Monday, 4 May 2009

We must be assured of your safety, kid

"Wherever a child is educated, local authorities need to be assured that each child is safe, well and receiving a full time education, suitable to their needs and abilities. The safety and wellbeing of all children is of the utmost importance and where local authorities have concerns about the safety and welfare, or education of a home educated child, effective systems must be in place to deal with those concerns."


It is obviously untrue. In just one incident, when my child was in school, she was pushed up against a wall face first and had both arms wrenched back. It hurt. Not just the pain from the assault, but the pain from being excluded, being the butt of someone else's disdain for your privacy and self-hood, your safety, your personal power as an individual. Let's face it. If a person slams you up against the wall like that, it probably means they don't like you. Of course, it also means that they are in serious trouble. They are possible psychopaths. They damage themselves and are poison to others around them. They need interventions to help them understand that they cannot so treat another human being. They need help. But they don't get it. And they go on and on and on hurting other children...

Our local Local Authority never even knew, I guess. If they had known, would they have bothered to investigate? Would they have come along to deliver a workshop about bullying entitled: "We all hate bullying" or "Bullying is bad. Don't do it!"? When the workshop, with the bullies in ringside seats sitting comfortably, butter wouldn't melt, nodding solemnly at every word, was over did the LA people trundle off in their various cars congratulating themselves that they had made the school safer for targets of bullying? Likely.

The government statistics say that 450,000 children are bullied every week. With 52 weeks in the year, well, kids aren't in school every week but you get the idea. That's a whole lot of bullying. That's a whole lot of children NOT being safe in school, isn't it? That's a whole lot of lonely traumatised children on the fringes of playgrounds, ostracised by their peers, picked on when they speak, ridiculed when they stay silent, living in a confusing, frightening daymare of absolute misery and pain with no way out.

That's 450,000 children every week that the Local Authorities do not keep safe.

There are about 50,000 home educated children in the United Kingdom. 450,000 children. 50,000 children.

I can understand really. 450,000 children you are bound to keep safe but don't must be a huge drain on mental resources. The guilt must weigh heavily. The weighty sadness must tug at your guts. Who haven't we saved from hell today? Which child has been beaten up for a bit of fun by a gang of other kids? How many tinies are hurting because we cannot do anything?

450,000 children every week are suffering.

So much for your aims and missions and visions. Your religion of pronouncements that 'children are safe in school.'

It is quite clear that children are not safe in school. That is a lie. You can tell a lie six million times but it doesn't make it true. Many home educators have to take their children OUT of school to ensure their children's safety. Meanwhile 450,000 school children are being bullied every week.

And we, responsible parents who often agonise about the best thing to do with no help from schools, no support from Local Authorities and in a constant state of anguish over the safety of our beleaguered children, are told we are suspects in child abuse cases. Go monitor that over which you have control, LAs. Go to the source of evil and leave responsible parents alone. All I want for my children is that they are unmolested in their young lives, and I can ensure that. I can hold their hands as they move towards independence and let go when they are ready to fly.

Leave us alone to do our utmost for our children.

Because I've seen what you can do (or rather what you do not do).

Leave us alone.

Let our children learn to fly when their wings mend.


  1. Yes, ECM's proponents should look to where safety is REALLY compromised. My daughter was routinely bullied by a PE teacher, who even forced her to continue playing for an entire lesson after breaking a limb. It was precisely a concern for her safety that was the catalyst for us removing her from the 'care' of the school.