April 04, 2003
Losing the home education debate in France

Julius Blumfeld passes on some grim news about home education in France.

Not quite hot off the press, but the latest edition of the Education Otherwise Newsletter contains an alarming account by Dr Amanda Petrie of the clamp-down on home education in France (and elsewhere in Europe). Apparently the law in France changed in 1999 with the passsing of a draconian new law. Since then, French home-educators have had to comply with specified curriculum requirements, registration is compulsory and a variety of "professionals" (including educational sociologists and psychologists) have a right of entry into the home. This is Dr. Petrie's account of the passage of the new legislation:

One of the French Members of the Assemble during the debate claimed that children who did not attend school were subject to the influence of sects and that the children were at risk of being marginalized and incapable of developing an independent spirit. When he finished his speech, the whole of the parliament erupted in lengthy applause.

This sort of thing sends shivers down my spine. As Britain prepares to sign up to an EU Constitution drafted by the French and the Germans (where home-ed is almost totally illegal), the need for vigilance by British home educators who enjoy relative freedom compared to their continental friends will become even greater.

Julius

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 03:45 AM
Category: Home education
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