Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mr Vijay Patel of the NSPCC

... because, really, his attempts to keep slinging mud in the hopes that eventually some of it will stick Have To Stop.

Emailed to

I was horrified to read in today's Independent a quote from Vijay Patel linking the horrific Victoria Climbie with home education. As I am sure you know, Victoria Climbie was not home educated, and "home education" playeed no part in the failure of government agencies and indeed your own organisation in failing to safeguard her.

I look forward to reading a full retraction from Mr Patel, together with an apology for the unfounded slur he has attempted to cast on a minority group within society.

I am sure Mr Patel is sick of being reminded that, when pressed, he had to admit on national radio regardimg his claims that HE could be used to hide abuse "We.. the inf.. We don’t have the evidence there statistically, no." Please, the NSPCC MUST stop circulating vicious and unfounded allegations about links between the home educating community and child abuse, and you must stop employing people who persist in such malicious beaviour. After learning of Mr Patel's full retraction and apology, I look forward to reading of his resignation.

Yours faithfully,


Anonymous said...

Hello there. I enjoy reading your ideas, and I hope it is ok that I link your blog in the sidebar of mine. Thanks, Lanna

emma said...

delighted - link away!!!

Anonymous said...

Victoria was sent by her parents to this country to be SCHOOLED. The aunt and her lover were extremely ignorant people.

The abuse the child got were due to the common belief in all societies that children should be punished for their flaws, without having the proper knowledge of what can kill a child. The NSPCC measures actions by their consequences and makes all abuse look demonic.

The other media cases were intentionally misinterpreted and associated with home education WHEN ONE WAS A FOSTERING PROBLEM AND THE OTHER WAS AN ISLAM PROBLEM!

Anonymous said...


I can't find the reasons for you home schooling on the blog - can you point it out to me please?


Anonymous said...

Start here

and there are about ten posts from there over a coule of days on the subject :0)

Haven't read it myself for ages, so I might no longer agree with myelf :0)

Anonymous said...

thanks - are you still homeschooling then?


Anonymous said...

I just read them and the glaring omission seems to me to be about HE's financial consideration.

Is HE a choice of the upper or benefits class?

Do you get any money from the government for HE?

There are many times in ones adult life that one has to put up with bullies or all manner of unpleasant people eg neighbours, work colleagues - are you suggesting the person bullied should have to leave either? What about customers, people sitting on a plane, train or tube - and thats just off the top of my head.

emma said...

yes, still home educating here. (definitely not home schooling. There is nothing school-kike about autonomous home education).

No, one gets no money from the gov for HEing. There are those who would like to reclaim the £5000 a year or whatever it is schools get from gov per child (not that there is a snowball's chance in hell of NuLabour consenting to such a plan) but one argument against that is that then those who send their children to private schools could logically do the same and it'd be political suicide. Another argument against is "oh, right, and you think people should all get reimbursed every year they don't use the NHS then?". Not my arguments because I'm not a socialist, but then I'm not the one holding the purse strings. Talking of strings, that'd be my arg agaist taking money from the State even if it was being offered, since him as pays the piper calls the tune, and manyt of us HEers reject state schooling at least partly in order to avoid the political and cultural indoctrination of State education. If the state was paying, tere'd be no such escape.

HE is a choice of all classes and walks of life. We vary from the very rich stereotype, with bought in tutors every day (an honourable tradition which goes back centuries of course - grammar schools were set up by merchants who couldn't afford such tutoring for their children as a second-best - late 15th century ish)...

through the single parent on benefits (although those families have a fight on theirt hands with current welfare reforms...

through the kinds of families where both parents have degrees...

through the kinds of families where the parents may have no qualifications at all...

It really is people from all walks of life, and ranging from having plenty of disposable income to living pretty austerely.

emma said...

as for bullies:

I've been bullied twice in my adult working life. The first time I found another job. The second time I joined with the others who had been bullied by the person to have the person dismissed from their post. You choose the best route depending on the circumstances. Learning to tolerate bullying wouldn't be among my aspirations for myself or for those I love.

There's a difference between encountering random unpleasant people and learning to navigate them for the 10 minutes or 2 hours or whatever that your life paths overlap, and being in a classroom or playground day after day, year after year with someone who is out to hurt you. The latter need not have any parallel in any circumstance other than school.

As for the former - trust me, we encounter just as many random nasty people in the world as all the families whose children go to school, and learning to defuse such situations is certainly a priority!

I really wouldn't want to repeatedly put a child into a situation where they were being bullied in order to teach them wehat bullying is like. I'd rather promote the sort of healthy self respect which simply does not tolerate that sort of behaviour - and withdraws custom/ presence/ collaboration if necessary.

Anonymous said...

Hi Emma

Thanks for the reply.

I suppose I'm asking how Home educators can afford to have one parent stay at home full time to teach the kids. It seems to me that its either those where 1 partner is earning a very mighty fine salary that can support the rest or too small a salary so they are receiving benefits and tax credits.

A single parent home educating is obviously on benefits and I am not a socialist so I must admit I have a small idealogical problem with women having children they expect everyone else to pay for.


emma said...

hmmm. Pretty average single income plus renting rather than buying, public transport rather than running a car, charity shop clothes rather than new often works pretty well :-)

Lilliput said...

Yes, but is that best for the children, does that include a University fund?

If their was an option for a fancy public school - would that be better?

One never ever knows do they:)

Anonymous said...

"A single parent home educating is obviously on benefits and I am not a socialist so I must admit I have a small idealogical problem with women having children they expect everyone else to pay for."

And the public school your children go to came from whose money and what ideology exactly?

emma said...

just an NB (to avoid any crossed wires)

in the UK, "public school" = exclusive, expensive private education, and "state school" = publicly funded school. Not sure if it makes any difference to either of your arguments or not :-)

As for a university fund. If the choice was child-miserable-in-school-but-hey-at-least-parents-are-saving-for-their-university-education versus happy-now-and-let-the-future-take-care-of-itself, I choose happy now. Child might now want to go to university. Or they might go to Oxbridge, where there are hardship funds and book grants left right and centre, as long as one chooses a sufficiently wealthy college. Or they might go to another university where, frankly, even at another Russell Group university, there is plenty of time for them to do significant part time work as well as meeting the academic expectations. I don't see a university fund as a priority trumping a child's present happiness.

Anonymous said...

Hi Emma and Leo

"public school" = exclusive, expensive private education" - this was what I was reffering to ie maybe another choice to homeschooling is that kind of expensive school - but for that - both parents probably has to work.

And of course state schools are supported by tax money - but that is different from using tax money to support parents who have to stay at home to teach their kids because the kids don't want to go to school.

On the University fund - I accept that the child has to be happy today rather then an unknown future.

Anonymous said...

"And of course state schools are supported by tax money - but that is different from using tax money to support parents who have to stay at home to teach their kids because the kids don't want to go to school."

How is it different?

emma said...

good question, Leo.

I think they are logically equivalent if the amounts of money involved are similar.

For one state department to pay another one £5,000 per child of tax money so they can provide state schools seems just the same to me, morally, as giving that money to a parent to educate their own child (with all my shuddering caveats about the control the State would then have, in the name of The Taxpayer, over what that education consisted of). But it wouldn't be the same if the State was paying a parent £10,000 in benefits or however much it is, assuming there's just one child. That child's education is then costing The Taxpayer twice as much as normal, and The Taxpayer ain't going to like it.

How many children would a person have to have in order that the State made a net profit on them being on benefits and home educating rather than wanting school places for their family? Do you know? I don't.