do feel he should have been pressed on exactly why his terms of reference had changed so significantly, especially when his figure did not.

  5. I for one am disgusted by the state of education in this day and age. I went to check out schools in my LA and oh my goodness, is all I can say. It is a glorified creche with a bit of 'Targets' thrown in. The children are not taught anything at all and then when they get to year 3 that's when they get to sit at a table on a chair!

    I want to home educate my children but this new law that they want to pass is ridiculous. They don't care about children who are being abused (hence Baby P controversy) they want to persecute those who are intelligent enough to care that their children learn something. They will waste money persecuting the intelligent and spend no effort prosecuting the abusers. I told two council workers this morning that anyone that really wants to abuse will still get around the system.

  6. Here is a link to an online petition that wishes to recognize the parent's right to educate their children without being treated like criminals. the deadline to sign up is 23 November 2010. Please sign it - I believe this to be in support of what you are advocating here,

  7. Thanks for the link to the petition - signed long ago! :)

  8. Hi - I'm a bit late with doing this but am just letting people know that I have added their blogs to the Blog For Victory!! blogroll :) If for any reason you would like your blog removed from this roll please let me know and I will take it off
    Thanks, Mandy :)

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