Families forced into home educating their disabled

first_imgFamilies forced into home educating their disabled children because of the lack of support from mainstream schools are among parents who are being “scapegoated” by the children’s commissioner, according to a disabled mum and campaigner.Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England, published a report last week that calls for action to address the lack of knowledge about the standard of education and safety of the tens of thousands of children currently being home educated.Research by Channel 4’s Dispatches, for a documentary presented by Longfield (pictured) last week, found that 22 per cent of children withdrawn from school to be home educated in 2017-18 had special educational needs (SEN).The numberof children known by local authorities to be home educated has doubled since2013-14.Longfieldsaid there were concerns about whether some of these children were safe and ifthey were receiving a good quality education. She wants tosee a compulsory register of home educated children, and greater oversight ofthose arrangements.But disabledactivist Dennis Queen, who home educates her 14-year-old twins Stan and Rosa,who are both disabled, says home educators are being blamed rather than theschools that caused the problems in the first place.And she isangry that the commissioner is suggesting giving greater powers to the localauthorities that are already responsible for failing children who have beenforced into home education.She says thepeople they need to worry about are parents who have removed their childrenfrom school but are not home educating them.Longfieldsaid: “We need to know who these children are, where they are, whether they aresafe and if they are getting the education they need to succeed in life. “There is aclear case for the government to introduce a compulsory register for all home educatedchildren, without delay.”But Queen saidsuch a register and greater oversight would be “a fundamental change to the lawaround children and education”, which currently says that it is the legal duty ofparents – and not the state – to provide an education for their home educatedchildren.  She andother campaigners believe such measures would breach the human rights of home educatingfamilies, who have rights to privacy and a family life under the Human RightsAct.Localcouncils have an obligation to identify children they believe are not receivinga suitable education, but they have no legal duty to monitor those being homeeducated and do not have the powers to insist on visiting a home unless theyhave a welfare concern.Councils areresponsible for safeguarding in their area and have the same safeguardingpowers in relation to children educated at home as to those educated atschool.But Queensays that most families who home educate – some of whom choose to do so withouteven trying the school system – are already checked by local authorities, and sheand others want those checks to remain voluntary.She said:“We will comply with whatever they ask us to do, but it is not going to help AnneLongfield find the children who are not getting an education.“I thinkthere is enough oversight already. In general, families comply when they areasked and if they don’t comply and there are concerns, they can be made tocomply.“I think anyfurther measures waste energy and money which could be used instead to findchildren who are not getting any education.”She added: “Everyminute we waste preparing for assessment is another minute not educating ourchildren. “Many kindsof home ed exist and some are vastly different to schooling. Each child has afully individualised education. They just can’t be measured by systems set upto measure schools.”Introducinga new assessment system would “ruin it completely”, she added.She said: “Homeed works partly because of the immense freedom we have to educate in ways whichwork for our children.”She says hertwins are now studying a wider range of subjects, and they have more friends,than they did when they were at school.Queen saysresearch shows that home-educated children have better outcomes on average thanthose who attend school – probably because those children benefit from moreindividual attention – with those improvements even greater for children frommore deprived backgrounds. Herexperiences show how schools are forcing many parents of disabled children intoremoving them from school and home educating them instead, she said.She had toremove her autistic son Stan from his mainstream school when the localauthority halved his support package, and the school was about to insist thathe move to a special school.If she hadnot done so, she says, he would have had to attend a special school far fromhome, travelling an hour each way every day.Rosa wasde-registered about 18 months later, after the school kept punishing her fornot sitting still in her chair, even though she was in pain because of herimpairment.Longfieldsaid that many home-educated children have been “off-rolled” by schools, aprocess where parents are pressured to remove their child because of pooracademic results, or because they have support needs the school is unwilling orunable to meet.She wants tosee stronger measures to tackle off-rolling.Research bythe Children’s Commissioner’s Office shows that the number of children movinginto home education from academy schools in one London borough increased by 238per cent between 2016-17 and 2017-18, compared with a rise of 21 per cent incouncil-run schools in the borough.Inclusiveeducation campaigners havebeen warning for years that the spread of academy schools wasundermining the inclusion of disabled children in mainstream schools.Queen agreesthat measures should be taken to address off-rolling, and that the spread ofacademies has worsened the problem.The schoolpreviously attended by Rosa and Stan later became an academy, and hasoff-rolled other disabled children, says Queen, who has now joined otherparents in sharing her experiences with the home education website Suitable Education.She said:“We can’t let them turn home education into a dumping ground for children withSEN. It has to be a choice.”Tara Flood, director of The Alliance forInclusive Education (ALLFIE), said her organisation had been concernedfor years about the impact of academies on inclusive education, and about thepractice of off-rolling, in what was a “fundamentally broken” school system.She said: “We completely understand why parents make what can sometimesbe a very difficult decision to pull their young person out of school.”But she said that as more and more children are withdrawn from themainstream school system, that lets the school system “off the hook”.She said: “If you have got a pupil population that is less and lessdiverse in terms of their learning and access requirements, the pressurebecomes less and less to offer creative solutions to your existing pupilpopulation.”That applied to the government and local authorities as well aseducation providers, she said, and led to an education system that was “lessand less willing to be inclusive”.Flood said the home educating community was responding to “anincreasingly hostile school system” but it was up to the government, theeducation watchdog Ofsted and education providers “to end that hostility”.A Departmentfor Education spokesperson said:“There are thousands of parents across the country who are doing an excellentjob of educating their children at home. “We know, however, that in a verysmall minority of cases children are not receiving the standard ofeducation they should be or, very rarely, are being put at risk.“That’s why we recently ran a call forevidence on home education asking for views on issues such asregistration, monitoring provision and support for home educators. “We have also consulted on revisedguidance that will help local authorities and parents better understandsafeguarding laws applicable to home education. “We are considering the responses and will respond to both the call for evidence and consultation in due course.”A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

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Tom Watson has released a video reacting to the ne

first_imgTom Watson has released a video reacting to the news that seven MPs have quit the Labour Party today.In his statement, the deputy leader describes the decision taken by those seven MPs as “premature” and says this is a “moment for regret and reflection not for a mood of anger or a tone of triumph”.The MP for West Bromwich East pays special tribute to Luciana Berger, who he calls “one of our most dedicated and courageous MPs”, and accepts that Labour has been “too slow to respond to the shaming scourge of antisemitism in our ranks”.Watson questions whether Labour is still “perceived” as “patriotic and internationalist at the same time”, concluding that the party must “change” – or “see more days like this”.He calls on the Labour frontbench to “reflect the balance of opinion in the Parliamentary Labour Party”, adding: “We need to broaden out so that all the members of our broad church feel welcome in our congregation.”Below is the full text of Tom Watson’s statement.The instant emotion I felt, when I heard the news this morning that colleagues were leaving Labour, was deep sadness. I’ve devoted my life to this party and I’m proud to serve it, I am hugely disappointed about what has happened. This is a sad day for all of us.I think our colleagues have come to a premature conclusion. But this is a moment for regret and reflection, not for a mood of anger or a tone of triumph. There are those who are already celebrating the departure of colleagues with whom they disagree.The hard left can be too easily tempted into the language of heresy and treachery. Betrayal narratives and shouting insults at the departed might make some feel better briefly but it does nothing to address the reasons that good colleagues might want to leave.I want to say something in particular about Luciana Berger. In my time in politics I have witnessed many changes but perhaps the most profound of recent times has been the growth of identity politics. I am sad to say that a virulent form of identity politics has seized the Labour Party which today took its first casualty.I would like to place on record my complete respect for Luciana and my understanding of the decision to which she has been driven. They say antisemitism is a light sleeper. This is certainly a wake-up call for the Labour party.We were slow to acknowledge we had a problem and even slower to deal with it. Even a single incident of antisemitism in the Labour party shames us. Now we have lost Luciana, one of our most dedicated and courageous MPs.If someone like Luciana no longer believes there is a home for her in the Labour party then many other colleagues will be asking themselves how they can stay. That’s why time is short for us. To confront the scale of the problem and meet the consequences. To keep others from leaving.The identity of this party must be tolerant, multi-cultural, generous and welcoming. To put it mildly, we need to be kinder and gentler. I love this party. But sometimes I no longer recognise it. That is why I do not regard those who have resigned today as traitors.I fear they have left at a critical moment for the country when all our attention should be on solving the Brexit crisis. So I regard them as people who have drawn the wrong conclusion to a serious question.The historic task of the Labour party is to speak for those citizens who lack a voice. To offer them a stake in the future of the nation.Last month in a speech to the Fabian Society I said that we needed to develop a programme that will deliver both within and beyond our traditional Labour base. I feared that if we did not do that then “someone else will”.I confess I feared this day would come. And I fear now, that unless we change, we may see more days like this.The departure of our colleagues poses a test for our party. Do we respond with simple condemnation or do we try and reach out and extend beyond our comfort zone and prevent others from following?We know in our hearts we have been too slow to respond to the shaming scourge of antisemitism in our ranks.Throughout our history this party has been patriotic and internationalist at the same time. But is that a good description of what we are perceived as being today?We face a government with no majority, no clarity and no leadership, badly failing on the issue of a generation: Brexit. Yet we are losing members and now losing MPs.This country faces some troubling questions and we have yet to convince the nation that we have the answers. Social democratic and democratic socialist traditions, which has always been the main stream of Labour’s political thought, is where we can find the answers to the current crisis.That is why in the coming weeks and months I will be working with Labour MPs to develop policies within that tradition to address the challenges of the future. I believe the much-needed modernisation of this nation must come from there.And that is why the frontbench needs once again to reflect the balance of opinion in the Parliamentary Labour Party. We need to broaden out so that all the members of our broad church feel welcome in our congregation.It is only if we open out that this party can fulfil its purpose. Labour was formed to give voice to the ordinary people of this nation. It can do so again but only if it stays together.And it can only stay together if it stands for the whole country. This noble aim brought us all into politics.I believe in it every bit as much as I did on the day I first joined the Labour party on my fifteenth birthday in 1982. But I say candidly, that my fear is if we don’t do it, someone else will.Tags:Tom Watson /Labour /The Independent Group /last_img read more

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Hunters Point Riot 50 years Later

first_imgA crowd of more 60 people gathered inside 518 Valencia Street Wednesday night to hear about a moment in history that’s often overlooked and forgotten, the San Francisco Hunters Point Riot of 1966. This year marks its 50th anniversary.“When police come down the street, and behind them is National Guard with fixed bayonets, and behind them is tanks. Who is rioting?” said Darrell Rogers, who lived through the riots. “Who is about to start the trouble? Who’s about to make things worse?”Rogers, who was a teenager at the time of the riots in September 1966, made it clear that residents were not the ones rioting, they were the ones rebelling.The riots erupted after police shot and killed 17-year-old Matthew Johnson, who was unarmed and fleeing after being discovered with a stolen car. Residents of the African American neighborhood took to the streets to protest. Within the first couple of days, Governor Pat Brown sent the National Guard. The protests came to an end.Joining Rogers on stage was artist and activist Adriana Camarena. She connected the event that sparked the Hunters Point Riot to recent cases in which officers of the San Francisco Police Department have shot and killed unarmed residents. She focused on the cases of Alex Nieto, shot and killed March 2014, and Luis Góngora, a homeless man who was shot and killed in April 2016.“There’s no aggression from the victim, but there’s aggression from the police,” Camarena said.Camarena went over the Anti Eviction Mapping Project’s statistics on killings by law enforcement in San Francisco from 1985 to 2016. Of the 98 persons killed (102 in total) for which race was identified, 40 percent were black.Alexander Malakai, a teacher who works at Mission High School, said he came after hearing Darrell Rogers would be there. The two had met briefly a couple of months before.“I didn’t know much [about the riot],” Malakai said. “I had seen about two or three videos, some of which they showed here today.”“Hunter’s Point Riot, 50 years Later” is part of the fall 2016 series of talks from Independent Arts and Media and Shaping San Francisco. Guest were treated to historic footage that captured the scene on Third Street on September 28, 1966, and the emotions of black citizens of the neighborhood. Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img 0%last_img read more

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MIKE Rush echoed his comments of last week followi

first_imgMIKE Rush echoed his comments of last week following another last gasp Stobart Super League win.This time, unlike the win over Hull KR, Saints really pushed their luck time wise, taking home a 24-23 victory in the very last second.“It is always good to win one at the death and I’m sure our fans will have enjoyed the experience,” he said. “But, let’s be honest, we could have put the game to bed earlier.“We were defensively on top in the first half, but we weren’t under a lot of pressure. Then a ridiculous bounce on this iPitch allows Patrick Ah Van the opportunity to score. Tommy Makinson was scrambling and I’m sure if he had his time again he would dive on the ball or kick it dead.“At half time we spoke about continuing the good work of the first half. Offensively we needed to calm down a bit and as a result we started the second half well. We got good shape and got back to the systems we needed to and then all of a sudden when we should have been 10 to 12 points ahead, Andy Dixon threw an intercept, unfortunately for him, and it was game on again.“I thought when Phelps scored that was it but fair credit to the lads. They played for the full 80 and two points is better than none. Come September it won’t matter we scraped it today.“Lee Gaskell’s kick off the touchline was really good.”last_img read more

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PICTURES from Saints Academys opening Tour game a

first_imgPICTURES from Saints Academy’s opening Tour game against St George-Illawarra.last_img

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TICKETS for Saints Tetleys Challenge Cup Round 4

first_imgTICKETS for Saints’ Tetley’s Challenge Cup Round 4 clash against the Huddersfield Giants on April 6 are on sale now!Adults and concessions can get into the John Smith’s Stadium for £15 whilst Junior tickets (up to under 18s) are only £5.Junior Season Ticket Holders are once again entitled to a free ticket (subject to availability) but they must present their season ticket at the Langtree Park ticket office in advance of the match.No ‘swaps’ will be taken on the day at the John Smith’s Stadium.You can get your tickets from the Langtree Park Ticket Office or by calling 01744 455 052. They will be back online at 9.30am on Tuesday.PLEASE NOTE:Due to a batching error a number of junior swaps have been issued to adults by mistake for this tie.If you have the wrong ticket you MUST exchange it at our Ticket Office.You will not be admitted to the stadium with the wrong ticket and therefore it is paramount you check them now.If you have had them sent out to you, then please check the tickets when you receive them and call the ticket office on 01744 455 052 if they are incorrect.last_img read more

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Club Chairman Eamonn McManus statedThe improve

first_imgClub Chairman, Eamonn McManus, stated;“The improvement in the team’s results and in its brand of rugby league has naturally led to financial improvements in all areas. Gate, sponsorship and merchandising revenues in particular have each materially increased. This will result in a major improvement in our financial results in 2018 and in a return to profitability.“2017 was a challenging year for the Club in many respects, including its financial performance. The underperformance of the team in the first half of the season resulted in a material drop in revenues. Additional costs were also assumed due to one off changes in the senior coaching staff and in the additional recruitment of players in order to improve rugby performances. These together contributed to an EBITDA loss of £690,000 in 2017.“However, these investments in 2017 are already paying dividends in 2018 and beyond and a much stronger financial performance is eventuating.“The Club also has one of the strongest balance sheets in world club rugby of either code.”last_img read more

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How New Hanover Co Schools decide on closings and delays

first_img Making sure your kids are safe is the first step New Hanover County Schools take into account when deciding whether to close or delay schools due to potential inclement weather.“We work very closely with New Hanover County Emergency Management and the Weather Service here in Wilmington to look at the event, and the timing of the event, or the impact of the event,” Anderson said. “And try to determine what’s best, opening school, a delay, or an early release.”With snow on the horizon they decided to close school on Wednesday.Related Article: StarNews Media Life Expo to bring Jane Seymour to WilmingtonHowever before they make a final decision, senior staff meets throughout the day then makes a recommendation to Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley.“If there are any sections of the county that we feel are affected by the winter weather and it’s not safe to… have our buses on the road, we’ll cancel,” Anderson said. “Make a decision for the entire county.”Following the recommendation, Markley makes the final decision.As far as make up days, that all depends on the severity of the storm and how long students are out.“The timing of that storm is what we’re looking closely at right now and then we’ll look at the event itself and what the impact may be for the rest of the week,” Anderson said.For any and all updates on closings and delays, click here. NEW HANOVER COUNTY, (WWAY) — When it comes to school closings or delays, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes in order to make the final decision.“Actually there a quite a few steps that affect that decision,” New Hanover County Schools Assistant Superintendent for Planning and Operations, Eddie Anderson said. “But they all center around one thing and that’s the safety of our students.”- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Althea Arthur documentary features Wilmingtons One Love Tennis

first_imgOne Love Tennis members view “Althea & Arthur” documentary on March 9, 2019. (Photo: Kate Cornell) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Coach Lenny Simpson formed One Love in 2013. He says his vision is to give back to Wilmington’s youth through the great sport of tennis.Growing up, Simpson was coached and mentored by Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, both Wilmington natives, as well as the first African Americans to break the color barrier in tennis.- Advertisement – Pointe 14 theater in Wilmington is playing “Althea & Arthur,” a documentary about their lives and accomplishments over the years as well as One Love Tennis group. It will be shown three times Friday, Saturday and this coming Tuesday.You can purchase tickets ahead of time here.last_img

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Lemon backs up your entire wallet on your smartphone

first_imgAdvertisement  The company’s fourth version of its mobile app, released June 7, takes the wallet idea a step further by offering a place to store your credit, debit, ID, health insurance, and loyalty cards. All you have to do is snap a picture of the front and back of the cards in your wallet and the app will store them in your digital wallet. – Advertisement – Unlike other digital wallets from Square and PayPal, you can’t use the cards stored in Lemon to make payments at stores. However, Lemon’s wallet is a backup should you ever lose your physical wallet or are too lazy to go find your credit card while shopping online in bed.If storing your credit cards, driver’s license, and health insurance card in an app on your phone gives you security nightmares, the company assures that it uses SSL encryption and a bank-level secure PIN to keep your information secure.Lemon is based in Palo Alto and has a team of 21. Its app is available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.Sarah Mitroff June 12, 2012 7:00 AMlast_img read more

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