Sheerman at it again

Barry Sheerman is stirring the home education pot again.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make it her policy to collect information on the (a) number, (b) religion and (c) ethnicity of children being homeschooled in England.
With this response:
There are no current plans to collect personal information on children receiving elective home education. The Department for Education is aware, however, of some concerns amongst local authorities about the information they have on such children in their areas. We have recently begun discussions with a range of representative bodies about these concerns and other home education issues, especially in relation to safeguarding
I wonder who the representative bodies are? I bet none of them are the home educators themselves.
 
On principle I'd tell them that (b) and (c) are nothing to do with them if asked, anyway. S.436A gives them some justification for (a).
 

physicist

Member
Barry Sherman etc

They are certainly asking some LAs about the ethnicity data( if not all?) The whole recording ethnicity thing is down to his obsession with groups of Muslims who HE - he was recorded saying so in a previous question or article I read. ( Some thing about religious groups who teach children in unsuitable premises, with the suspicion that what is being taught is dodgy too)It is complicated by this

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-29476558

P
 
There is going to be another Badman style assault on HE in the future. It's a matter of when rather than if. Last time the allegations were about child abuse but next time they will almost certainly be about Islamic terrorism. The case that HE parents are nurturing the next generation of 9/11 style terrorist by indoctrinating them with (illegal?) jihadist propaganda in a living room complete with a bookshelf of Al-Qaeda training manuals all behind the backs of LA officers will probably be fabricated by the government rather than actually happen, but it will make the headlines and the public will fall for the lie.

Under the Prevent strategy teachers have to be on the lookout for potential radicalisation and the dissemination of jihadist materials in schools but HE is currently exempt. I hold the view that HE isn't exempt but overlooked so is actually a loophole in the legislation more so than outside the scope of the legislation.

Allegations of Islamic terrorism and radicalisation in the HE community will win more support from the public than the Badman report about child abuse allegations did resulting in a popular consensus that public safety from terrorism is more important than the rights and freedoms of HE families.
 
The catch for the authorities is that the obvious solution of only picking on Muslim families for closer scrutiny is not acceptable to most of us, and would probably be more likely to produce radicals in protest against the treatment. Therefore, they have to dress it up and target everyone, even though it's totally the wrong approach.

Freedom has a price, often paid in blood.
 
The catch for the authorities is that the obvious solution of only picking on Muslim families for closer scrutiny is not acceptable to most of us, and would probably be more likely to produce radicals in protest against the treatment. Therefore, they have to dress it up and target everyone, even though it's totally the wrong approach.
It's called a belt and braces approach. As a similar analogy, I have a suspicion that the prisoner book ban is actually to stop the supply of Islamic books to Muslim prisoners that the government doesn't want them to have but it ends up applying to every single prisoner including non-Muslims who only want books on bird watching and steam trains sending in.

Having an official two-tier legislation for Muslim and non-Muslim families who HE will probably violate laws relating to equality, so it has to apply equally to everyone.
 
I asked DfE who they're talking to...
In a recent response to a question from Barry Sheerman about home
education (#210289), Nick Gibb said "We have recently begun discussions with a range of representative bodies about these concerns and other home education issues, especially in relation to safeguarding"

Who are these representative bodies and which, if any, home education groups have been involved in these discussions?
They've decided to invoke the "public interest" exemption and are delaying a decision on whether to answer it. Read into that what you will. Note that I can't appeal the decision until they've made it, so it is a delaying tactic. They've been doing this to other home-ed related FoIs as well, so DfE is clearly up to something.
 
More on Sheerman...

Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op): May I ask the Leader of the House for an early debate on home schooling when the House returns after Christmas? For many people home schooling is a good way of educating their child, but for many others it is not. Has he seen the estimates that suggest we do not know where up to 100,000 children in our country are, what curriculum they are pursuing, or about their supervision, safety and security? In an age when we are ever more worried about child abuse and child protection, may we have an early debate, because that area has got out of hand?

Mr Hague: I can see the case for such a debate. As the hon. Gentleman said, we live in an age in which we are extremely concerned about child protection. An important conference is taking place on that this week, and the Prime Minister and Home Secretary have announced further initiatives to protect children from abuse. The hon. Gentleman makes a powerful point, and I am sure he will make the case either for an Adjournment debate or for the Backbench Business Committee to table a motion on that issue.
In other news, he accidentally helped us, because my question that DfE refused to answer, he asked in the Commons and got a more helpful response than I did.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 November 2014 to Question 214684, which representative bodies she or representatives of her Department have met in autumn 2014 to discuss home schooling and safeguarding.

The Department for Education officials have met with the policy committee of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services; officers of Darlington Borough Council; the children’s services scrutiny committee of the City of Westminster, and two regional forums of local authority elective home education officers; one for London and the South East and the other for the West Midlands.
 
The other thing to note from that is Hague's remark about the important child protection conference taking place this week.
 
In an age when we are ever more worried about child abuse and child protection

In an age when we are ever more worried about child abuse and child protection
Perhaps it should be noted by these gentlemen that whilst we are living in an age when we are ever more worried about child abuse and child protection, it is disingenuous to suggest that parents are the primary cause of that concern.

One only has to look at 'The Map' and recent events to see that children are far more in need of protection from those who seek out jobs where they will have access to larger numbers of children than the average parent.
 
Could it be this?

Safeguarding London's Children Conference
http://www.safenetwork.org.uk/news_and_events/news_articles/Pages/safeguarding-londons-children-conference-8-dec-2014.aspx

This conference is a forum for professionals, elected members and volunteers in all agencies who have specific responsibilities for safeguarding London’s children, and supporting them and their families.

Come along to exchange ideas and information with representatives from local and central government, social care, education, health, police and the third sector.
 

Diane

HEdups
They are all just scaring themselves, and, incidentally, awarding themselves a lot of money for nothing.

If there are so many children hidden (and, in fact, I personally would prefer to be private therefore would do my best to remain off the 'authorities' radar) that must mean that those children are safe enough with their parents or guardians.

It's a goose laying the golden eggs repeatedly by being injected with dirty vaccine consisting of MPs' and 'safeguarding' state agents' telling themselves stories about bad parents.
 
The conference agenda and papers (if this was the conference referred to) are here:

http://www.londonscb.gov.uk/diary/2014_safeguarding_londons_children_conference/

I have had a look through and haven't seen anything that directly relates to home education.

William Hague was asked to respond to:

For many people home schooling is a good way of educating their child, but for many others it is not. Has he seen the estimates that suggest we do not know where up to 100,000 children in our country are, what curriculum they are pursuing, or about their supervision, safety and security? In an age when we are ever more worried about child abuse and child protection, may we have an early debate, because that area has got out of hand?
and stated

I can see the case for such a debate.
It could be that he was just picking up on '100,000 children missing' and not home education. I hope I am right - but stand to be corrected.
 

Dad23

Well-known member
I too hope you're right, but I recall Hague saying on TV, not so long ago, in response to a GCHQ related question, "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear".

I used to like the guy.
 
The response to any MP saying

"If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear"
is to ask them why they fight so hard to keep their expenses details from the people who have pay for them.
 
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