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« What is the state? | Main | Beyond the clouds »

Educational philosophies and constitutional acts

One interesting aspect of the Badman review of home education is its demand that parents should once a year submit plans for what they are intending to teach children for the next twelve months. This seems rather extraordinary to me, since the school my children attend claim that they cannot give me such a plan for the following week.

As some have observed, this will signal the end of one important thread of home education, namely child-led, autonomous learning. The whole point of autonomous learning is that it's unplanned.

It's interesting to consider the legal implications of the proposed changes. According to the Human Rights Act,

...the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.

Now if one's philosophical convictions are that education shall be child-led and autonomous, it seems to me that the government will breach the HRA if it insists that autonomous education is verboten. Now of course, the HRA isn't worth the paper it's written on since the courts will not strike down an act of parliament which breaches it. Instead they will merely issue a statement to the effect that a breach has occurred. I wonder though if one could ask the government, or perhaps ask the courts to enquire, if their intention is to breach the HRA. If it is, then it might be reasonable to ask them to say so explicitly.



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Reader Comments (1)

Thanks for that Bishop. Yes, I think that is a good question to be sure to include in one's letters to MPs etc.
Jun 14, 2009 at 7:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterCarlotta

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