Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Bill Should Treat Home Education as a Legitimate Choice

Social Security Bill Should Treat Home Education as a Legitimate Choice

October 31, 2012

Palmerston North, NZ – The Home Education Foundation (HEF) of New Zealand hopes that Parliament and the Select Committee now considering the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill will treat home education as a legitimate choice, says National Director Barbara Smith.

“Home education in New Zealand has come from very small beginnings to be recognised by the Ministry of Education as a viable educational option,” says Mrs Smith.

“In July 2009 the Ministry reduced the number of reviews of home educators, saying ‘This programme is considered to be low risk to the education priorities of the Government.’

“At the time a senior member of the Education Review Office told the Home Education Foundation in personal correspondence, ‘The reality is home schooling has been found to be low risk.’ He went on to note that home educators make use of support networks, that home education is recognised as a viable option, and that over the years the Education Review Office has received ‘mostly positive’ feedback on home education.”

Mrs Smith says this was a vote of confidence in home educators in New Zealand. “Over the years, the evidence showing home education as more than equal to schooling in registered institutions gets higher. As time goes on and the number of home educators grows, we can only expect to see that evidence mount up. It’s time the rest of the government followed the Ministry of Education in affirming home education as a wonderful, viable alternative to institutionalised learning.”

With this in mind, Mrs Smith argues, the Ministry for Social Development has no right to demand compulsory preschool attendance under the new bill.

“Home education provides incredible benefits to children. A parent can give a child a brilliant classical education encompassing all the great subjects of Western civilization with little more than an internet connection, a library card, a little encouragement and a passion for knowledge. Meanwhile, a child attending a state school is held back by the government curriculum and teaching aimed at the lowest common denominator.”

Unfortunately, Mrs Smith says, Ministry of Social Development policy refuses home education exemptions to beneficiaries. “Under MSD policy, beneficiaries can only get an exemption to home educate if it would be ‘unreasonable’ for their child to attend school. And under the new bill, that will be extended to preschoolers so that if you are a beneficiary, you will only be allowed to be with your 3-5 year old children if it would be ‘unreasonable’ for them to attend preschool.”

Mrs Smith hopes that the bill will provide an opportunity for New Zealand to rethink its attitude to home education. “We want Parliament to reject the ‘social obligation’ provisions that will force parents into an educational programme they don’t like, want, or support. We want them to affirm that beneficiaries can bring up good children without being told what to do.

“But we’d also love it if Parliament used this opportunity to address the MSD’s policy against home education. Under the Education Act, parents already need to prove that they can teach their children ‘at least as regularly and well’ as in a registered school, before they are granted an exemption. These are the only criteria in the Act, but the MSD’s policy adds the requirement that beneficiary home educators prove that it would be ‘unreasonable’ to send their children to school. Honestly I find it amazing that a government ministry can add to the law like this and I hope Parliament will take a very serious view of their actions.

“The Ministry of Education believes that home educators can do at least as well as a registered school, and the laws of New Zealand give them permission to try. It’s amazing that the Ministry of Social Development is so far behind the times.”

Mrs Smith encourages all concerned Kiwis to make a submission to the Select Committee by the deadline on November 1. Materials for writing a submission can be found at www.hef.org.nz.

About the Home Education Foundation

The Home Education Foundation has been informing parents for 27 years about the fantastic opportunity to de-institutionalise our sons and daughters and to embrace the spiritual, intellectual and academic freedom that is ours for the taking. Through conferences, journals, newsletters and all kinds of personal communications, we explain the vision of handcrafting each child into a unique individual, complete with virtuous character, a hunger for service to others, academic acumen and a strong work ethic. For more information, please visit www.hef.org.nz or more specifically hef.org.nz/2012/make-a-submission-reject-compulsory-early-education-for-3-year-olds/

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

3-Year Transport Plan: No Plans On Six Northland-Election Bridges

The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

Family Violence: Increasing Reporting But Fewer Resolutions

“We are aware the Police have embarked on a significant programme of change in how they respond to family violence. The data suggests that adequate resourcing including investing in staff training, support and culture change will be required for this to be effective.” More>>

ALSO:

Health: NZ Children Still Suffer Rickets From Lack Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency continues to cause rickets in young New Zealanders, new University of Otago research has found. The researchers say that their finding suggests that at-risk mothers and children should be better targeted for Vitamin D supplementation. More>>

Also GPs, Housing, Milk: PM Press Conference On The UN Security Council

In a press conference today the Prime Minister discussed the upcoming appointment of New Zealand to chair the UN Security Council. He said they would put pressure Asad in Syria and attempt to “jump start” negotiations between Israel and Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: State Houses Could Sell To Overseas Groups

Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

AND:

Gordon Campbell: On Climate Change Protest, And Iraq Training

For sheer style, humour and content fit for purpose, it would be hard to beat the Greenpeace protest at Parliament. The fact that the hanging of functioning solar panels from Parliament Buildings caused such spluttering outrage among fogeys old (David Carter) and young (David Seymour) added a Monty Python level of amusement to the whole event. More>>

ALSO:

Speech: Bill English Explains NZ Government To Australia

Here I am part of a successful government, now into its third term and hopefully with more to come. I want to offer some thoughts tonight about the business of government, from a centre-right perspective. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news