Friday 6 August 2010

Lessons Are Never Learned

Bear with me on this one please.

These three children are dead. They were found in an Edinburgh flat on Wednesday and their mother is said to have jumped from a balcony and sustained serious injuries.

Their parents, Theresa and Pasquale Riggi (both American). were involved in a bitter divorce battle and their mother was due to attend court on Tuesday for a hearing regarding the case. She didn't attend.

The mother and the children went missing on 4 July from the family home at Skene near Aberdeen. The husband had moved out of the house and was staying at a flat in Aberdeen. He didn't find out until 11 July that his wife and the children had left and called police to report them missing. Ports and airports were alerted in case the mother tried to leave the country with the children. Grampian police issued a missing persons appeal on 16 July.

Then, on 21 July, Lothian and Borders officers traced the mother and the children to the flat in Slateford Road, Edinburgh where Wednesday's tragedy unfolded. At that point, it was a simple missing persons inquiry. A police spokesman said: "Officers attended the address and found the family safe and well on 21 July."

That's what is known until last Tuesday, when at the Court, after the husband had spoken to his wife by phone, his lawyer told Lady Clark, who was the judge at the hearing, that Mr Riggi had concerns about his children. Mr Riggi's lawyer said there was a real emergency and Lady Clark obviously concurred with his statement. She asked court officials to find the children and said social workers should supervise them. She also stated that the social workers should apply to a local sheriff for child protection orders if they felt they were necessary.

That was Tuesday.

Edinburgh City Council said their social workers had no reason to get involved with the family before Lady Clark made her order. They said in a statement: "We received a phone call yesterday afternoon (I suspect that was Tuesday although the article is not clear) from lawyers regarding the court proceedings involving the family.

"The court's ruling was then faxed through to us at 15.05. Was this on the Tuesday or Wednesday? "In this fax we were asked to assist with the family's situation if and when they were found by the messenger at arms representing the court." By that time it was too late.

The police knew where the mother and children were yet they weren't informed of the court order.

What has gone wrong with the communication between these agencies who are supposed to protect us? Why are courts using a fax system for information when there are so many systems available these days and yet a phone call didn't seem important? Taxpayers spend billions on services such as justice, police and social workers. Government appears to have personal details on each and every one of us.

We hear so much verbosity from these agencies about how they communicate and will 'learn lessons'. I've no wish to attribute blame to anyone, yet it's deeply concerning that a phone call and a fax to the local council appears to be enough for these agencies to will no doubt, eventually, blame each other.

I can remember the days when police knew everything and we didn't have social workers - or not those who are called social workers these days. These were the days when home schooling had never been heard of, yet this mother insisted her children were home school and the father protested. These were the days when a court order was acted upon immediately by the police. But now it appears it has to initially go to the local council. Why? I suspect some left-thinking labour politician here in Scotland thought up a reason which the courts lapped up.

Surely, if children don't attend school the relevant social work authority should be on red alert? Then again, none of our regular services seems to come under the regulations set for the military. Why can't lessons be learnt? Because our law enforcers are charged with teaching them.

Update: I have been accused of denigrating home education (see comments). My use of the words 'red alert' regarding social work authorities was in connection with this particular case when allegedly the children and their mother had earlier become listed as missing persons. It's my opinion that social work too should have been informed they were missing regardless of whether they were state educated, privately educated or home educated. Also I was not aware the law had been changed regarding home education. I know years ago home educators and the children were monitored on a regular basis - usually to provide the parent with updates from educational developments which they may have missed. There was no internet in those days.

This post is not about home education, it's about the agencies involved in this case and their procedures which were totally inadequate. There's no excuse in today's society for this inefficiency. I can hear the relevant agencies saying 'lessons will be learned'. They never are.


Joe Public said...

"Why are courts using a fax ...."

Could it be because it's documentary evidence which is timed & dated; and, has a signature on it?

subrosa said...

Joe, I'm not sure all faxes have signatures. I can remember when I used faxes that many people refused to accept them as signatured - in particular my bank. They insisted upon an original signature.

That's not the point though is it. The point is that the police knew where the family were a few days before this happened yet they were never informed of the judge's decision. There's no excuse. This wasn't an error. It was a serious hole in the court/police/social work services.

JRB said...

This is indeed another tragic case.

No doubt much is yet to be revealed into the circumstances surrounding the tragic deaths of these three young lives.

However, at this moment I remain confused on a couple of technical legal points

At the Court of Session, when Judge Lady Clark made her ‘Supervision Order’ she instructed the Court Officers, under the supervision of social workers to find the children. Why was this not actioned immediately?

Why did Judge Lady Clark, as the higher legal authority, not issue the Child Protection Orders, but rather she referred the social workers to a local sheriff?

Tech said...

I'd like to know why exactly the fact that children are home educated should mean that social services be put on *red alert*.

Elaine said...

Ditto on /t/ech's question and alsoyou say
"These were the days when home schooling had never been heard of,"
Subrosa it is little more than a Century ago that almost every child was 'home schooled'

subrosa said...

John I don't have the answer to your questions but hopefully we'll find out in time.

subrosa said...

Because it's the law that all children attend school Tech. If not, then the local authority social work educationalists check to make sure the children are being home educated.

it's not just a sake of home educating your children Tech, there's a lot more to it than that. The authorities are legally bound to ensure the the home education is meeting the needs of the child/children.

subrosa said...

Oh Elaine, I know I'm getting on in years but I'm not 100 yet. Back in the 50s home schooling was unheard of because parents were delighted to send their children to school and of course, it was a legal requirement by then. In the preceding 40/50 years many had fought to ensure children were given a formal education.

In this case the home schooling officers wouldn't have been of use because it's school holidays and no child is require to attend school.

I am not criticising home education. It can be a good thing for children and I know it's exceptionally hard work for the parent(s) involved. My criticism is of the ease with which parents are able to remove their children from school on the basis of saying they're to be home educated. It's only the other week, when the report about the death of that wee girl in London was made public, that it was shown the mother had removed the lassie from school yet nobody had bothered to follow that up. The poor lass was starved to death. If the correct procedures had been followed her deteriorating health may have been picked up by an educationalist.

JuliaM said...

The only thing on earth slower than a sloth is a bureaucrat...

Oldrightie said...

The burden of overcrowding gets ever more apparent as each day passes. Not only UK towns and cities but the whole planet. This, in turn, places all services and resources under totally unmanageable pressures.

Strathturret said...

Hmm... If a parent is going to kill her/his children then I don't think you can build a watertight system.

Yes I must say I think faxes are so 1980s. Have the authorities not heard of digital signatures!

Sheila said...

Know it doesn't make very interesting reading but an accurate summary of home education and the law in Scotland may be found here:

Tech said...

You are totally incorrect regarding both the law and the case of Kyhra Ishaq, who I should point out was from Birmingham not London. Really, if you are going to write about a subject it is best if you do a little research first.

subrosa said...

Well said Julia.

subrosa said...

Pressures and more bureaucracy OR.

subrosa said...

Very true Strathturret. Rather a shame though that the court order, made on the Tuesday, wasn't even given to the police who knew the children's whereabouts.

Makes me wonder how all the cash public services spend on IT is used.

Elaine said...

Subrosa in the case of Khyra Ishaq she was not home educated in keeping with the law in England (the law in Scotland says a parent must have the permission of the Local Authority before removing a child from school) in Khyra's case mum removed her from school and didn't follow the legal process and the school alerted social services and education welfare that a situation they were already informed about had deteriorated.
Social services decided not to follow the case and education welfare decided to write her up as home educated, that is not the legal process.
And really, has society improved since state education was introduced?

subrosa said...

Interesting link thanks Sheila. I didn't realise there was no law which covered the monitoring of children who don't attend a school.

Now I wonder how many children do not attend school for any reason.

subrosa said...

Tech I apologise if I had the place incorrect but is there any need to be so aggressive about it? It was a mistake made in a comment, not in a post. My posts are researched to the best of my ability. My comments are made during my usual working day and I admit are not researched in any way.

As far as I recall the recent report said Kyhra had been removed from school and her mother had said she was to be schooled at home. No check was made on this by the authorities. These are the facts.

I always appreciate correction though.

BrianSJ said...

Responsibility is a unique concept: It can only reside and inhere in a single individual. You may share it with others but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it but it is still with you. Even if you do not recognise it or admit its presence, you cannot escape it. If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion, or ignorance, or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else. Unless you can point your finger at the man responsible when something goes wrong then you never had anyone really responsible.
Adm HG Rickover

subrosa said...

Elaine, I was commenting on her case only from the discussions about the recent I've heard on radio or TV. I don't know the law in England about children's education. It hasn't affected me for many years now.

Yes I would say my generation and my parents' generation benefitted from state education. Did it improve society? Hard for me to say because I have to cast my mind back to the 40s and 50s when, maybe through rose tinted specs, I think society was in a better state than now. I mean that from a social aspect.

It seems that most commenting on this post are far more concerned about home education than the fact the police were never issued with the court order which took 24 hours to reach the local authority.

That was my point. The inefficiency of the whole system.

subrosa said...

Brian how profound. I accept responsibility for the rights and wrongs of what I write. Are you disagreeing?

Elaine said...

Subrosa the events of this week were tragic.
There is a community of home educators in Aberdeen who naturally have children, children who are happy , well cared for, well educated but...those children are going to become the focus of public attention, their parents are going to be treated with suspicion and let's not forget they have just lost 3 friends in the most tragic of circumstances.
So what can high profile members of the public do to protect their own (these families are as much a part of society as any others) communities, to ensure that no one section of society finds themselves villified and stigmatised? is speculation the way forward? an attack on a way of life followed by thousands? .
What happens Subrosa when this Mums family visit Scotland as surely they will , (their child/sister/aunt / niece as applicable) is here , are they here now hiding? sneaking around because they are scared to identify themselves in a country where open hostility is being shown, where a parents life choices are being held up as responsible for the events of one tragic day when a mother let fear of the world control her life with tragic consequences?
As you can tell I am not a writer , my opinion counts not , but yours, yours is valued and acted on, that is a great power to have, use it wisely.

Tech said...

If you and your children had just endured the past 18 months that home educators have, then I think you'd be pretty damn aggressive when you see misinformation peddled too.

What people don't seem to realise is that writing things like this affects children negatively. For every lie that is perpetuated countless children and their families suffer bullying, hurtful remarks and more and more frequently now malicious referrals to social services, and having watched several friends go through that experience I can tell you it does real damage, even though they have all been found to have absolutely nothing to be worried about in the eyes of the social services.

Really, it's a cliche I know, but would you so easily write that all Muslims/Christians/Pagans/Vegetarians/insert a minority group of choice ought to signal a red alert to social services? I very much doubt it, and yet people feel justified in writing such things about people who educated their children otherwise than at school - which you must remember is perfectly legal!

subrosa said...

Elaine, forgive me, I shouldn't have used the words red alert perhaps but in no other way did I criticise home education. I will put an amendment on the post to that effect.

My meaning was that children who do not attend formal education should somehow be monitored to ensure they receive the necessary opportunities offered to formally educated children such as health checks, talks from outsider services such as fire, police. I'm sure you understand what I mean.

Elaine has given me link concerning children who do not attend formal education here in Scotland. It's certainly concerning to note that there is no law which appears to protect these children with the exception that local authorities must give their approval for the removal of the child. If I was a home educator I would be asking my political representatives to make much firmer rules to protect home education.

Elaine, my opinions don't count but it's very kind of you to say they do. I write what I think and I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with me.

As for the children's family I have no answer. I can't see why you think home educated children in Aberdeen will become the focus of attention. These children and their parents have nothing to do with the tragedy.

I reiterate, my anger is towards the justice system. The court asked for the children to be found. For some reason, which I would dearly like to know, the police weren't immediately informed although surely the court knew that the police had had contact with the mother and children very recently. The court also took 24 hours to contact the local authority with the request.

Why is your emphasis on the home schooling aspect and not the judiciary?

I read earlier that the MSM only report when a child is home educated in child-related articles. That's not so. Usually an article would contain details of the children's schools and in this case they mentioned the home education. Unfortunately it's alleged that it was part of the reasons for the acrimonious divorce case.

Anonymous said...

Yes lessons need to be learned but no one or even department are perfect.

Why has the nationality of the parents got anything to do with the status of the parents marriage/kids schooling etc?

Lothian and Borders found the children safe and well, what more is required? A constant surveillance on one family to make sure they are ok? How much money do you want to spend on the one case? How many other families do we not assist in order to keep an eye on one.

Until Last Tuesday no one (even the husband as he didnt go hell for leather to cause a stink) were too concerned about the status of the family.

I presume faxed documentation would through a dedicated line from the court to social work would suffice to enable the cogs to turn, what else would be required? An email that no one might not see? A phone call that has no paper trail, A courier to bring a bit of paper round. Is there a point to highlight the FAXED?

Social work were asked to supervise the kids, not the police. How do we know the police didn't know about the order?

There is no need for anyone to blame anyone here, there appears to be no need for any alarm bells to ring regarding the state of the mothers mental health as Im sure if it was a bitter divorce the father would have used this.

As for the home schooling, lack of social workers and the police knew everything in my day, and thought up by left thinking politician, oh dear where did this come from? Home schooling wasnt heard of? No the kids were just down the pits/ selling matchsticks instead! What tosh Subrosa!

I can only think that a nerve was touched in order for you to publish something that has so much opinion and not the usual high standard of well thought out arguement that is normally presented here.

subrosa said...

For goodness sake Tech, all I did was write London instead of Birmingham. Writing things like what exactly?

From my own experience malicious referrals are made to social services every day of the week and I very much doubt if home educated children are high on the list. They certainly were few and far between but I speak from a distance of some years now.

As I said to Elaine, I will amend the wording red alert. I wrote from an experience I had many years ago when it was the law that home educated children had to be monitored by the local authority. Now I realise that isn't the case here in Scotland.

In some ways, in this particular case, surely social services should have been alerted as the mother and children had been reported as missing persons? Isn't child protection part of their remit?

For those who have an interest in home education it may be better if they put forward the positives of it rather than considering themselves as some kind of victims. I'd willing publish a positive article from anyone who wanted to write it.

Tech said...

Ach it's fairly clear, both here and on my own blog comments to you that my main objection is the *red alert* to social services statement.

It's easy for you to say these things don't happen, or happen in limited numbers when you aren't living within the community that is being targeted in the way that we have been this past 18 months.

And you know, so many of us have DONE positive stories about home education until we are blue in the face, but there are certain areas of the media who, egged on by the previous government, have an anti home education agenda. We live with it, we do know what we're talking about believe it or not!

subrosa said...

Tech I've put an update on the post explaining my reasons for saying red-alert and also stating perhaps I should have just written alert.

When did I say these things don't happen? Please try to read what I wrote. Yes I know you're angry but to pillory me isn't totally justified.

Whether I believe you or not isn't the point. I've done the best I can to assist you by offering to publish a guest post. There's no point in me writing about home education as I can only write about the published guidelines and not the other side of the subject. As I said my experience was many years ago and it well out of date. By the way it was a positive one.

Sheila said...

The systems don't "work" because much of what is done in the guise of child protection has another agenda entirely.

This Times article from 2003 - ID card scheme for babies to help prevent child abuse - is as good a place to start as anywhere:

Every Child Matters (ECM) is the English equivalent of Getting It Right For Every Child (Girfec).

They are constantly presented as having been developed as a result of the the Laming report (published on 28 January 2003) on the death of Victoria ClimbiƩ, or in Scotland, the Herbison report (released to the public by Highland Child Protection Committee on 7 March 2006) on the death of Danielle Reid.

This is untrue and a disgusting exploitation of these deaths.

Privacy and data-sharing: the way forward for public services – a performance and innovation report dated 2002 – was published by the Blair UK Government and set out (among other intended reforms) changes to children’s services which the public and professionals were led to believe were being instigated as a result of the Laming or Herbison reports.

For Scotland's children report -Better integrated children's services , which clearly sets the the foundations for Girfec, was published in 2001.

(sorry can't find a link for this atm)

In turn, all these policies are part of the European e-government agenda which emerged from Lisbon in 2000.

So we end up with an SNP administration administering Blairite EU tosh:

Girfec - gathering information for every citizen

eCare - frame 17 speaks for itself

I sincerely hope the graves of these poor children will not be robbed to further this agenda - which if not halted willlead to tragic consequences which are opposed to its alleged aims ie individual and family privacy will be destroyed , children will be damaged, valuable resources will be squandered, those at real risk will not get the help they so desperately need.

Tech said...

You know, I am angry, but I'm not trying to pillory you. Whilst it is true that you haven't expressly said these things don't happen, the subtle hint that you don't quite believe that they do is there in the way you have phrased responses to both myself and Elaine. No doubt you will take issue with my perception of these subtexts though, so I will now retire from this debate.

subrosa said...

No Tech, I haven't 'expressly' said these things don't happen; quite the contrary:

'I very much doubt if home educated children are high on the list' (of malicious referrals.

I don't do subtle Tech. In my responses to you both I've apologised, I've also updated my post and apologised with an explanation. I have done the very best I can to discuss a subject of which my knowledge is dated (and I've apologised for that).

If you wish to read between the lines then that's your prerogative.

subrosa said...

Sheila, thank you for taking the trouble to list these links. A couple of them ring bells (the older ones) but I shall study them all when I have time. I've spent too much time here this morning and must attend to neglected work for now.

subrosa said...

Of course nobody is perfect foodanddrinkglasgow. But, with the money now spent on our public services these days are they any better than they were 40 years ago? As Elaine said, in another context, has society improved? Are we safer?

The nationality of the parents is of public interest. Don't you think when a Scot dies on holiday abroad for example, that the word Scot attracts the attention of those with an interest in Scotland?

Lothian and Borders police judged the children to be safe and well in their opinion. I'm suggesting a specialist child care social worker maybe should also be in attendance when children are involved.

From experience, (no children were involved), the police find the person(s), ask them if they're fine, tell them who has reported them missing, ask them if they want the concerned person told where they are and leave. The whole process took less than 10 minutes.

The MSM say the husband became concerned for the welfare of the children after speaking to his wife on the telephone. That was Tuesday. He relayed his concerns to his lawyer who told the judge at the hearing.

Yes there is a point to highlighting fax. In private business these days faxes are only used for specific purposes as they're time consuming.

Why would nobody see an email? If they can see a fax surely they can read an email? A phone call was made to social work if you believe the Record's article.

Check the MSM on the story. It's reported in several articles that the police weren't told of the order.

I don't know where you were brought up foodanddrink, but I assure you none of my peers were down the pits/selling matchsticks. That's tosh.

I've said this several times in comment about this post. My anger is directed at the agencies involved here. I'm sick of hearing about 'lessons will be learned'. They never are.

Read Sheila's links. They may enlighten you as the couple I've read so far have me.

Thanks for the compliment although I wouldn't say my arguments are of a high standard. They are my opinion and mine alone. The high standard is attributable to the commenters.

Millie Craigo said...

The law has included the option to educate "by other means" (in Scotland) since 1944 (when Churchill insisted on there being an alternative to school which he had hated).

This post may be of interest:

Dramfineday said...

Wow SR, you certainly lit the blue touch paper with this one! The debate it triggered was fascinating as I had no idea a) so many people were home educators b) that the last politburo (sorry labour government) were into them with the boots – as they were to us with all their daft control freak ideas. Judging by the reaction to your comments, straws and camels apply and you took a few well aimed broadsides (that perhaps had been stored up for more deserving cases). Fair do’s, people obviously have been massively frustrated and tense but, in my view, you made an honourable recovery.
Which leads into my response to this article. Living in “nearly tram city”, not all that far from where the event took place, I have conversed with quite a number of my neighbours and friends on the subject. The first sympathy was for the children and their foreshortened lives, “the poor bairns”. The second sympathy was for the mother. Generally the thoughts were that the spring in her mind had snapped because of the stress related to the divorce and the associated legal and court activity. A few people actually suggested that the person who tried to catch her would have done her a kindness by letting her drop straight to the ground (a bit of after even analysis given that at the time this good Samaritan would not have known of her role in the events) as it now appears she will have to live with the knowledge of what she has done. Interestingly, the father only got one mention with the suggestion that money would be at the back of it (what does that say for a fathers role in life I wonder?).
Now, regarding new technology and its uses in the courts and supporting organisations. It would appear to us laypersons that if I can go onto a blog and blast away as per here, it should be easy enough to do that in any court operation – email nae bother. By and large it should be (and probably is). But remember not to make the assumption that just because we can do it, the legal system and its infrastructure are capable or indeed are allowed to do the same. It’ll depend, no doubt on the necessary procedures and policies being in place, and a human comprehension about what is urgent and what is not. I was fascinated by Edinburgh Council’s very quick, “it wasnae us gov honest” response.
Lessons to be learned – yep (again) and tonight, of the survivors, a mother broken, a father bereft, both their families in the hell of grief and a number of individuals in this country wondering “what if I had......could it have saved them”? We ask a lot of ordinary mortals, don’t we?

subrosa said...

Yes Alison I know that but back then home education was monitored. I know this because I had a friend who was home educated back in the 50s and her mother, on occasion, used to mention the monitor was coming in the morning.

I haven't criticised home monitoring, only mentioned it. I've done everything I can to explain that yet people who have an interest in the subject insist I'm speaking out of turn.

After having spent a considerable time today trying to reason with them, I realise it's futile. They're intent on the fact that I am criticising home education and ignore all the endless responses I've made today.

That's their choice. Same as it is the choice of parents to educate their children through the state or private sector.

subrosa said...

Dram, what can I say except what a constructive comment and I do hope those readers who have an interest in home education appreciate it too.

Thank you.

Hamish said...

Subrosa, as someone who often disagrees with you, may I say this time that I agree wholeheartedly with your main point.

In these days of instant communication, it beggars belief that one agency has to use fax, snail mail, or carrier pigeon to talk to another.
Dropping the sarcasm, I think these officials must have known, but they hadn't been "officially" informed.

I wish you hadn't backtracked about home education. It is a terrible thing to inflict that on children, depriving them of contact with the rest of Jock Tamson's bairns.
And obviously, it is only an option for the rich.
Worse than that, such parents never entertain the possibility that their offspring are cleverer than they are. Which means that they hold them back.

subrosa said...

I've read your link and the reference to Churchill Alison. It doesn't state Churchill was responsible for changing the education laws in Scotland.

' I now see that Churchill was right. With a clarity perhaps assisted by never having been to university, he understood that education is one of those things - such as virtue, family, or faith - much too important to be controlled by politicians. In his time, schools were run by churches and by local education authorities; universities were run by themselves.
It was far from ideal, but at least no single power prevailed, and those in charge knew what they were talking about.'

There is nothing there that state Churchill changed Scottish law.

Millie Craigo said...

Too much speed makes for carelessness, sorry.
The 1944 Ed Act (E&W) included the "or otherwise" clause at the behest of Churchill (no link for this, I'm afraid, as it was in a book). The ensuing Scottish Ed Act of 1945 incorporated "or by other means", mirroring the provision within the '44 Act for education outwith school, so the Churchill connection is indirect but of some interest I believe.
What became of your home educated friend, by the way? It was made very difficult back then when Joy Baker was blazing the trail south of the border, although I did know of children educated at home in Scotland in the 60s, almost all due to illness. Vegetarians were still unheard of in rural Angus back then, though.

subrosa said...

That's ok Alison, happens to me too.

I just can't find any link about Scottish Education law concerning Churchill, but I'm not the best googler in the world so I'll keep trying.

My home educated friend is now dead but she sent her own two children to private education both in England and when she returned to Scotland. Strangely we never discussed why but I do know she sacrificed a great deal to do it and she researched (at least the Scottish schools) well.

When I was in primary we had one pupil with long term illness. Now I don't profess to know anything about the system or policy, but she was home educated because she was unable to leave her home. As her pals we were on what seemed to be an unofficial rota to take Ann books etc and a home tutor visited twice a week I think. This went on for a couple of years and she never returned to school as her family moved abroad.

Auch vegetarians were around even in the 60s, it's just it didn't seem important if you didn't eat meat. It only became fashionable when the Righteous insisted that it was healthier not to eat poultry, fish, dairy products etc. My generation fortunately haven't suffered because of it but I wonder what health problems will be seen in the Vegetarian generation when they become older.

Dramfineday said...

Good Afternoon SR. No doubt you'll have seen the Healine in the Sunday Post - "SNP fury over Labour home schooling slur". Once again the politburo raises its ugly head demanding more interferance. For you home educators you may want to read this and direct some well chosen remarks in the direction of one Duncan McNeil (LABOUR). While Mike Russell (SNP education secretary) gave a robust positive response but you may want to give the SNP gov your views on the subject. Better to be in the tent etc. Non Scots readers of this blog can get the Sunday post at and D McNeil can be chivvied at:

subrosa said...

Thanks for that Dram. After yesterday and the information I gained about home educators, I'm surprised there aren't laws to help these people rather than the wooly guideline system.

Then again, maybe laws aren't the answer but certainly someone ought to be making a public stance against any negativity pointed at them. Sometimes it takes more than a few letters to politicians etc.

I was speaking to someone today who had read the post comments and they said the OU was home education albeit for adults. Hadn't thought about it in that way.

Millie Craigo said...

The Scottish home ed charity Schoolhouse has issued a press release following the disgusting remarks made by Labour MSP Duncan McNeii, who has been given a platform to tell a pack of lies. See

I cannot tell you how distressed members of the home ed community, including children who have been bullied out of schools, are over this poison. Perhaps you will understand why some of us are uber sensitive about the ongoing attacks. As Sheila has pointed out, it is all part of the toxic agenda that comes from Lisbon, nothing to do with protecting chidren.

Mike Russell has an understanding of home education and the SNP has always played fair and upheld the law. There is perfectly good statutory guidance which allows for LA intervention where required and you might be surprised at the supportive community we have here in Scotland (and probably how many of them are teachers!)

Thanks for allowing us to comment on your post. We are generally denied any platform in the MSM, a bit like those who support Scottish independence. It must be all that dangerous self determination!

Dramfineday said...

"Thanks for allowing us to comment on your post. We are generally denied any platform in the MSM, a bit like those who support Scottish independence. It must be all that dangerous self determination!"

Well said Alison!

subrosa said...

Thanks for your comment. I did find Duncan McNeil quite out of order.

Over the past 24 hours many questions regarding home education have popped into my mind, but as I know it will not be a choice of my close family, then I won't be seeking answers.

A few words of advice. Guidelines are only that. Governments change.

Dramfineday said...

Hello, I see the guys on newsnet are on the case, this should be good.

subrosa said...

Thanks for the link Dram. What a fool the man is. He doesn't seem to realise the schools are on holiday so it wouldn't have made an iota of difference.

Anonymous said...

I read this one again because it is a good example of the 'chaos' in many of our institutions.

- Aangirfan

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