Some interesting ideas here from Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-47149808 If we want all young people to stay in education longer, which is not compulsory beyond Y11 at the moment, we will need to think about the settings in which education is delivered, not just assume we can extend the compulsory period and enforce attendance in the previous ways, which are largely ineffective. We have always neglected vocational education in favour of a more academic currciculum. Our model of state education is still mostly based on the public schools of the C19th. Clearly 'school' does not work for every young person. I wonder if we will ever get to a genuinely diverse system that offers a real choice of quality pathways and outcomes, some at a school, but some not, perhaps from age 14 onwards. We need genuine reform, not just more of the same. 11.02.19
Elective Home Education or 'home schooling' is in the news again, with a call by the Children's Commissioner for a compulsory register and an edition of 'Dispatches' on Channel 4 tonight, somewhat misleadingly entitled 'Skipping School'. There has been a considerable growth in the numbers in recent years, (but we don't of course know the exact figures). Many examples, it is claimed, are because schools are either persauding or even demanding parents do it or because local authorities are not making suitable provision for children with additional needs. It has always been a parent's right to choose to make other arrangements - but it must be their choice. I'm not against the idea of registration; we should know who all these children are. But I would worry if the State tried to regulate what parents 'must' provide or it becomes a cheap alternative for children with needs that the school system cannot resource. That was never what the 'otherwise' option was for. 04.02.19
There was a film on the BBC News website last week (which now seems to have disappeared) about children in the Chinese community in
the UK 'helping out' (i.e.working) in takeaways. Not a mention of the fact that we have laws in this country designed, albeit a long time ago, to protect children from exploitation and prevent child
labour. No-body takes any notice of them. This is a massive blindspot in our approach to child welfare. Next time you hear someone complaining about the abuse of children in developing countries, ask
them what they are doing about illegal child employment under our noses! If you work in a school, have you any idea what the law is and what your pupils are doing? 03.02.19
I have now retired from most face to face work. But there is still considerable demand for the FORUM TRAINING Attendance Officer course (see link in left panel) so I'm carrying on with that. Over 450 people have now completed this course with another 200 or so just attending the initial seminar. I know my legal and welfare-based approach is different from the way some others approach the issue but it is extremely important not to become too punitive or data focused.
My other interest is radical Christianity. If that sounds a bit weird I understand. If not, you might find that page and my free downloads interesting. This will gradually become the focus of this website, but not quite yet! 01.02.19
Make a loan. Change a life.
Support small businesses in developing countries with microloans. Then, when the loan is repaid, you can lend the same money again!
I have now retired from most of my face-to-face school attendance and absence training, but I still offer my STUDY, AUDIT AND TRAIN PACK by email. I also still WHITTER on education issues now and again and deliver occasional courses and speak at conferences for FORUM TRAINING.
My HOME PAGE now reflects my other main interest. Can Christianity and its central figure mean anything to those who are not convinced that conventional ideas of 'God' take us where we need to go as modern, thoughtful human beings? Can faith be radical, rational and inclusive?
FEEDBACK is always very welcome.
ALL INFORMATION AND ADVICE PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE, AND IN RELATED RESOURCES, IS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH AND IS TRUE AND ACCURATE TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEF. HOWEVER NO LIABILTY IS ACCEPTED FOR ANY ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES ARISING THEREFROM OR FOR ANY IMPLICATIONS OF UNINTENDED ERRORS. I HAVE BOTH PUBLIC LIABILITY AND PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE.