Nicky Morgan orders review on home schooling amid fears children having minds ‘poisoned’ by radicalised parents ~Tom McTague, THE INDEPENDENT, 19 December 2015.
Exclusive: Nicky Morgan orders review of unregistered teaching and madrassas!
The Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, has asked officials to review home schooling amid fears that thousand of children are having their minds “filled with poison” by radicalised parents.
Between 20,000 and 50,000 children are thought to be educated at home – but the Government has no idea of the exact number because parents are under no obligation to inform their local council.
Ms Morgan has already announced a crackdown on unregistered schools and “weekend madrassas” after some were found to be promoting extremist ideology. But senior government sources have revealed that home schooling is now “on the radar”.
Under proposals being considered in Whitehall, parents and teachers will be given a specific point of contact at local councils in order to raise concerns about a child. Officials will also try to discover how many children are being taught at home, beyond the reach of inspectors.
A senior government source said: “There has always been the freedom in this country for people to educate their children at home. Many people do it very well. But we need to know where the children are and to be certain that they are safe. For every parent doing a brilliant job, there may be someone filling their child’s mind with poison. We just don’t know. We don’t have reliable figures.”
The focus on home schooling highlights growing concern in government over the problem of children being radicalised by religious extremists abusing positions of trust to promote hardline doctrine.
Fears have been raised that parents are claiming their children are being home schooled when in fact they are being taught at illegal religious schools. Ofsted’s chief schools inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has warned of the “serious and growing threat” to the safety of children posed by unregistered Islamic education centres.
A Department for Education spokesman said Ms Morgan was “determined to tackle radicalisation wherever it occurs”.
He said: “We have provided Ofsted with extra inspectors to eradicate extremism in education. We are working with them to address their concerns about home education being exploited, while safeguarding the rights of parents to determine how and where to educate their children.”
Under the last Labour Government, Ed Balls – as minister for children and families – commissioned a review into home education. However, a recommendation to set up a voluntary registration scheme for parents who chose to teach their children at home had to be abandoned because it was not supported by the Tories ahead of the election.
The new Conservative chairman of the Education Select Committee, Neil Carmichael, has endorsed proposals for more safeguards for children educated at home. He told the Tory party conference in October: “I find it absolutely amazing people who are home educated are not registered as being home educated. It’s an absolute scandal that should not be allowed.”
But the Conservative MP Graham Stuart, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on home education, said the Government should not even consider a register of home-schooled children.
He said: “The home is used by parents to inculcate ideas into their children’s heads all the time. Just because there is a problem does not mean there can be a solution.
“If the next step is a formal register I would resist that strongly. The legal duty to educate a child rests with the parents, not the state. That is a long-standing settlement in this country.”
Currently, only parents whose children have been offered a place in school have to inform a school’s head teacher if they then decide the educate them at home. If not, there is no obligation for a parent to inform anyone.
According to Department for Education advice, if a local authority has concerns it can make an “informal enquiry” to make sure the child is getting a suitable education.
Speaking to The Independent on Sunday, Fiona Nicholson, of the Home Education Consultancy, said: “Any investigation would lead me to suspect they are going down the route of compulsory registration for parents to have to tell somebody that this is what they are doing. I’m against that – you can’t separate it from having to ask permission.
“You can disagree with lots of ways parents bring up their children but until a crime has been committed, or there is a substantial child-protection issue, I don’t think it’s anybody’s business. It’s more than a slippery slope, it’s off a precipice really.”
However, Labour’s shadow Education Secretary, Lucy Powell, said the inability of authorities to know how many children were being home schooled was a “worrying weak spot for Government”.
She said: “It is vital that action is taken to ensure that all children, whether in school or taught at home, are given the knowledge and skills to succeed, not taught a narrow curriculum of hate and bigotry. Yet, just last week it was revealed that the Government had let children remain in illegal, unregistered schools for weeks, where they were exposed to narrow curriculums, misogynist, homophobic and anti-Semitic material. This is completely unacceptable.”
Children were allowed to “drop off the radar, where they could be exposed to harm, exploitation or the influence of extremist ideologies”, she said. “We urgently need robust local oversight and accountability of all local schooling, regardless of type, so that communities can work together to improve standards and stop children from ending up in harm’s way.”
An ideology is a set of beliefs held by individuals or a collective. Given the way in which the counter-extremism discourse, as propounded by the neoconservative elements of the government and its associated “think-tanks”, possesses underlying assumptions which have been comprehensively rejected the intellectual milieu (see here, here and here), one can reasonably conclude that neocons are dogmaticallypromoting counter-extremism as a subset of their ideology and imposing it on people.
Given the pervasion of neoconservatism, its proponents in government, and the veritable control of the broad-spread permeation of this counter-extremism ideologyby them, it would also not be reasonable to state that in the context of counter-extremism, the government has become both authoritarian and totalitarian. It is authoritarian because those who dictate the policies on counter-extremism can be traced to a small, elite cabal of neoconservatives, and it is totalitarian because extremism policy has taken societally-driven surveillance and thought-policing to a whole new penetrative, fascistic level.
Over one Spy for Every Muslim
I have already drawn parallels between today’s PREVENT surveillance programme and East Germany’s Stasi. Professor Arun Kundnani, has shown how the FBI has one counterterrorism spy for every 94 Muslims in the U.S., which approaches Stasi’s ratio of one spy for every 66 citizens.
The PREVENT strategy was set up to specifically target the Muslim minority, andstill discriminatorily targets the Muslim minority. When one considers that medical professionals (NHS staff excluding primary care staff total 1,229,371), and the education sector (totalling 1,508,000) now have a “duty” to look for signs of radicalisation, then the Stasi figures seem drastically minuscule. By the time the UK work force in these two public sectors alone (and excluding the police!) are trained to spy on their patients and students, there will be just over one “spy” for every Muslim in the country.
Thought-policing the Education Sector
The education sector, on the basis of a mythical “Islamist takeover of schools” plot, has seen the greatest and most shocking pervasion of the British values/extremism social engineering programme. Ofsted has a history of anti-Muslim activities and thought-policing. Recently, independent faith schools were investigated by Ofsted. One school my sources investigated found that, aside from fabricating allegations to spruce up bogus Muslim “wrongs”, inspectors applied psychometric tests similar to the Waltham Forest Council’s controversial “BRIT” PREVENT project. Just a few days ago, the Waltham Forest Council of Mosques, representing 70,000 Muslims slammed both PREVENT and the “BRIT” project stating,
“The project itself and Prevent in general is an ill-conceived and flawed policy. It is racist, and overtly targets members of the Muslim faith. This has been demonstrated by organisations who are collecting data on referrals to the [anti-radicalisation] Channel programme … We see the Brit project as another tool being used (like the Prevent strategy) to spy and denigrate the Muslim community and cause distrust. We have no confidence in the Brit project and the Prevent strategy overall.”
Totalitarian Regulation of the Private Sphere
The trajectory towards totalitarian regulation of the mind of a child continued as Nicky Morgan released proposals to push the British values social engineering programme into what are effectively privately constituted madarassas. Now, this trajectory has reached what can be unequivocally called the private sphere: the home.
Ofsted henchmen under Wilshaw have now suddenly discovered that “unregistered schools” present a “serious and growing threat” to the welfare of children. According to Wilshaw’s letter to Morgan, there were three “unregistered schools” in Birmingham which had evidence of “narrow Islamic-focused curriculum”, with “evidence of misogynistic, homophobic and antisemitic teaching material”. My sources in Birmingham are currently investigating the reality behind these claims because frankly, Ofsted’s tendency twist, distort and discriminate is well-established.
Wilshaw then proposed that the operators behind these “unregistered schools” be prosecuted, with Ofsted leading the prosecutions – despite having noted that confusing advice by the DfE had been given in the case of one “unregistered school”.
Whilst the elaborate pretext operation to springboard government control of the home requires scrutiny, suffice to say, the discrimination in using Muslim examples to premise a further policy upon is self-evident. There has been well-documented evidence of “unregistered schools” operating in the Jewish community for some time. Reports last year showed that, “up to a thousand boys aged 13 to 16 have disappeared from the school system in north London after their parents sent them to illegal religious schools.” These schools also went “without the most basic health, safety and child welfare checks.” Apparently, there are even government documents which show,
“…many boys in the Orthodox Jewish community in Stamford Hill, London, “will stop secular studies at the age of 13 or 14 and start attending ‘yeshivas’ where the curriculum is solely religious.”
Former pupils have stated they were “taught terrible things about non-Jews”.
The authorities have known this for “several years”, so the question glaringly remains, why have these schools not been used as the glutton for mass media chastisement, and a pretext for policies and letters from Wilshaw to neocon-driven Morgan calling for prosecutions? I wrote about this blatant discrimination in some depth back in August, and cited an article in which it was further stated that,
“…while reports suggest that investigations are under way into a number of unregistered Muslim schools, some commentators believe the DfE is reluctant to take a hard line with the Orthodox Jewish community.”
A commenter on my blog who works for Ofsted corroborated the discriminatory focus on the Muslim minority:
Of course, “anti-Semitic” beliefs are a concern, anti-goyim beliefs are clearly not.
The agenda must continue to be forged, and when state bodies seek more regulatory powers, using a minority group which has already been demonised as the archetypical enemy in the mind of the public, makes it easier for the public to swallowing such Orwellian proposals.
Ofsted Manoeuvring into Regulatory Role for Supplementary Schools
Morgan wrote a letter back which was widely publicised in the press. In it she lauds Ofsted’s vigour in pursuing Muslims. After stating that she has launched a consultation on monitoring supplementary schools, she duly mentions “extremism”, and agrees that Ofsted should pursue the prosecutions. Ofsted, with full collusion of the DfE, is manoeuvring itself into a position which the aforementioned consultation paper already suggests: a regulatory role over supplementary schools.
The unholy mix of increased regulation and discriminatory focus on Islam through the smokescreen of “extremism”, came to a head an article by the Independent. It revealed that plans were under way to “review” homeschooling amid fears that thousands of children are having their minds “filled with poison” by radicalised parents. The timing and context is critical here; it has been revealed against the backdrop of the newly discovered “unregistered schools” which happen to be Muslim. The fear of “radicalisation” and the Muslim context are both being thoroughly used as a pretext. This is confirmed by Labour’s shadow Education Secretary, Lucy Powell who stated,
“It is vital that action is taken to ensure that all children, whether in school or taught at home, are given the knowledge and skills to succeed, not taught a narrow curriculum of hate and bigotry. Yet, just last week it was revealed that the Government had let children remain in illegal, unregistered schools for weeks, where they were exposed to narrow curriculums, misogynist, homophobic and anti-Semitic material. This is completely unacceptable.”
With the discriminatory pretext set, a senior government official informs us that,
“For every parent doing a brilliant job, there may be someone filling their child’s mind with poison. We just don’t know. We don’t have reliable figures.”
In other words, plain suspicion is the reason for such a review. Given that, for David Cameron, “poisonous ideas” are mentioned in the Muslim context, it is not difficult to see the condescending and discriminatory assumption being made here. Mainly Muslim parents, (or any parent for that matter), cannot be trusted with their children. The state, which courts the heads of state from countries like China, Kazakhistan and Egypt, and filibusters state paedophile inquiries however, can be trusted.
It should not be forgotten that this time last year, amid the hype of the Trojan Hoax lies, the Westminster Council wanted to bring in a monitoring regime for home schoolers. Parents at that time vociferously protested the measures stating, “It’s a general mistrust of the population. We are not citizens any more – we are all terrorists.” Another parent opposing the measures expressed her resentment to the parents thusly,
‘We do not trust the parent. You have to prove to us you are innocent. You have to do it on our terms.’ I find it quite insulting, to be honest. It’s an abuse of their power.”
If this is how white, middle-class parents felt by the Council’s invasion of their privacy and parental rights, how must Muslims feel given their supplementary schools, mosques and now homes are intended to be adjudged potentially by the anti-Islam and Muslim Ofsted? Indeed, Ofsted’s “unregistered schools” pretext operation is being used to fuel further suspicion of a community, where home schooling reviews are being instituted on the presumption that parents are guilty and therefore need to be registered.
Mak Chishty, Britain’s senior most token brown-faced anti-Muslim policy apologist, stated that “there was now a need for a move into the private space of Muslims to spot views which indicate toward radicalisation”. Then again this police commander’s idea of counter-extremism is to waste taxpayer’s money on a criminal to sing and dance Muslims out of radicalisation.
However, his statement provides for a dangerous precursor to what is taking place now. Graham Stuart MP stated that the legal duty to educate a child rests with the parents, not the state. With the latest proposals, no longer is the home safe from state interference. The public/private boundaries are entering into a state of flux as the state feels that the parent can no longer be presumed to have the best interests of the child at heart.
And with these proposals, as with the all previous totalitarian extremism-based measures, the erosion of civil liberties is taking place in conjunction with the dangerously growing regulatory powers of the state. These latest proposals demonstrate yet again that “extremism” is an excuse to institute totalitarian regulations. The fascist noose of PREVENT, which is driving this insanity, must be severed before it completely strangles the neck of British society.