Are Havering’s Home-Schooled Children ‘at risk’?

Although being educated is compulsory up to 16 years old, going to school isn’t. The Government permits home schooling. Home-schooling is incomprehensible as a viable educational option. It’s not only a scandal it’s a form of child abuse. Let’s reduce that statement to this: would you have been happy to have spent your entire childhood with one or both of your parents?
Children are protected from maverick teachers by the National Curriculum. British state education is well-funded, well-organised and coherent. Britain allocates £75 billion for secondary and primary schools. This investment is subverted by this:-
Section 7 Duty of parents to secure education of children of compulsory school age –
The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable— (a) to his age, ability and aptitude, and (b) to any special educational needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise. (my emphasis)
Any parent, regardless of skill, aptitude or personality, can ‘educate’ their child. Home-schooling parents can ignore the National Curriculum, the gold standard for education in Britain. Havering Council has no right to monitor parental performance (section 7 above). Home education puts children at risk of obsessive parents, slacker parents and incompetent parents. Teaching the National Curriculum demands expertise and a huge amount of resources which aren’t available to parents home-schooling their children. Parents are neither professionally mentored or given in-service training. GCSE is optional. There’s no way anyone can know whether a home schooled child is benefiting from an efficient education.
Sixty thousand home schooled children in Britain are at risk from their parents. Does Havering know how many live in the borough? How extraordinary! Home education is a child protection issue where the child’s rights have been destroyed by dogma. Once home-schooling is redefined as a possible ‘at risk’ scenario then Havering can access their closed world.
Obsessive parents who devote themselves to developing their children are not necessarily abusive unless you regard absolute control as abuse, which I do. Ruth Lawrence (b. 1971), a mathematics prodigy, was home schooled with her first experience of formal education being Oxford University, which she entered at twelve years old. A stellar Oxford career was rounded off by her Ph.D when she was eighteen. Her obsessive father is now estranged from Ruth, who has repudiated home-schooling for her own four children. Another famous and tragic example of home education is that of Dylan Seabridge (b. 2003). He died, aged eight, from scurvy. His parents, quite legitimately, barred access to Dylan from both medical and educational authorities and deny that he died from scurvy. Notwithstanding the controversy about Dylan’s death, there is no evidence that section 7 (see above) was adhered to in any shape or form. Meanwhile there are a further 59,998 children about whom nothing is known.
Dylan Seabridge wasn’t murdered by his parents but there seems little doubt that he could have thrived in a different family situation. There are about 210 deaths, which “were actually attributable to abuse or neglect”, which demonstrates that being ‘a parent’ isn’t a guarantee of love and kindliness. This is the situation which is current in the UK and the government have legalised total, unmonitored control by parents.
For the cost of state education see
For the 1996 Education Act see
For monitoring home schooled children see that home education was not in itself a risk factor for abuse or neglect – but recommended creating a register of home-schooled children to keep tabs on them.
*****See pp2-3 2014

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