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Kim - please put all breakables out of reach before reading this.

BBC NEWS | England | Home-taught girl ordered to class

The parents of a County Durham girl have been prosecuted for not giving her a proper education at home.
They have also been ordered to return the unnamed child to school after a case was brought by Darlington Local Education Authority (LEA).
As the law stands parents are entitled to teach their children at home, but Julie Garnett of the LEA fears some children are not being taught properly.
She also warned more prosecutions would follow if similar cases were found.
A spokesman for Darlington council said: "If you are going to educate a child at home you have to prove to the LEA that you are actually doing that. ...
"There will certainly be more court cases in future as children have the right to an education."


The article is a bit vague isn't it? Is the LEA saying that NO education was being provided. Or only an inadequate one. And what is their definition of inadequate? I think we need more information before jumping to conclusions.

As Bishop Hill says I think more information is needed. Whilst the LEA was probably playing silly-buggers the article is very vague and unless someone gets hold of the court transcript or something I don't really know what to think given the information available.

Mostly, the definition of "adequate" is left to the education authority -- so they can change it to suit the occasion.

Grrrr grrrrr grrrrrrrr...

But does it work the other way, can the LEA be sued for failing to provide a decent education at school?

I very much doubt it!!!

It just seems to be another way of kicking people who want to do things diferently & dare to think outside the box.

In defence of at least the concept of the LEA having some kind of oversight, I will mention that I am aware of a child who was "homeschooled" for a year, where the "schooling" mostly consisted of looking after her alcoholic mother, which isn't exactly what a child deserves. At some point, not educating your children becomes tantamount to child abuse.

The problem, of course, is that rules and regulations can't distinguish between people like Kim and Connie, who I am absolutely certain provide a first rate education, and people who provide lessons in "helping mummy get up the stairs because she's too pissed to walk". The way to distinguish between the two is with common sense, an attribute which is not normally closely associated with LEAs.

If all parents were decent, sensible people, there wouldn't be a problem. Parents would either teach their kids at home or send them to school as it suited them, and those that chose the school option would realise that chosing to send your kids to school doesn't absolve you of any responsibility to see that they get a good education.

I dislike the idea of the state poking its collective nose into whatever arrangements I deem best for my child, but on the other hand there are children of incompetent parents who are going to get royally screwed unless someone does intervene, which seems to require some kind of governmental agency's involvement. Maybe the solution is for the LEA to fire it's narrowminded form-ticking bureaucrats, and hire a small number if inspectors who actually care about children, and are allowed to use their common sense.

I know a couple of children who are homeschooled, and you can tell within 10 seconds of walking into a room with them that they are bright happy children who are getting a decent education - and a rather broader one than the local schools provide. If I can tell that in 10 seconds, it seems like a "profesisonal" should be able to manage it.

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