Victory for Home Educators!
Balls' and Badman's draconian legislation threatening the future of home education in England is now consigned to the dustbin of history.
Clause 26 of the Children's, Schools, and Families (CSF) bill, which is the section dealing with home education, was thrown out in the House of Lords on the 7th of April during the wash-up period. This means that Badman's proposals to impose compulsory registration of home educators; having to plan a curriculum in advance for the next year; and the inspection and monitoring of home educated children, will NOT become law now.
Other proposals thrown out during the wash-up include those concerning compulsory home school agreements, and compulsory sex education in schools with no facilities to opt out. A complete list of which provisions of the CSF bill have been passed as law and which provisions have been thrown out is available on the DCSF website.
Ed Balls expressed immense disappointment that his plans had been defeated in his letter to Conservative MP Michael Gove - the Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. Note that there is no mention of education in the paragraphs about home education in this letter. Balls quotes 'proper protection for home educated children' so he is still confusing and conflating safeguarding with education. Balls said that he "will be campaigning to ensure that this Government is returned and that these measures do make it on the statute book in the first session of the new Parliament," so we really need Labour to LOSE the General Election.
Although the 7th of April is a day to celebrate for home educating families it's also a day to count the cost. Thousands of man hours of home educator's time have been spent on fighting the authoritarian proposals of Balls and Badman that could have been much better spent actually educating their children. Parents and home education activists have almost burned their brains out by having to read through mountains of complex and tedious documents, and from writing letters to their MP, Lords, government departments, and the media. Home educating families have been subjected to over 14 months of anger, misery, anxiety, stress, sleepless nights, cancelled holidays, and missed opportunities to do more rewarding things. All because a bunch of arrogant tosspots from the government have run roughshod over civil liberties using fabricated cases; discredited statistics; allegations of child abuse with no evidence to back them up; and a very 'bad man' without an ounce of knowledge or experience of home education to concoct a report according to the desires of Ed Balls and his cronies.
Thankfully it's all over now. Home education as we know it is safe, for the time being.
However, one must not get complacent following the defeat of Badman and Balls. We have triumphantly won a hard fought battle but the war against home education still rages on. The enemies of home education are licking their wounds but they are still there and ready to launch further assaults on home education in the future. So all Asperger Home Education will say is, celebrate winning this battle, but continue to keep your eyes focused on the war.
Note: What exactly is the wash-up?
The wash-up is a brief period of time between when a general election is called by the Prime Minister and Parliament is dissolved. It exists to enable any outstanding bills to be passed as law. An outstanding bill that is not passed as law during the wash-up is effectively lost. Historically the ruling government is forced to make concessions to opposition parties during the wash-up period to ensure that its legislation is passed as law before Parliament breaks up for the general election. The requirement to make concessions explains why so many clauses of the CSF bill were thrown out in the House of Lords.