An Imaginary Conversation...

The same questions and comments come up again and again, here I am talking to my imaginary contact in the ELB...

1.       YOU might think that all parents you meet have their child's best interests at heart but you don't see some of the families we deal with 

That's true and it's very sad. But hang on a minute you say you ARE already seeing these families, so surely you are referring them to the appropriate agencies or using the enforcement powers you already have? Oh right, you AREN'T? Or you tried but nobody was bothered. Well, how will this new policy fix that, I'm a bit confused...

2.       YOU might think that all parents are doing a fantastic job of home educating, but some of the families we're dealing with wouldn't ever join your groups 

It's such a pity when families don't know about our groups. Do you signpost to our groups by the way or do you have a certain image of my group as being full of people like me, so you don't bother recommending it to people you think aren't like me?  

3.       How would you feel if something terrible happened to a child because you'd helped parents to keep officers away from the home? 

I'd feel terrible.

4.       Surely you can see it's not just all about parents' rights, who is standing up for the children 

That's interesting, because as a home educating parent .  I'd say that I am the person standing up for my children's rights.  

5.       What if we didn't interfere and then later on the child tried to sue us for neglecting their education 

Your defence would be that education is a parental responsibility. End of story. 

6.       You're talking as though all parents think the same as you but in fact some parents and grandparents aren't happy that their child is being home educated and are horrified that the Boards do so little in the way of monitoring, so it's not as simple as it might first appear 

Mmm yes I can see that would be difficult but I suppose you JUST HAVE TO REMIND THEM WHAT THE LAW SAYS.  

7.       If it only saves one child, why would you object to someone popping round and asking you a few questions once a year?

I'm confused. You want me to co-operate so that you can eliminate me from your enquiries, when all the time you KNOW which children are at risk because they are flagged up by other agencies. 

8.       What we are suggesting is very light touch, it's honestly not intended to be intrusive, and we'd welcome your thoughts on how to get that message across 

OK, put yours in the bin and let’s start again, because it'll be quicker than trying to salvage a few remnants from this one, and will demonstrate your fundamental goodwill which I do not for one moment doubt 

9.       There's NO intention of making it harder to home educate or for parents not to be able to home educate in the way they want and we'd welcome your thoughts on how to get that message across because we really don't want to sound threatening or dictatorial 

You need to demonstrate your good will by starting again, as I said, it'll be quicker.

10.   YOU might not want any help or advice from the Board but a lot of families we see do ask for guidance and want to know that they are on the right track

OK, I see that's interesting. So those people could always ask you for a chat and you'd have more time if you weren't trying to force yourself on me wouldn't you?  

11.   Accepting that you don't want advice from the Board, is there anything that you DO want 

Ask me again when you've put this policy in the bin and I'll give you a list of suggestions