Friday, 16 October 2009

Honouring our children

“It seems timely on the 20th anniversary of the UN convention that we seek to examine whether or not this sector of the community actually honours children as expressed in the UN convention.”

Graham Badman
Uncorrected Transcript of Oral Evidence, To be published as HC 999-i
House of Commons
Minutes of evidence taken before the Children, Schools and Families Committee
Elective Home Education
Monday 12 October 2009


Which “sector of the community” do you imagine Graham Badman is referring to here? Yes, it’s us – home educators. Something about us, about what we do or perhaps about who we are, means that we should be “examined” to see if we “honour our children”.

This hurts more than just as a passing insult. This hurts on behalf of all the children failed, so badly failed, by our government. A government signed up to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

No, I will not be taking lessons in honouring children’s rights from this government.

"Article 22 (Refugee children): Children have the right to special protection and help if they are refugees (if they have been forced to leave their home and live in another country), as well as all the rights in this Convention."

It seems that this government interprets “special protection and help” to mean a special low rate of benefits, a ban on their families earning money and years on end waiting to find out if they really are safe or will be deported back to danger. That’s if those children don’t find themselves imprisoned.

I wonder if Graham Badman, with his concern for children, ever questions his priorities? Rather than worrying about the details of what my children (well loved, well fed, intellectually stimulated, free children) know,

“I cannot conceive of a situation where, for example, a child of middle secondary years does not know something about oriental history, given the world as it is now; does not know something about carbon sequestration, if they are interested in science; and does not know something about the nature of the economy.” (Graham Badman, evidence to Select Committee, as above)

he might look at what should be done for children in genuine need and whose rights under the UN Convention are far from “actually honoured”.

8 comments:

Jax said...

I thought that that was a despicable thing to say actually.

Baz said...

@Jax Particularly spiteful, isn't it. In fact, I think there were a lot of spiteful 'digs' in GB's oral evidence.

peri said...

Well said Allie.

Twinkly Clare said...

Out of all the things that have been spouted during all this, that quote horrifies me the most.

The idea that I don't honour my child renders me speechless.

Obviously I'm forgetting that the government, doctors, teachers etc etc treat my child as an individual, silly me!

Merry said...

It is completely and horrifically insulting. The man has not liked having himself the object of satire and derision and he is being spiteful to get his own back. Which is how people behave in playgrounds and something my children don't indulge in at all.

Tech said...

Great post Allie. The man has no morals whatsoever, and as this blog post so clearly shows, neither does the government for which he works.

mamacrow said...

'....' !!!!

WEll he now has the distinction of being one a handful of people to make me speechless.

'we seek to examine whether or not this sector of the community actually honours children as expressed in the UN convention'

when I first read this, before I saw his name under it, i presumed it was a home edder refering to schools and goverment officials in charge of education. Am slightly confused to find it aimed the other way round....

and saddened. :(

Kate A said...

“I cannot conceive of a situation where, for example, a child of middle secondary years does not know something about oriental history, given the world as it is now; does not know something about carbon sequestration, if they are interested in science; and does not know something about the nature of the economy.” (Graham Badman, evidence to Select Committee, as above)

Has this man bothered to look at any school educated children or has he used all his time to come up with unsubstantiated insults to home education? I can quite easily conceive of plenty of children of "middle secondary years" who don't know anything about any of these subjects - I see them every day as they pour out of the local schools!

I don't think any of that should be a suitable test of whether a child is learning or really that there should be any such tests at all, but if Badman does, then surely he has an obligation to measure against his own "control".

This is in no way an "objective" study into the efficacy of home education. Its just a scapegoating exercise.

But I guess you knew that already.... :-)