Friday, 5 March 2010

The CSF Bill

I find it quite ironic that while many home educators are campaigning furiously for the Children, Schools and families Bill to be scrapped, other groups are campaigning just as vigorously for it to be passed at top speed. The Red Cross is one such organisation. They have arranged for MPs to be deluged with demands that the bill be passed. Below is an example of the letter which they are urging people to send to their MP;

1. Visit the WriteToThem website and enter your postcode to find your local MP.2. Click on your local Member of Parliament.3. Fill in your personal details, then paste the pre-written text (provided below) into the message box.4. Email your MP.
Re: Children, Schools and Families Bill 2009
I am writing to you regarding the Children, Schools and Families Bill as it contains a proposal to make first aid training – within PSHE – a statutory part of the national curriculum.
First aid saves lives, reduces the impact of serious injury and can play a significant role in reducing the burden on the healthcare system. It should play a central role in any preventative health education programme. This is particularly pressing as more than half of the 5.5 million attendees at accident and emergency departments could have benefited from first aid.
For example, more than 100 young people (aged under 15) attend accident and emergency departments every day in the UK with a scald or burn injury. Such injuries are quite easy to treat and benefit greatly from imediate attention, but sadly most people lack the necessary basic skills.
The importance of basic first aid training makes the inclusion of statutory first aid training in the bill a welcome step forward. I am aware that there is a small window of opportunity for this Bill to become law before an expected General Election. As such I would urge you to support the Bill in the upcoming report stage on the 23 February.
Yours sincerely,
(Insert your name)

Actually, others have also been bombarding MPs with letters asking them to spped up the passage of this bill. I just thought that readers might be amused by this and was also wondering whether a big organisation like Red Cross has been able to muster more letters in support of the thing than home educators have against!


  1. More ironic is that having recently posted about how people seem to be confusing one particular small part of the bill with the whole thing, you are still continuing to do so yourself.

  2. Indeed no, Ciaran. Different groups have different parts of the bill which they are anxious to see passed or blocked. I merely drew attention to the particular concern of the Red Cross. you will observe that their campaign is for the entire bill to be passed.

  3. Simon its good news the bill has not got enough time to get though lords!

    someone asked if the Children Schools and Familes Bill will bcome law

    Graham Stuart M.P

    (CB) It is my understanding that it has no chance. The Conservatives are against the whole Bill.

  4. What perhaps will become more relevant is the fact that various bits of Parliament do believe that even if we get a new Govt there will be more legislation on the way . Graham Stuart sas this week....
    "We need a settlement that all Governments should live with and all LAs can live with." - doesn't sound like this is going to go away, does it?

    This Bill may fail because of politics; the Tories will try and talk out any Bill to make a political point before the Election, but it sounds as if another will come along afterwards, whatever the hue of the Govt!

  5. Julie i dont think a new bill will come forward they is far more inportant things for Tories to do such as the deep cutbacks in services government spending,I see ED BALLS is now talking about the cutbacks for schools the money not they.

    Councils will have to save money not waste it on home educators. UK is broke and must pay back the debt so it is very good news for us.Uk is in danger of losing its 3 star credit rating so the Tories will not be intersted in home education. i dont think people understand how serious our debt is. deep cutback must and will take place and one place to start is with councils/public servants! we have to many of them!

  6. Hear hear, Mr Anonymous. Far too many public 'servants'. And worse, they've forgotten they're public servants.

    True, Simon, the last line of that letter is rather vague but I think the meaning is clear.

    I suspect some of the less contentious areas of the bill (obviously not Clause 26/Schedule 1) may be passed in a wash-up scenario, but I could be wrong.

  7. Yes, I picked up on Graham Stuart's casula remak as well, Julie. I have a suspicion that this means that the Tories have their own plans on the subject of home education.

  8. George Stewart5 March 2010 at 16:36

    Simon said; "I have a suspicion that this means that the Tories have their own plans on the subject of home education."

    At times you show absolute brilliance and other times I would swear that you recently completed your education at "typical UK School."

    With the staggering cuts that the Government will have to make, if anyone at DCSF wants to go after home education again, they will demand and get a thorough impact assessment focusing like a laser on five year government costs, in a worst case scenario.

    Once that document is prepared, Michael Gove will put any proposals into the rubbish bin.

    Hard decisions are going to be made and home education is going to be far down on the list for spending one pound of resources.

    No matter how much any LEA or anyone at DCSF wants to regulate home educate, the money is just not there.

  9. It's quite true that some tories (incl DC) have told constituents that 'something' will have to end up happening re HE, BUT they have all also said that it's a) not a priority for the next government and b) 'You should get almost everything you want!' (A remark rom DC to an HE constituent.)

    Not perfect, but okay.

    Since so many HE'ers have spent such a lot of effort dialoguing with their MP's in recent months, I would expect the next round (and I'm sure there WILL be a next round) will have a completely different tone and outcome in terms of any legislation.

    Those relationships have now been established (such as the APPG) and many Tory MP's who, initally, were all gung ho for the increase in regulations, have been gradually persuaded they would not be a good idea.

    After many letters and meetings, my own MP has changed his mind significantly from 'I know GB personally. He's a good chap. We must trust him completely,' to 'That's truly a shocking way to mislead a SC about figures. He must not be allowed to get away with that sort of behaviour. It sounds like he made a complete mess of that report.'

    Now, I'm not so naive to assume that all the Tory MP's who were initially so highly suspicious of HE are now all converts but they have been edged closer to the perspective of the HE community and so we will start off new dialogue, after an election, on a better footing.

    That's IF they are voted in, of course! :-)

    Mrs Anon
    PS, and of course George is right. The money is just not there any more.

  10. Below are a few quotations by Graham Stuart this week. I am bound to say that this does not sound like a man who believes that there will be no regulation of home education. Instead, it comes across as the carefully considered comments of somebody who is well aware that the law will be changing in the near future.

    "we have to find a settlement that respects home educators and LAs. It will come back."

    "There are some issues. There is a welfare issue."

    "We should be talking about the way ahead. That is going to be tough."

    "Don't say 'Thank God it's all over' If you believe in this, prepare and work the ground. Someone will come back for you at some point. We need a settlement that all Governments should live with and all LAs can live with."

    Of the Children, Schools and Families Bill, he said;

    "It is my understanding that it has no chance."

    All of which sounds to me like a man who sees change coming and is urging home educators to come up with a compromise. I would not personally trust this fellow; he comes across to me like a bit of a chancer who has discovered how to create a fan club for himself. Having seen him in action, he puts me very much in mind of Robert Kilroy-Silk; the same oily chat-show host manner.

  11. Schools Secretary Ed Balls has told head teachers in England they need to plan for savings of half a billion pounds now - or face staff cuts later.

    He warned front-line services would be hit if the efficiency savings of almost 1% schools needed to make for 2011-2013 were not planned carefully.

    looks like Balls now understands how deep cuts will have to be! so they is no way LA will have the money to chase after home educators! great news the UK is in big debt!

  12. George Stewart6 March 2010 at 02:26

    Simon says-

    "I would not personally trust this fellow; he comes across to me like a bit of a chancer who has discovered how to create a fan club for himself."

    Lets see who do we trust?

    Is it Graham Stuart or Ed Balls......