Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Bennett’s Approach Leaves Parents With No Options

Media Release – Paula Bennett’s One-Size-Fits-All Approach Leaves Parents With No Options

October 26, 2012

Palmerston North, NZ – Parents will be left with no options under the new Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, says Barbara Smith of the Home Education Foundation (HEF) of New Zealand.

Under international human rights instruments and the Care of Children Act 2004, section 16, parents have the right to make important decisions for their children, including where and how the children will be educated and what medical treatment they will receive.

“The ‘Social Obligations’ in this bill prevent parents from making their own decisions about health and education,” says Mrs Smith. “Under the bill, parents will be forced to send their preschoolers to an approved Early Childhood Education (ECE) provider, register them with a GP, and attend all the core Well Child checks.”

In a letter to the Home Education Foundation dated 25 October 2012, Minister for Social Development Paula Bennett stated, “I know that most beneficiary parents are acting in the best interests of their child and engaging in appropriate services.” According to Ms Bennett, the most disadvantaged families in the benefit system are the ones that fail to “engage in appropriate services.”

“If Paula Bennett knows that most beneficiary families act in their child’s best interests, why is she making ECE compulsory?” Mrs Smith asks.

“The answer is that she believes ‘engaging in appropriate services’ is a measure of whether families are ‘disadvantaged’ or not.

“What about the families who want to opt out of ECE and Well Child checks, providing education at home and quality health care from providers they choose themselves? They’re going to be labeled ‘disadvantaged’ and ‘vulnerable’, simply for not following the government programme.”

Paula Bennett assures beneficiary parents that Work and Income will “engage and support parents to meet their obligations” for a six to eight week period before levying the 50% sanction and—if the family appears problematic--calling CYF.

“Families don’t want six to eight weeks to get sorted out,” says Mrs Smith. “They want to keep their preschoolers home from ECE. They want to home educate their children.

“What about parents’ right to choose the education their children receive?”

Mrs Smith emphasises that this is not just the law of the land but also a fundamental human right.

“It’s the parents’ responsibility to choose their child’s education. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights states that parents have a ‘prior right’ to choose how their child will be educated. The Care of Children Act states that parents have the right to determine ‘where, and how, the child is to be educated’. Thousands of Kiwi parents want to exercise this right to educate their children at home, including in preschool.

“This bill will result in significant hardship for parents who want to choose to educate their children. These parents do not want to be ‘supported and encouraged’ to comply with social obligations. They do not want to ‘engage in appropriate services’ because they believe they can provide superior services. They do not want free ECE, although they pay for it with taxes. They do not want free health checks. They do not want to be supported, encouraged, lectured, or harassed to do anything.

“They just want the freedom to do what they know is right.”

Mrs Smith encourages all concerned Kiwis to make a submission to the Select Committee by the deadline on November 1. Ms Bennett’s letter 2nd letter from Paula Bennett to Barbara Smith and 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

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>


Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland