The title of this post is taken from a paper by Jill Kirby ' The Nationalisation of Childhood' published by the Centre for Policy Studies, 2006.(The link takes you to the CPS page where you can download or buy a copy)
This interesting publication criticises the ideological direction of this government's policy regarding children, their education and their care, and evidences the flaws of the strategy, known to many, "Every Child Matters".
Kirby's paper is well worth reading, here's a snippet from the introduction:
"New duties are to be imposed on every local authority to ensure that childcare is universally available. The Government proposes that by 2010 every school will be able to offer "wraparound" childcare for every child up to the age of 14, from 8am to 6pm throughout the year, school holidays included. As the Prime Minister [Tony Blair] explained, as he commended the Childcare Bill to the House of Commons in November 2005, this
'..effectively means a new frontier for the welfare state.'
This new frontier bears a remarkable similarity to theMarxist concept in which the collectivisation of childcare was considered essential to achieve an equal society with full productivity. Marx recognised that you cannot abolish the family; you have to replace it. The Marxist doctrine was brought up to date by Anthony Giddens, one of the architects of New Labour, in 1998. In The Third Way, Giddens explained how the democratisation of the family demands that responsibility for childcare be shared not only between men and women, but also between parents and non-parents.Giddens also proposed that in the democratic family, parents would have to 'negotiate ' for authority over their children."
Until the present time, homeschooled children have escaped the totalitarian 'Every Child Matters' agenda, but that seems likely to change following recommendations from a recent review :
"officials from local authorities should have the right to access their home with just two weeks' notice and speak to children to ensure they were "safe and well". They can revoke the right to home schooling if they have serious concerns over their welfare."
"Councils can impose a "school attendance order" if they believe the education received is not up to scratch, with parents facing legal action if they refuse."
The review was carried out by Graham Badman, former Director of Education at Kent County Council, and , somewhat ominously, he says that a further review would be carried out to judge the structure of a home education.
" For the first time, local councils will have the power to enter family homes and question young children, under new plans."
Annette Taberner, from the group Education Otherwise, said: "To suggest parents can continue to home educate but then give powers to local authorities to enter our homes and interview our children without an adult being present is just extraordinary. This is nothing short of an attempt to regulate the private lives of people. It is a very bad day for civil liberties in this country."
The nationalisation of childhood is no longer a Marxist dream; it is becoming a British reality.
and the setting for that reality is about to cross the threshold of the family home.
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