Educational freedom also under threat on the Isle of Man


Gill responds to IoM parent licensing proposals.

Educational freedom also under threat on the Isle of Man

As long term readers here will know, there are several problems with governments demanding evidence from parents about their parenting duties on a blanket, screening basis:

Specific problems tend to be missed as perpetrators of abuse learn to game the system as exampled by infamous foster mother Eunice Spry, who received regular visits from the local authority about her home education provision in which the children were present, but no abuse was ever suspected. Professional 'visibility' is therefore no guarantee of safety whatsoever.

Monitoring of home education provision is often counter-productive and results in parents being unable to comply with their legal duty to provide suitable education.

As the NSPCC demonstrated in its report into the Serious Case Reviews, in every reported case professionals were aware of the children and already had the legal duty, in Children Act sections 17 and 47, to take action but failed to do so. They then chose to ask for more duties instead of focusing their attention on the training and application regarding the sufficient duties they already had. As officials are already struggling and often failing to implement their current safeguarding duties, adding more duties to the list can only exacerbate the problem.
Isle of Man Freedom of Information requests indicate that officials there have not been busy in the matter of home education and that neither problems nor research have taken place, so it's difficult to see why they suddenly want more powers. A read through the Isle of Man Children and Young Persons Act 2001 indicates that they have similar powers in respect of safeguarding as officials have here, which are sufficient and the 'invisibility' phenomenon appears to be imagined rather than real.