The UK Department of Education has announced that in effort to do something about ‘extremism’ there may be new restrictions on, and State intrusions into, the lives of parents who choose to educate their children outside the organised school system. Teachers and parents are to be given a specific point of contact in local authorities where they can report concerns/grass up those whose opinions differ (delete where applicable). This ‘specific point of contact’ could be seen by some to be one of the more worrying aspects of this announcement as it seems, at least to me, suspiciously close to the Scottish ‘Named Persons Scheme’ that has caused home-schooling parents to be put under consistent harassment by state officials. This crackdown on home-schooling parents comes in the wake of an announcement that Islamic madrassas will be looked into by the government. Having observed the last two government’s and their fawning attitude to Islam, I fear that this new policy will not be aimed at the very great problem of Muslims telling their kids to hate and despise the majority kufar community, but instead at parents from the Christian, Jewish and even the neo-Pagan communities, who choose to home-school.
Here’s the Independent newspaper on this story, as is usual policy for this blog, the original text is in italics and this blog’s comments are in plain text.
The Independent said:
“The Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, has asked officials to review home schooling amid fears that thousand of children are having their minds “filled with poison” by radicalised parents.
It would be helpful at this point if both the Secretary of State and the Independent actually said out loud which ‘radicalised parents’ were filling whose heads with what sort of poison. The answer is Islam and Muslims as usual. We are not seeing murderous hatred of those outside their group being instilled in Jewish or Christian children, neither are Britain’s Sikhs and Hindus encouraging religious murder. Yes, we are having some schools where there is a preponderance of religious education in relation to secular education, as in the Haredi Jewish schools for example, but it should be a parents right to decide what sort of education that their child receives, not the state. The general peace of the nation will not be harmed in any great deal by Haredi schools producing children who know the Tanakh, Talmud, Pirkai Avot etc in great depth, but who have difficulty with the internet or television (because these items are forbidden or restricted in many Haredi homes). To give another example: The peace of the nation will not be harmed by Christians who object to the growing level of LGBT propaganda in schools who choose to educate their children at home nor will it suffer much from them educating their children that marriage is between one man and one woman. A truly diverse society should contain within it a multitude of different opinions and the danger as I see it of this crackdown on home schooling, will be to intrude on the lives of those parents whose opinions offend the Left which currently dominates the educational establishment. The former education secretary Michael Gove referred to this Lefty educational as the ‘Blob’ and like some extra-terrestrial blob it suffocates any non-Lefty view it comes across. Now it looks like the Blob is going to get something that it has always wanted, the right to finger wag and be prescriptive and proscriptive towards home-schooling parents.
Between 20,000 and 50,000 children are thought to be educated at home – but the Government has no idea of the exact number because parents are under no obligation to inform their local council.
And that’s as it should be. If you are not taking council education services then there is bugger all need for any council prodnoses to become involved.
Ms Morgan has already announced a crackdown on unregistered schools and “weekend madrassas” after some were found to be promoting extremist ideology. But senior government sources have revealed that home schooling is now “on the radar”.
The Education Secretary will no doubt do her best to be achingly fair and I would hazard a guess that for every kufar hating, anti-Semitic, jihad encouraging Madrassa that she closes, it is likely that hundreds of decent home-schooling parents, especially those whose religious beliefs conflict with the views of the liberal Left, will find themselves in trouble. This policy has intrusive disaster written all over it. All it would take is to say the ‘I’ word and be honest and say that Islamic institutions and Islamic views are the problem. The issue here is, as usual, not with the behaviour of Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh or neo-Pagan parents, but Islamic ones.
Under proposals being considered in Whitehall, parents and teachers will be given a specific point of contact at local councils in order to raise concerns about a child. Officials will also try to discover how many children are being taught at home, beyond the reach of inspectors.
I don’t know about you but this couple of sentences chills me to the bone. I can see a whole host of scenarios where overzealous, agenda driven education ‘professionals’ would threaten, cajole and oppress parents who disagreed with this or that aspect of State education. I can see Christian parents who believe that certain things are sinful, Jewish parents to teach to the Torah and neo-Pagans who follow the Northern Tradition which is a very ‘northern Eurocentric’ path, being classed as ‘extremists’ and punished. The specific point of contact as I said earlier is all to reminiscent of the Scottish ‘named persons’ scheme which undermines parental values and parental responsibility.
A senior government source said: “There has always been the freedom in this country for people to educate their children at home. Many people do it very well. But we need to know where the children are and to be certain that they are safe.
Why does the State seem to think that children home-schooled by Christians and Jews etc need to be checked on to see that they are safe? There are already a multitude of ways for concerned people to report the existence of an abused or neglected child. This smacks of unwanted intrusion into the rights and lives of parents. Yes we do have a problem with Islamic hate-mongering therefore the state should concentrate on the Islam problem and not bugger around with anybody else’s rights.
For every parent doing a brilliant job, there may be someone filling their child’s mind with poison. We just don’t know. We don’t have reliable figures.”
Who I wonder is going to define what is and is not ‘poison’? I fear that the definition of ‘poison’ will be made by the same Lefty members of the educational Blob who have over the last 40 years dumbed down the state education system and too often replaced real learning with indoctrination about gender, sexuality and culture.
The focus on home schooling highlights growing concern in government over the problem of children being radicalised by religious extremists abusing positions of trust to promote hardline doctrine.
As I stated earlier the overall negative effect of a parent bringing up their child to not believe in gay marriage is fractional when compared with the problems of kufar hatred being taught by Muslims to Muslim children. The problem of radicalisation is not a religious problem per se, but an Islam problem. Again we have the problem of who is defining ‘extremist’. Is this definition of extremist purely going applied to those in Islamic educational institutions who are teaching children to be receptive to the idea of Jihad? That is what should be happening but many people, myself included, believe that the label of ‘extremist’ will be most often applied to those parents, such as myself, who want to keep their children away from the sort of pro-Islam indoctrination that is going on in Britain’s state schools. The educational Blob will be far more enthusiastic about attacking and sanctioning a Christian or a Jew or an Odinist who objects to their child being taken on a propaganda trip to a Mosque, than those members of that same Mosque who are instilling a ‘kill the kufar’ attitude in their young charges.
Fears have been raised that parents are claiming their children are being home schooled when in fact they are being taught at illegal religious schools. Ofsted’s chief schools inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has warned of the “serious and growing threat” to the safety of children posed by unregistered Islamic education centres.
Again this is not a home-schooling problem, this is an Islamic problem.
A Department for Education spokesman said Ms Morgan was “determined to tackle radicalisation wherever it occurs”.
This looks like the DoE is going after all religious homeschoolers, and not just the Muslims who are encouraging their children to despise the nation and culture in which the live.
He said: “We have provided Ofsted with extra inspectors to eradicate extremism in education. We are working with them to address their concerns about home education being exploited, while safeguarding the rights of parents to determine how and where to educate their children.”
The question needs to be asked at this point is why wasn’t Islamic extremism in schools being spotted before? We the taxpayer handsomely fund Ofsted and for them to no spot of refuse to spot Islamic extremism is worrying.
Under the last Labour Government, Ed Balls – as minister for children and families – commissioned a review into home education. However, a recommendation to set up a voluntary registration scheme for parents who chose to teach their children at home had to be abandoned because it was not supported by the Tories ahead of the election.
Typical Labour. There’s nothing they seem to enjoy more than poking their noses into people’s private affairs. The Tories did the right thing back then and opposed such a ‘voluntary’ register of home-schooled children.
The new Conservative chairman of the Education Select Committee, Neil Carmichael, has endorsed proposals for more safeguards for children educated at home. He told the Tory party conference in October: “I find it absolutely amazing people who are home educated are not registered as being home educated. It’s an absolute scandal that should not be allowed.”
Sadly the modern Tory party, as represented by Mr Carmichael, is indistinguishable from the Labour party in its desire to intrude into people’s lives.
But the Conservative MP Graham Stuart, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on home education, said the Government should not even consider a register of home-schooled children.
He said: “The home is used by parents to inculcate ideas into their children’s heads all the time. Just because there is a problem does not mean there can be a solution.
“If the next step is a formal register I would resist that strongly. The legal duty to educate a child rests with the parents, not the state. That is a long-standing settlement in this country.”
Mr Stuart is correct. Although there is a legal requirement for education that legal duty is the parent’s and not a duty of the State.
Currently, only parents whose children have been offered a place in school have to inform a school’s head teacher if they then decide the educate them at home. If not, there is no obligation for a parent to inform anyone.
I agree with that. If a child is being taught at home then there is no need or reason to get the State involved.
According to Department for Education advice, if a local authority has concerns it can make an “informal enquiry” to make sure the child is getting a suitable education.
But only if the council has concerns. This new proposal would mean a legion of expensive prodnoses intruding on decent Christian, Jewish and other parents who choose to educate their children as they see fit.
Speaking to The Independent on Sunday, Fiona Nicholson, of the Home Education Consultancy, said: “Any investigation would lead me to suspect they are going down the route of compulsory registration for parents to have to tell somebody that this is what they are doing. I’m against that – you can’t separate it from having to ask permission.
“You can disagree with lots of ways parents bring up their children but until a crime has been committed, or there is a substantial child-protection issue, I don’t think it’s anybody’s business. It’s more than a slippery slope, it’s off a precipice really.”
I agree with Ms Nicholson, this looks like a power grab by the Lefty education Blob and paves the way for compulsory registration of all home schooled children.
However, Labour’s shadow Education Secretary, Lucy Powell, said the inability of authorities to know how many children were being home schooled was a “worrying weak spot for Government”.
Why is it? I have no problem with the Govt. not knowing how many children are being home schooled. There is only a problem when there is a genuine allegation or evidence of abuse. Apart from that the State should stay away.
She said: “It is vital that action is taken to ensure that all children, whether in school or taught at home, are given the knowledge and skills to succeed, not taught a narrow curriculum of hate and bigotry.
Who defines what is ‘hate and bigotry’? The problem with these words is that they are or can be made to be very flexible and the simple act of a parent saying to their child’s headteacher ‘I don’t want my child to go on a mosque visit because Islamic ideology offends me’ can easily be twisted by the Left into being evidence of ‘hate and bigotry’.
Yet, just last week it was revealed that the Government had let children remain in illegal, unregistered schools for weeks, where they were exposed to narrow curriculums, misogynist, homophobic and anti-Semitic material. This is completely unacceptable.”
What the Independent fails to point out in this paragraph is that these were Islamic schools, showing yet again that the problems of ‘radicalisation’ are not ones that apply to all religions or cultural views, but purely and solely to Islam.
Children were allowed to “drop off the radar, where they could be exposed to harm, exploitation or the influence of extremist ideologies”, she said. “We urgently need robust local oversight and accountability of all local schooling, regardless of type, so that communities can work together to improve standards and stop children from ending up in harm’s way.”
As can be expected, for Labour it’s always someone else’s problem. The Labour answer to the problem of the tens of thousands of Islamic savages that they imported into the UK, is not to deal with the problem of the Islamic savages, but to come down hard on those families who for their own reasons dislike the State education system and feel that something better and more appropriate is needed for their child.
I fear that this new proposal will be a way for the Statists in education to attack those who feel that there is something sick in state education and do not wish for their children to be exposed to or influenced by such sickness. It has the capacity to become something as abusive and intrusive as the Scottish Named Persons Scheme, but one brought in without consultation, without debate and even worse, brought in by the back door.
Original story in the Independent on Sunday
Information about the No to Named Persons campaign in Scotland
If you want further information about Home-schooling in the UK then the Education Otherwise website may be helpful