This is a post on how to protest the abhorrent Schools Bill that seeks to remove parental and child rights and hand them over to the government.
The options for protest (and I’d recommend doing as many of them as you can) include: writing to your MP (template below); meeting with your MP to discuss your concerns; signing the online petition (linked below) and signing the in-person petition (linked below is the list to find your local organiser who you can meet with to sign the petition).
Of course, do also attend any in-person protests as and when they are organised. We need to make as big a fuss as possible about this to give us the best chance of being able to educate our children in the safe, loving, personalised environment that they deserve.
Please also tell EVERYONE you can about the Schools Bill. Rock up to your local school with an iPad and the link to the online petition and explain the risks of the Bill to school parents (schools having no choice or freedom over curriculum; schools forced to extend their school day; children being forced to attend schools that aren’t right, even at serious risk to their physical and mental health as the Department of Education will get final say, not the parent; three months in prison and a £2500 fine for not complying).
Please note I do NOT take credit for writing the template letter, briefing report or creating the petitions or document linking to petition volunteers. All this was done by other amazing home educators and I’ve just collated it here (with permission) because people kept asking me on TikTok how to write to their MP etc. Thank you!
Template Letter To MP
PLEASE edit this letter accordingly. The more personalised it is, the greater chance that the MPs will actually read them properly and feel obliged to respond and act. Add in your very specific concerns, such as there being no accountability for Local Authorities, no structure for ‘standards’ being created or assessed, only 10 days to prove sufficient education before receiving an SAO, and as many other concerns as you have.
The Schools’ Bill has been introduced and had its second reading in the House of Lords. As a home educating parent I feel horrified by its content.
I am writing to you to ask you to protect the rights of home educating families and their children by resisting the introduction of parts 3 and 4 of this Bill. These parts introduce a charter for criminalisation of parents who choose a legal option. The Bill provides unlimited powers to local authorities to sanction parents and institutions for failure to provide information dictated by those authorities, which information may not even be held, which may put children at risk of harm, or simply requested to harass and take legal action in the pursuit to force your child back to school.
There is no evidential basis for this Bill and in fact, the DfE has misled parliament in its connected documentation. Furthermore, even if a register were acceptable (which it is not), home educating families had been repeatedly assured that this Bill would go no further than registration of home educated children. The Bill goes considerably further and if enacted, will destroy the very basis of home education: provision of an individualised education to a child, suitable to the child’s age, ability and aptitude.
Unfortunately, we have returned to the days when official assurances have little to no value. More crucially, the introduction of his register threatens the privacy rights of families and could put vulnerable families at serious risk of harm in he face of not infrequent breaches of data by local authorities and the DfE. A briefing paper outlining the issues with this Bill is attached I ask that you act on our concerns by speaking out for home educating families in parliament.
Please attach this briefing paper to your letter or email:
There are TWO types of petition and ideally please sign BOTH the online petition and in-person paper petition.
In person petition- The home education community has incredibly organised hundreds of constituencies to have volunteers who hold the paper petitions. Below is a link to a document where you can contact the volunteer in your area- PLEASE do everything you can to get to them and sign it (EVERYONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD CAN SIGN IT, INCLUDING CHILDREN WHO UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ARE SIGNING. You can also sign on behalf of any adults in your household if you have their consent so get AS MANY NAMES down as you can!)
2 Online petitions – Please ALSO sign this general petition. and this petition to stop the home education register. The more signatures, the more likely they will be taken seriously. The government does not want an uprising of parents on its hands so please make them know we are serious about this.
This is one of the worst pieces of legislation that has been proposed in terms of the removal of rights from parents. It is akin to making the governments parents of our children before we are- and that is something that is worth travelling to sign a paper petition, speaking to others and signing an online petition for.
Please share this post or the links with anyone who would like to join the protest.