Northern Ireland home ed under threat

I found the consultation here:

Northern Ireland Elective Home Education Policy Version (March 2014)
http://www.neelb.org.uk/EasysiteWeb/getresource.axd?AssetID=18774

Noted the following:

(vi) The Board/ESA’s named officer for EHE, has responsibility for maintaining the database, making decisions with regard to the appropriateness or otherwise of programmes and ensuring that families with children who are home educated are visited at least once a year. It is also the responsibility of the named officer(s) to liaise with the other Board/ESA services as appropriate.
So, a compulsory visit?

(viii) Following receipt of S.A.1 parents should forward a copy of their EHE Programme to the Board/ESA named officer for EHE to enable the Board/ESA to reach a decision that the proposed programme for the child is efficient and appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and to any special educational needs he or she may have.
But it's the parents who are responsible for their child's education provision. Where is the scope for rational disagreement about what is 'efficient and appropriate' ?

(iii) The Board/ESA will monitor EHE programmes on at least an annual basis to ensure the child is receiving efficient full time education suitable to his or her age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs he or she may have. The child’s opinion will also be taken into consideration.
How do they propose to obtain the child's opinion without using child protection powers to compulsorily separate the child from the parent?

And how do you get the opinion of a 4 year old anyway?
 
The NI authorities ought to look at the recent Welsh announcement about not doing any of what NI plans. Then also note that back in 2010 Westminster rejected it for England.
 

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HSLDA article

HSLDA article: New UNCRC-Linked Policy Threatens Homeschool Freedom

The proposed policy grants government agents sweeping power over homeschooling in Northern Ireland. The proposal tracks with requirements imposed by the UNCRC such as requiring that government assessors seek the “opinion of the child” to determine whether or not parents are providing a suitable education. The policy is a frontal attack on the rights of parents and families to be free from unwarranted and unreasonable government interference and shows how UN treaties are a threat to educational freedom everywhere.
 
This sounds very much like the proposals put forward by the Welsh Assembly Government last year.

Strange how all these governments have exactly the same idea, anyone would think there was a plot afoot or something :mmph:
 

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Northern Ireland: Final day for homeschool consultation

Northern Ireland: Final day for homeschool consultation

It is believed the Northern Ireland minister responsible for education has been inundated with concerns from parents, according to the BBC.

The current law in Northern Ireland says parents have a duty to provide their child with an education “suitable to his age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise”.

HEDNI has already warned: “The proposals are alarming and intrusive, representing a serious assault on parental choice and introducing a fundamental change to the relationship between parents and the governing authorities.

“This draft policy has no basis in current Northern Ireland education law. Any change of this sort would require primary legislation by MLAs at Stormont, not by unelected officials.

“Under national and international law it is accepted that parents are the most appropriate judge for their child’s interests – these plans cut across the rights of parents to educate their children in the way they think is best."
 

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John O'Dowd said he was keeping an open mind, but that children's needs have to be paramount.

"I have a concern that the vast majority of people who have spoken on this matter in the assembly have spoken of the needs of the adult and not of the child... in what way do you reassure yourself that being home educated is being properly home educated?"
He obviously wants to "listen to the children" (unless they go to school, in which case they can be conveniently ignored).

I really worry about pick'n'mix UNCRCers like this.
 
John O'Dowd said he was keeping an open mind, but that children's needs have to be paramount.

"I have a concern that the vast majority of people who have spoken on this matter in the assembly have spoken of the needs of the adult and not of the child... in what way do you reassure yourself that being home educated is being properly home educated?"
First of all define properly educated - is there such a thing? Properly educated for what?

Then of course, you have to ascertain whether school children are properly educated, and if so, for what purpose?

Only then can it be determined whether Home Educated children are properly Home Educated, and of course, one has to ask, what does properly Home Educated look like?

What bench marks are used?

Is it the 'Properly Educated' benchmark?

Or the 'Properly School Educated' benchmark?

Or the 'Properly Home Educated' benchmark?

And at what age can it be said that you are properly educated, wherever it takes place.

Oh dear, can open, worms everywhere!
 
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