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Special Needs Children, HE and the Consultation

There has been a big increase in the number of parents who are turning to home education as a viable method of educating children who have Special Educational Needs during the last few years. Many feel that this was not by choice and that they were forced into home education because their children were suffering in mainstream and special schools. The overwhelming majority of us realise very quickly that home education works so well for our children that we could never contemplate returning them into a school setting.

The state system is neither geared up nor is its teachers specifically trained to meet the needs of children who have complex and specific needs. This is now well documented. The Education and Skills Select Committee came back with a damning report regarding the provision that is available for children with SEN. This report includes three volumes of written evidence provided by groups and individuals who all agreed that the system is failing our SEN children.

Even if every recommendation in that report was carried out to the letter these changes will not happen over night and would take many years. One report actually states that for some children with SEN the education that is being provided by the state can be a form of abuse.

This is very alarming but vindicating for those of us who have first hand experience of this, and realised that we had to take the education of our children into our own hands, as is legally our right. Even the Children's Commissioner for England is on record as saying that 'it's shameful that this country is failing to provide adequately for children with autism'.

The Government is making a big deal at the moment of 'personalised learning'. Home Educators are light years ahead of the game where this idea is concerned. Each and every home educator on the planet is already supplying a 'personalised education' because every child on the planet is unique, something that we have been aware of for a very long time. We are probably the most diverse group of people in the world.

Those of us who do now educate our children with SEN at home, already know that the way forward is to create a method of education that wraps around the child which truly does meet their needs. We can already prove that this method of education works well. We don't need to be set targets or monitored so that we can be told what we already know, and that is that our children are making the progress being taught at home that they could never have made in a classroom. Every Child should indeed have access to a personalised education.

Being the parent of a child with a disability is not easy and many of us are already battle weary. It often feels as if our lives are one constant battle to secure the things for our children that should be theirs by right. For many of us home education has taken us out of the direct line of fire and gave us back some quality of life. If the law changes we will once again be within range of the firing squad. That is why even though we may not feel that we can enter into yet another battle zone we really have no choice this time. We must unite and not only respond to the up and coming consultation but must start to build a solid foundation for a meaningful campaign.

We have the evidence it's been supplied by the state itself. If the system is failing our children, which many top professionals and committees now believe is happening, and if we have taken action to stop our children from suffering at the hands of the system, we must not allow that system to pursue us and legally demand that we produce the evidence that we are actually succeeding where they have failed. We have been punished enough for having children who have Special Educational Needs.

Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey was famous for this quote

The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life the children; those who are in the twilight of life . . . the elderly; and those who are in the shadow of life . . . the sick . . . the needy . . . and the disabled.
Disabled children and their parents are not treated at all well in our society nor are any of the other groups who were included in the quote. We have to speak up for ourselves because no one else will do it for us.

Ten thousand people all muttering under their breath will never be heard or listened to. Ten thousand people all 'Raising Awareness with One Voice' can not be ignored. Please raise your voice with us here and also with AIM1VOICE.


Food for Thought:
Home Education for Teenagers

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The DCSF thinks school is the best place for children.
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