Thursday, 25 February 2010

The consequence of the Khyra Ishaq case

Home educators predicted this.

My heart aches for Khyra Ishaq and what she suffered. I have cried for this child and held my own children close.

What can I tell you, who read and listen to the BBC, that no deregistration letter from the school or council yet supports the assertion that Khyra was home educated? Indeed without confirmation, there remains discussion whether she was actually on the school roll and the truancy team ineffective.

In a way, Khyra's educational status remains not the key issue, because Birmingham social services already knew about Khyra Ishaq. They already had powers to act. Despite this, the story is being used to justify legislative change.

Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board say agencies were hampered because they could not gain entry to the house. Ed Balls says this will change.

Please bear in mind that this legislation will not be used solely for us, home educators. I feel sure that the law will apply equally to all households where there are children, and can be used against any who are subject to red flags or who do not maintain certain levels of school attendance.

Right now, you might say that is a good thing, and 'if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear', in which case, inspectors will be welcome into your home.

I would appeal to any of you who have read so far that you please reserve judgement against home educators, that you do not condemn our lifestyle, that you respect us as parents, and that you can think away from the emotional aspect of this case.

I am finding it hard to do that myself at the moment. Yet I know that the government is cynical and manipulative enough to use an emotional response to effect profound changes in our privacy and civil liberties.


Big mamma frog said...

I am so tired defending what I do, day in, day out. It makes me sad and drained and takes up time that I would much rather be spending with my children. And then the media spreads further ignorance and lies and I just want to go hide under the duvet.

naomi said...

I shed tears today.
Tears for Khyra and all she went through.
Tears that she is being used for political gain by Balls and co.
Tears for our potential loss of freedom.
Tears for my own child's future, should the bill become law.

............. that's too many tears x

Chrissie said...

When I first qualified as a teacher I worked leading an interactive science exhibit where school groups came to learn about light and shadows. One day we had a group of home schoolers coming. I must admit that I had the perception of homeschoolers that you are hinting to. I was so wrong. They were bright, very sociable, inquisitive to learn, etc. If I was every unhappy with the public school system I wouldn't hesitate to withdraw my daughter and homeschool her if I could.

Ria said...


I really don't think people understand the wider implications of the bill that Balls is trying to get through.

A friend was told by her local MP that it very well may be all those with children under 5 if it gets through.

It is a very sad day in so many ways, but mostly that little Khyra's life might have spared if those responsible had done their jobs properly.

Expat mum said...

It was indeed "Very worrying" that the mother had been able to fool everyone for so long, but this has nothing to do with education at all. Sounds to me like they're all just looking at a new agency to take the blame for children that fall through social services cracks. Terrible.
The only hope is that if all these government agencies are so "stretched" they'll leave everyone alone to educate at home.

Elaine said...

Yes it is for the under 5's. The gov floated the idea of giving Health Visitors the right of entry as far back as '06-7 but it was decided the public would not tolerate it and the HV's did not want a forced relationship with families. It was to work as this does refusal to allow entry would flag you up and further intervention would follow.
A you have found when Khyra died they realised that if they imposed it on home edders and simply used the -guilty unless you comply- result to get HV's and family support staff (puke) into the homes of under 5's

Potty Mummy said...

You're right - they'll use anything they can to bolster their arguments, whether it's based in fact and relevant or not.

kellyi said...

I just can't find the words. On one hand so, so sorry for this little girl and all she had to endure, on the other so angry at the stupid Balls and the lopsided media representation.

I am this close to giving up.

Elaine said...

Oh don't do that Kelly you don't know what tomoro may bring:) onwards and up(balls)worth

Elaine said...

Here we go

The truth is out there
every gratitude to the
birmingham mail for printing the truth

A High Court judge concluded that "in all probability" Khyra Ishaq would not have died if there had been "an adequate initial assessment and proper adherence by the educational welfare services to its guidance", it can be reported today.

Grit said...

thank you people for your comments. i am deflated, knocked down, feeling pretty rough. And angry too, and wanting justice.

Jilly said...

I have to say that I've never homeschooled, nor was I homeschooled myself, so my understanding is probably quite limited. But the backlash against homeschooling was absolutely ridiculous. The way I see it, there are countless children being homeschooled but no-one ever hears about them because nothing goes wrong.

It's the same thing with video games. A minor goes out and commits a crime after playing a video game and all of a sudden, all video games are dangerous and should be banned. If video games were inherently dangerous, we'd be seeing a lot more of it in the papers and the same goes for homeschooling. I haven't seen any children charities screaming for an end to homeschooling or for all video games to be banned and I wouldn't support one that did.

Perhaps I'm being idealistic but I don't think the answer is crippling legislation on homeschooling. There were clear signs that Khyra was being abused, they simply weren't acted upon.