Memorandum submitted by The Monday Club

 


        I am the treasurer of an educational activity group which would be earmarked for 'closure' if and when the Badman Review is adopted.

Last years' DCSF 2008 Act will have made it difficult for Schools to invite 'other' children to compete at Chess for example. Wilson Chess October Festival was popular, now closed due no doubt to the DCSF 2008 Act. Our Archery Sport club is now considering banning School age Children (despite it's appeal for children), other 'Activity' Clubs are sure to close nationally. No one can be sure any more, if parents cannot be trusted to run Clubs, then they will close with or without CRB checks (5). I am involved also in the NAGC (1) Surrey Explorers (3) which is part of the National campaign to improve national standards in Schools. We believe that 'Bright Children' (2) are often ignored and not encouraged within State Schools. However we make no distinction between those 'in-school' or those 'outside' school provided they display a talent or intellect. The DCSF 'copied' the idea from us here (NAGC) as part of their own a DCSF 'Gifted and Talented' Register initiative two year ago. The DCSF campaign foundered despite an expensive 'launch' in 2007 with brochures sent to every school in the country (4) . It was a management failure even before the current financial cuts.

We (at our Monday Group, and NAGC Home Educators) would be directly affected by many of these Badman Review proposals in offering 'out-of-school' activities by parents (7) and volunteers. Our Monday group School would be banned as we employ Private Tutors as well as Home Educate by active Scientists, Teachers, Professionals, Artists and stage performers. This mix would be specifically forbidden as outlined by the current DCSF strategy to outlaw all 'out-of-school' activities by a series of legislation (2008 Act) and 'enabling' legislation (2009 bill) as indicated below, it is a complex piece of legislation enabling future 'actions' without recourse to parliament. (6)

I write alone, as parents are generally too frightened to come forward from either my national group (which has tentative links with the DCSF) or my local educational group who would prefer to just get on with Home Education (7) . We have little money, No grants, No charity and the DCSF promising to lock us up (or fine) those parents (or tutors) who run such educational activities (8) is a highly likely prospect in 2010. We will be therefore be reliant on State finance and resources. (9)

Philip Searle

NAGC local group

London Home Educator

Local group organiser and treasurer

 

September 2009

(1) NAGC: http://www.nagcbritain.org.uk
NAGC Supports Gifted Children and their families (3 to 16 years ages) with high intelligence (as being in the top 15% IQ percentile).
(2) NAGC It's alright to be Bright campaign: http://www.nagcbritain.org.uk/schools.php?id=176
(3) Local London Group: http://www.surreyexplorers.org.uk, www.nagcwestkent.btik.com
Local Home Education group: http://www.helco.org.uk

(4) DCSF 'Gifted and Talented' http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/giftedandtalented/



Note: this is a personal submission for and on behalf of the NAGC Home Educators and my local Monday Group.
I am happy to talk about the work of either group but some members are uncomfortable with any 'identification' and prefer a degree of anonymity in Home Education as it's still 'frowned upon' by other parents in the community who do not understand it.

(5). In my humble opinion and experience of being involved in School PTA's at Nursery, Primary and to some extent Secondary education, the thought of CRB checks for parents has led to a steep decline in Volunteers. It has become endemic that children are now seen as victims and anyone connected with them is now a suspect.  The new 64 CRB check is unlikely to encourage Artists, Scientist and Writers into Schools.

(6)  The DCSF anticipate regulations to enforce Section 92 of the Educations and Skills Act 2008. The Badman Review will enable ''Section 3'- clause; 'to supplementary and Ad hoc Educational provision' to limit all groups to 15 hours a week hours in a six months period (12.5 for Primary ages). In addition the use of 'tutors' or 'parents' outside home will be banned if not restricted in teaching are among a raft of new extra ordinary powers hidden in the draft bill detail.
http://opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2008/ukpga_20080025_en_8#pt4-ch1-pb1-l1g92

(7) Abstract: Attainment in secondary school
"We estimate an education production function in which attainment depends upon parental inputs, peer group inputs, and schooling inputs. We find that parenting is much more important than schooling. The most powerful parental input is parental interest in education for which OLS does not give upward bias as Plowden (1967) suspected. We also find a strong peer group effect. The school pupil-teacher ratio does not enter significantly. A simulation study of the properties of our estimators indicates that our conclusions are robust."
L Feinstein and J Symons University College and the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK  http://oep.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/51/2/300

(8) Excerpt: "Pupils to be educated in accordance with parents' wishes" (UK act 1996)
 In exercising or performing all their respective powers and duties under the Education Acts, the Secretary of State, local education authorities and the funding authorities shall have regard to the general principle that pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents, so far as that is compatible with the provision of efficient instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure. http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts1996/ukpga_19960056_en_2

(9) Independent research revealed a 'Central estimate of a 120-300m pa increase in the state education budget'. (July 2009) By Independent Analysis a 'Impact assessment of the Badman proposals on Elective Home Education' report by Michael Crawshaw, a financial analyst and a former a Head of Research for Citigroup. Report commissioned by (HEAS) Home Education Advisory Service. http://www.cyberbiscuitradio.org/HEAS_Costs.html