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Topic: Action on Rights for Children (November 2006)

(republished in good faith - I hope I'm postig it in the right place)

ARCH UPDATE 26th NOVEMBER 2006



Some good news: ARCH has been nominated for the Human Rights Award this
year. The competition will probably be a bit stiff for us, but it’s still
nice to get a mention! (see:
http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/ … ards.shtml
)

Children’s Databases:
You should have received your leaflets on the Information Sharing Index by
now. Demand has been high, so we’re having more printed. If you need fresh
supplies – or you haven’t received any leaflets, can you let Mel know?
mel@arch-ed.org

The Information Commissioner’s report came out on Wednesday 22nd, and
received good coverage in the press. The DfES responded predictably by
trying to smear the objectivity and evidence-base of the report. Minister
for Children, Beverley Hughes, wrote to the Telegraph, and we made a swift
response. See the ARCH blog for links to the letters:
http://archrights.blogspot.com/2006/11/ … -fact.html

We’re co-hosting a (small) briefing workshop at University College London on
the draft Children Act Information-Sharing Regulations next week. This is
principally for organisations and individuals who intend to respond to the
DfES consultation which ends December 14th. If anyone belongs to an
organisation that would like to attend, please let me know:
terri@arch-ed.org


Confidential sexual health services:
We have just sent out a letter jointly with Brook to ask each local
authority to supply its protocol on confidential services to young people –
we’ll let you know what happens.


Police retention of children’s DNA:
We’re holding a workshop on the retention of DNA on December 18th. If this
issue is of interest to anyone, you’re welcome to attend  – details are on
the ARCH website at:
http://www.arch-ed.org/issues/dna/dnawrks.htm


School fingerprinting:
Pippa is carrying on with hard work on children’s fingerprints – do visit
her blog at: http://pippaking.blogspot.com/ to stay up to date with news.

MP Tom Watson has started a petition demanding that the DfES regulate the
use of fingerprints and other biometric technologies in schools. Please go
and sign up at: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/biometrics/  and pass the
information on to others.



Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups amendment:
We were extremely annoyed that our amendment to the Safeguarding Vulnerable
Groups Bill didn’t succeed. It seems to us that there is no logic at all to
increasing the number of people subject to checks, but not including those
who operate mobile phone and other tracking services. We were particularly
unimpressed with the Minister’s assertion that the (voluntary) code of
practice is adequate, and that mobile phone tracking is a ‘new’ sector – we
were responding to press enquiries about this 3 years ago!

The text of the lamentably short debate can be seen just after column 1252
at:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p … 0239000500


As ever, there’s more information about the issues ARCH is working on at:
http://www.arch-ed.org

And don’t forget our blogs at: http://www.archrights.blogspot.com
and http://www.databasemasterclass.blogspot.com

That’s it for now. Your views and comments are welcome - email us at: 
terri@arch-ed.org or mel@arch-ed.org


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Re: Action on Rights for Children (November 2006)

Amy... OJOJOJ
Vart är Storbritannien på väg, egentligen??
Och hur mycket av vad de sysslar med kommer med stormsteg till Sverige?
Hur och vad vet du mer?
Själv håller jag mig uppdaterad med Pär Ströms StoppaStorebror
men han har inte tagit upp allt man pysslar med i GB...

Utveckla gärna.

Nästan ingenting handlar om vad det handlar om!

Re: Action on Rights for Children (November 2006)

hrmm, jag missade "prenumerera"-knappen... Jag har kontakt med hemundervisare världen över genom olika e-listor. Nyligen läste jag även detta:

FWD FROM ANOTHER GROUP

Hi all,

please read the following if you are interested in preserving your home
education rights for you and your children.

You will be aware that there is a bewildering collection of government
initiatives which encroach upon family life and into elective home education,
and that our freedoms are currently under threat as never before by this means.
Many home educators feel they are subjected to invasive and unwarrented
monitoring by their LA and this is when there is, in fact, no lawful basis for
monitoring such as we commonly experience. However, LAs have been complaining
about home educators rights impeding their monitoring role as they see it and
would like to extend and formalise their right to monitor and intervene by
firming up the rules and making monitoring even more invasive.

The DfES is minded to help this process along and has indicated that they
will be conducting a "consultation" about how to give more strength to
monitoring arrangements for local authorities.

Now, in response to a previous consultation that many home educators and
home ed orgs feel was biased in favour of hearing from LAs, the DfES is
considering using the "Every Child Matters" Agenda to insist that HEors conform
to standards as decided by the state. This will doubtless mean that they would like to
impose a system of routine monitoring to assess progress. It would also, in
all probability, mean that they would like to intervene in the matter of
educational content, either explicitly through the imposition of a curriculum
or through the method of punitive monitoring.

Their complaints with the current system is that whilst schools are subject
to close inspection, home educators appear to "get away with it". They
complain that "whilst s437 of the Education Act 1996 provides a remedy for LAs
which have concerns that there may be no suitable provision, this is unwieldy,
time consuming and expensive and in some cases will be nugatory where home educators are making
good provision but are resistant to LA enquiries." In other words, they want
more powers to intervene, even where they know that home educators are
making good provision!!!

The proposed consultation is to give strength to monitoring arrangements
which, in fact, do not currently exist. It is important for the DfES to be
aware of the numbers of home educators keeping an eye on them and this is the
consensus among home educators who have been following these events.

----

HEors managed to resist similar state encroachment in the US. They jammed
the switchboards, looked as if they could be an expensive problem, and
frightened candidates by threatening to use their vote in this consideration
alone.

We can do it here too.

Do copy anywhere if useful.

BWs
Barbara


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Re: Action on Rights for Children (November 2006)

Amy wrote:

HEors managed to resist similar state encroachment in the US. They jammed
the switchboards, looked as if they could be an expensive problem, and
frightened candidates by threatening to use their vote in this consideration
alone.

We can do it here too.

Ja, i Sverige har vi ingen förening eller nåt. Men det gör nog inget. Som Lennart Mogren sa vid mötet i Stockholm i höstas:
"Handlar man 'politiskt' vet politikerna precis hur de ska omintetgöra det man står för. Men ett enskilt telefonsamtal och/eller brev, från många av oss hemundervisare, gör att man tar det på mer allvar."

Det som håller på att hända i Storbritannien är redan i mångt och mycket i funktion i Sverige. Kontroll. Att göra sig hörd i sin egen kommun, och senare kanske också i större sammanhang, är nog bra. Hörd? Ja, att hemundervisningen fungerar *mycket* bra, inte främst akademiskt, utan framför allt socialt och *brett* i inlärningen och mognaden, i en miljö där barnen *mår* bäst.

De flesta kommuner känner nog nån press uppifrån att prestera väl i skolorna, akademiskt. Och visst är man måna om att mobbing och annat ont inte drabbar barnen, men alla *vet* att problemen är stora. Så *är* det inte i hemundervisning. Att då hänga upp sig på att somliga inte har topp-"betyg" akademiskt, och framför allt att hemundervisade barn inte träffar alla andra (men är mer sociala i ett bredare begrepp) - det är ju absurt.

Så, vi kan visa kommun-människorna på det goda och bra som våra barn har och är. Och skriva/ringa till dem om det, nästan "skriva dem på näsan" hur nöjda barnen är. Om de bryr sig om barnen, bör de se det och handla därefter, och "tillåta" mer hemundervisning.

Nästan ingenting handlar om vad det handlar om!