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Protect all Home Education Rights

£1,480 of £3,000 goal

Raised by 84 people in 10 months
Our freedom to home educate is under threat in England and Wales and the Isle of Man. Plans for updated guidance and or legislation will impact on home educators across Britain as Governments bow to pressure from local authorities and others to regulate and control ‘education otherwise’.

Home education is just that – education that takes place at home and is inseparable from our private and family life. Any plan for the Government to require sight of our children’s education, whether in the form of a compulsory register or rights to information or inspection of our children, breaches our Human Rights.

British law makes it the duty of parents, not the local authority, to ensure that the education of their children is suitable. The local authority can only get involved ‘if it appears’ the education is not suitable. It has always been that way.

Any attempt to change either guidance or law is simply the thin end of the wedge and could lead to home education being monitored, controlled, inspected and restricted in ways that makes it intolerable for children and families.

In the Isle of Man the Home Education community is tiny, there are only 57 home educated children on the entire island. There has never even been a school attendance order, yet the Government has jumped on the bandwagon with updated guidance and the threat of legislation. The case against any change in either guidance or legislation is even stronger here than elsewhere, but the fight is harder due to very weak compliance with Human Rights Legislation.

Please help us, and all home educating families, by contributing to a fund to raise £3000 for a legal opinion that will clearly explain to all Governments that rights to home educate free from reporting, control, interference and inspection are protected under the Human Rights Act.

The report will be available online to home educators to use in their fight to keep the law as it is and ensure that any new guidance fully respects our Human Rights.

Voirrey Baugh
Tristram Llewellyn Jones
Maria Ullaytt
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With all the furore around the Channel 4 Dispatches programme ‘Skipping School: Britain's Invisible Kids’ few home educators can be left in any doubt that home education freedom really might disappear.

We now know that the Isle of Man propose that home educators who refuse to submit their children for interview will be served with a school attendance order which, if not complied with, will result in a six month prison sentence for the parents.

This is completely extreme and there is a real danger it could be copied elsewhere. We really do have to stand up and fight all the authorities who seek to control us.

Please help us get our legal challenge underway ASAP.
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There has just been a big change in the Government’s proposals.

The Isle of Man Government has just launched this public consultation lasting until 20 March 2019 proposing a major change in home education law:

https://consult.gov.im/education-and-children/the-new-education-bill/

The Government now wants to be directly responsible for home educated children with parents only allowed to ‘have a reasonable degree of influence over the kind of education’ provided to their children. This overturns the the long established British principle that parents are responsible for the education of their children.

Under the new laws assessments of home educated children would be compulsory and would include interviewing the child without the parents consent. Interviews of parents would also be compulsory as would written assessments.

The Government could then control the home education including any religious education.

All laws in the Isle of Man have to be approved by the UK. If the Isle of Man passes this legislation and gets approval from the British authorities for this, similar legislation could pass in Britain.

Home educators in the Isle of Man need a legal opinion with which to challenge the Government. Our target of £3000 is easily achievable with your help.
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The Isle of Man Tynwald is a very sophisticated and respected tri cameral political system. Week in – week out it processes policy and legislation on behalf of the electorate. New policy and law can be strongly opposed and the debates can get heated but it never, ever acts against individuals with strong opposing opinions. Tynwald never acts punitively against law abiding people. Its job is often to filter out punitive legislation. In my view it is frequently better at this than Westminster.

The Isle of Man, along with the rest of Britain, is subject to the Human Rights Act which is an international obligation. This is the law that says there can be a law and it applies equally across Britain. The Human Rights Act exists to stop public authorities bullying members of the public. All laws have to be written in accordance with it. That is what Parliaments, Attorney Generals and the courts are obligated to do.

See this: https://www.gov.im/about-the-government/departments/cabinet-office/information-archive/government-initiatives/human-rights/

Home Education law, guidance, policy and procedures fall under the Human Rights Act. Any extensions of these potentially engage Articles 6,8,9, and 14 of the Act.

The GoFundMe appeal seeks a legal opinion on what Government must do to guarantee home educators Human Rights.

I am not going to post the precise brief to the advocate here but it will, broadly, cover two things: the Human Rights of home educators and an opinion on the compatibility with the Human Rights Act of the draft (or final) Isle of Man Elective Home Education Procedures. There is a view that these will make it much easier for for the authorities to become needlessly involved with a home educating family and that the involvement will be harder to stop without court action. Specialist legal opinion is sought on that issue alone.

The opinion is being raised in the Isle of Man because convention here is that this Island is served by its own advocates. However, an opinion on the Human Rights Act is valid wherever that act is in force. Medical confidentiality in the Isle of Man, for example, is dictated by case law in Finland and so on.

This means that home educators in the UK who contribute to the GoFundME will get something for their money. I.e. an opinion on what their own parliaments must do to guarantee their Human Rights.

None of this threatens anyone – least of all home educators. Obtaining a Human Rights opinion is a routine and respected process in Britain. It will most likely be gratefully received by politicians as it will better inform the debate. The debate on the Scottish Named Person policy, which had a lot in common with home education monitoring, started with a Human Rights opinion and the argument went all the way to the UK Supreme Court who told the Scottish Government to drop the law.

To conclude, all those who put a tenner into the GoFundMe will get a legal opinion that can inform the debate on home education where they live.

Nothing ventured – nothing gained.
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This legal opinion is essential to help fight home education proposals across Britain.

Due to the Times newspaper reporting that the police are going to be used to check up on home educated children this legal opinion is needed urgently.

www.thetimes.co.uk/…/police-track-hundreds-of-invisible-hom…

Lord Soley and others are backing Durham Police in their plans to pay visits to any home educated child who has not been in contact with the police, doctors or local authority for 18 months. If this gross and needless intrusion isn’t stopped the idea will spread right across Britain. Politicians are sweeping away the fact that the police do not have the powers to do this and that the Human Rights Act protects us from this persecution and harassment.

The advocate writing this report will be briefed to explain why it is unlawful for British public authorities and the police to act in this way under the Human Rights Act. In 2009 a similar Human Rights opinion helped STOP home education monitoring in the Isle of Man. We need a new report to tackle the latest developments.

An appeal for a legal opinion on the English draft guidelines rapidly reached its target.

https://chuffed.org/…/legal-advice-on-draft-home-education-…

Well done!

Please keep contributing to this appeal so we can tackle the whole issue of Human Rights and home education and keep state intrusion away from our children.
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£1,480 of £3,000 goal

Raised by 84 people in 10 months
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