The mother of all democracies, the British Parliament, has voted NO to an attempt by the current Labour Government to regulate homeschooling in the United Kingdom.
This means that homeschoolers will not have to register with local government (equivalent of a kommun) at all. Once again Britain leads the way in democracy, freedom and pluralism in Europe. This is a breath of fresh air and has restored my battered faith in British politics for this NO vote was a coalition of both Conservative and Labour dissenters.
I hope that this sends a strong signal to the current Swedish Government not to pursue its totalitarian agenda but to respect the rights of the ordinary citizen. Moreover, we homeschoolers are NOT asking the government to maintain the current system but to DEREGULATE EVEN FURTHER. We want Swedish homeschoolers to have the same rights as enjoyed in the USA and UK, and an end to the harrassment, unfair discrimination and sometimes downright persecution and abuse such as has occurred to the Johansson family of Gotland.
British democracy has spoken. Will Sweden follow suite?
Press Release Thursday 8th April 2010
HOME EDUCATION LICENSING SCHEME THROWN OUT IN
LAST MINUTE WASH-UP
Home educators today feel a huge sense of relief as the Government has been
forced to drop the home education parts of the Children Schools and Families Bill in
a last-minute wash-up agreed by front benchers of the three major parties at the
end of the current Parliament.
The Government had mistakenly attempted to rush through changes to the home
education law in England without pre-legislative scrutiny.
Ministers and civil servants rashly dismissed the findings of the Select Committee
Inquiry, which reported that the plans were "too aggressive", based on "less than
robust" evidence and should be scaled back.
Ann Newstead, spokesperson for Education Otherwise said: "We are thankful for
the Select Committee's scrutiny and for the support of hundreds of backbench MPs
who - unlike the Government - actually took time to listen and to understand how
completely unjustified, inappropriate and ill-conceived these proposals were."
The past year has seen a massive rise in political awareness amongst home
educators who quickly realised the need to talk to their local MP. Last Autumn,
families took part in a nationwide series of not-back-to-school picnics and a mass
lobby of parliament where hundreds of home educating children and parents set out
their case to MPs.
At Christmas, 331 constituencies returned petitions against the proposed legislation
on home education, culminating in a mass presentation of petitions to Parliament
on 8th December.
Annette Taberner, Education Otherwise Trustee, said: "as a community we are now
much more politically active and aware and we won't be sinking back into
Fiona Nicholson, Education Otherwise Trustee and Chair of the Government Policy
“The wash-up has been widely criticised as being undemocratic but the whole
process of this Bill has been deplorable and whatever its faults, the wash-up at
least prevented a grave injustice being foisted on tens of thousands of home
educating families. Throughout this entire sorry episode, Government Ministers
have fundamentally misunderstood the nature of this debate and up to the last
possible second Ministers have belittled the enduring commitment to children's
rights shown by home educators.”
Shortly after the Government's plans were unveiled last year, Lord Lucas, now vice
Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on home education said:
"We are considering a section of the Bill which will cost £20 million per annum,
which is about £1,000 per home-educated child. These children receive no money
to help pay the costs of examinations; no money to buy textbooks; no money to
buy materials; no money and no tuition to help them over difficulties in education.
Now the Government can find £1,000 for each of these children-and will spend it on
auditing them. Not one penny will go to help the children; it will all go on auditing
them. What have these people done to deserve that?"
Notes for editors:
Education Otherwise web page on the Children Schools and Families Bill -
Ministerial statement on the Children Schools and Families Bill April 7 2010 -
Lord Lucas, House of Lords November 26 2009 -
Chair Select Committee interview December 2009 -
Fiona Nicholson, EO Trustee & Government Policy Group Chair.
0114 2751142, 07847 792212 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ann Newstead, EO Trustee, Government Policy Group & Spokesperson
08445 868839, 07917-358477, email@example.com
Annette Taberner, EO Trustee & Government Policy Group
0114 258 3502, firstname.lastname@example.org