Recall the bloke - old-school and new school and every kind of school. He loved school, that man. That Badman. A few years back Mr. Badman seemed intent on making local authorities REALLY responsible for children's education. Not that some parents would mind - they'd thoroughly enjoy suing the shorts off LAs for the massive LACK of education that some LAs deliver to some children.
Mr. B. wanted to make home education into schooling. It was a mission set for him by Ed. Balls,. Education Secretary.at the time.
But like all ill-conceived ideas, this one has unleashed the furies of hell for some families. The dreadful duo encouraged, aided and abetted law avoiding local authorities (and why has their name changed from councils to authorities? Probably because a local authority sounds far more threatening than a local council, doesn't it?) in - well - avoiding the law where home education is concerned.
One pillar that society rests on is that parents are responsible for their children's education. Most parents think that the state is and that children MUST GO TO SCHOOL!!!! But, in fact, children can be educated anywhere and by anyone. Yes, even by themselves. And that's because the state is not legally responsible for providing an education for a ham sandwich (or a child).
Hum, hum, though, local authorities keep pushing at the door which will swing back and annihilate them. If they succeed in becoming responsible for home educating children's education then they will become responsible for school children's education. Considering the complete mess that is the hotch-potch curriculum, the boring and disagreeable school tasks, the lack of freedom to learn what you want, the disillusioned and over-stressed teachers, the bullied hordes and the disengaged youth we see in our marvellous state-run schools, I wouldn't be too keen to throw my hands in the air and say, "Lookee, here, kids, it's MY FAULT that you haven't been educated." What a veritable tranche of lawsuits we could look forward to. How many youngsters would gleefully learn about the law to pursue (and sue) the LAs.
You can just see it, can't you? The floodgates would open, the deluge equivalent to the biblical waters overwhelming the world would - er - overwhelm the world, and LAs would be toast. Sodden toast.
Nikki Harper says it very well here:
Why shouldn't we listen to LAs who are panting to be responsible for every child's education?
Simply because they are wrong. In the legal quagmire. Up the spout without a paddle. Talking through their proverbial...
We walk in fear across shaking sands. In the dark.
What am I talking about? What now?
The biggest fear a parent has. The loss of a child. The tearing away, ripping apart, rending the heart out of, death of all laughter, all light, all heart, most hideous blow, mind-blowing, mind-destroying, worst thing one human can do to another thing.
The losing of a child. A little human that you live for, that you'd die for, that you cry over when he falls over, that you cry over when he stands up, that human being who took shelter in your deepest dreams and took sustenance from your own body. He who grew inside your inside. Or she.
Your child. Or the child you planted in someone else. Someone who carried that excellent burden. The other parent.
To parent. To hope. To protect. To live and breathe for. To give life. To give life to keep the life safe to enjoy the life with the one who holds your life in his hands.
OK. What? What? What am I meaning? What?
Filthy deeds could thrive in the dark.
The deeds of agents of the state taking babies from mothers, little ones from fathers when the parents are dumfounded and made dumb by gags stuffed in their mouths and, if they speak, if they squeak at the treatment, they're jailed and they lose. They lose their children; they don't care about their freedom when they've lost their children because freedom isn't worth a toss if you don't spend its coinage on your children, is it?
Can you lose your child because a social worker doesn't like you? Thinks you can't look after your child? Sees that you home educate?
How should we know? These courts are SECRET. In the dark. In the screaming fighting longing crying dying dark.
How do we know? Some speak out. Some say that no good thing goes on in closed courts shrouded in the dark of secrecy. Of silence. Of silenced parents and grandparents. Of screaming in pain silenced parents...
The earliest courts, my daughter tells me, were set up in public, in the light, where you could go to mock or to look and seeeeee what went on.. They weren't held in the basement. They were out in the light in the day not the dark.
Why are these courts secret? Why? Why shouldn't we see? Why shouldn't we hear these PUBLIC servants speak to the silenced parents and grandparents?
WHY ARE THEY SECRET?
Open them up to the light, so we can see in the LIGHT. Let's bring in the light. Let's fight the dark. The darkness. Let's hold it up to the light.
Bob Geldof can see it: Here, see what he says:
"Relocation and Leave to Remove: A Report by The Custody Minefield
Foreword by Sir Bob Geldof. Published December 2009
I can hardly
read the literature on Family Law without simultaneous feelings of an awful
sadness and profound rage. Sadness at what has been done to our children and
their families and deep rage for our Family Courts and the inadequate
practitioners that work within it.
In the near future the Family Law
under which we endure will be seen as barbaric, criminally damaging, abusive,
neglectful, harmful to society, the family, the parents and the children in
whose name it purports to act. It is beyond scrutiny or criticism and like a
secret society its members – the judges, lawyers, social and child “care”
agencies behave like any closed vested interest and protect each others’ backs.
The court is entirely informed by outdated social engineering models and
contemporary attitudes rather than fact, precedent rather than common sense and
modish unproven nostrums rather than present day realities. It is a disgraceful
mess. A farrago of cod professionalism and faux concern largely predicated on
nonsensical social guff, mumbo-jumbo and psycho-babble. Dangling at the other
end of this are the lives of thousands of British children and their families.
Here is one more report that empirically nails the obvious fact that to
remove a child from their father (in the hugely vast majority of cases), their
grandparents and other family, their school and friends, is wholly destructive
to a child and its family.
How much longer must we put up with the state
sanctioned kidnap of our most vulnerable? Because in effect that’s what “Leave
to Remove” amounts to. How much longer do we tolerate the vested interest
intransigence of the appalling U.K. Family Justice system? How long before just
one of them admit they have got it ALL wrong and apologise to their myriad
This report is important, timely and vital. To accept its
findings, which could have and should have, been conducted at any time in the
past 30 years, is to accept the awful conclusion that rather than Solomon like
resolving our tragically human disputes with understanding, compassion and
logical pragmatism the courts have consistently acted against society’s interest
through the application of prejudice, gender bias and awful impartial cruelty.
This report proves it. May God forgive them. I won’t.
And, and, and why don't we spend the money that we spend on the whole pitiful dark process on really helping people to stay with their children, to be with their children. Maybe, if the parenting is broken, we can hold a hand out and, at least, try to keep the parents with the children. It has to be worth a shot.. Better than tearing ripping destroying the bond between a parent and a child; the deepest truest most incredible bond that there ever could be.
Why do we have to punish? Why can't we heal people? Why can't we put together? Why can't we put the light on? WHY?
May. May I? May I say? May Day. There's a day in May that's important to me. There are two important May Days. Birthday days.
Why are birthdays so important?
I think it's to check your progress. To take your emotional temperature. To see where you are in the thickets of life, and climb a tree to spy out the path, if there is one.
Important days, birthdays. You find out who your friends are. You find out which of your friends have good memories. You find out which friends decide that your birthday is important enough to mark with a card or a cheery email.
Have I made some progress since last birthday? What is progress? What do I mean by progress? Can progress be measured? Is it something I can test? Is it something I should test? And should I ask so many questions or should I be quiet and just be?
What have I done since last birthday?
Have I done what I wanted to do before this birthday?
Has life handed me a fistful of lemons and have I filled a whole row of bottles with lemonade? And did I sell the lemonade or have I thrown the bottles out? (Or recycled them?)
I'm still feeling idle curiosity so I'll just say I'm not even going to examine those questions.
And I don't like lemonade or cute slogans anyway.
Let's just live May to the fullest and drain its goodness to the last drop.
Home educating (I think you guessed that), proud mother, freelance writer waiting to be adopted by a rich publisher, family history buff, avid and opportunist reader, non-swimmer, glasses wearer, shy and retiring (or I used to be), lover of justice (no, justice is not a toyboy), admirer of the internet, and intellectually enquiring.