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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:56 am 
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-sout ... s-35380182

Such a tragic case. I'm a big supporter of parents right to home school. Surely no right minded home schooling parent could object to a law requiring them to register and have their child regularly (as in once per year of whatever) medically checked, just to prevent this kind of tragic case that owes more to mental illness of the parent than any inherent wrongness of home schooling. I would think that any parent successfully home schooling would be only too glad (and probably already is) - to show how their child is thriving in the environment they have chosen. So very sad and casts a shadow over home schooling that does not need to be there. Poor child.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:29 pm 
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I agree Yamin. I was surprised that there isn't some sort of record keeping in place already. We seem to have records for everything else foisted on us but this is one that could actually have a positive purpose if applied sensitively and stop a recurrence of what happen to this poor little chap

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:06 pm 
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How can a child end up with scurvy in this day and age? Well, a few years ago, a friend of mine (not otherwise an unintelligent person) decided that having her then 3 year old son's hair analysed would provide the answer to his occasional bad behaviour. She duly sent off some of his hair to a local woman who had apparently taken up the activity to give her something to do in her spare time when her own child was small. The 'results' consisted of a list of foodstuffs that my friend was to stop allowing the boy to eat - which contained practically every dietary source of vitamin C. Fortunately, she was receptive to my professional opinion that the 'advice' should be treated with a certain amount of caution. Or preferably ignored altogether.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:17 pm 
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ToadMum wrote:
She duly sent off some of his hair to a local woman who had apparently taken up the activity to give her something to do in her spare time when her own child was small. The 'results' consisted of a list of foodstuffs that my friend was to stop allowing the boy to eat - which contained practically every dietary source of vitamin C.

That is seriously scary. Did that 'local woman' have any qualifications in the area of hair analysis (proper qualifications, not an on-line course and a test kit...)? Is this sort of activity regulated in any way? :shock:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:49 pm 
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I doubt it, and I have no idea, respectively, I'm afraid.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:09 am 
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Why would a register of homeschool children help a homeschool child who was dying of scurvy? Even if the education authority were allowed to visit each year, what would that do? The law is very grey ( a suitable education?) and parents could be providing something just about adequate in the way of education but not a lot else.

Let's face it, you could send your child to school every day and pay for school lunches and they could still die of scurvy.

Isn't it more to do with children of parents with serious mental health problems and there being a higher risk of neglect of some sort?

Yes, going to school might provide more of a "window in" to the family but so should doctor visits (or lack of) and in one of the articles it makes clear that a headteacher did get concerned but they had no rights to visit.

"During employment tribunal proceedings, a lawyer and a head teacher contacted social services after they became aware Mrs Seabridge suffered from mental ill health and her child was home educated.

Education officials visited the Seabridges but they had no power to see Dylan."


Maybe social services should have tried to visit too. If the parents refused for them to see Dylan, and he subsequently died of this type of dietary neglect (assuming that was the cause) then perhaps CPS could have pursued their case?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:42 pm 
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What a terribly sad story.

I have to say that in all my experience of home educating some of my children, all the other home educating families I met were incredibly loving and caring, and their children were certainly very well fed and healthy.

It would be a pity if this story (as with ideas mooted recently that home educating children are more susceptible to extremism) became a means to scapegoat and demonise the home educating community. Sadly many more school children have died of parental neglect than have home educated children. What was done about them?

Many home educators are very liberal-minded and prefer to live alternatively; they do not want to go down the traditional academic education route with their children. Although I don't subscribe to that view, and I have noticed that many (possibly the majority) of home educated children I know are not academically where they should be according to the national curriculum, I do genuinely understand and respect the decisions the parents have made.

Should social services be visiting all home schooled children? Goodness knows they don't have enough staff as it is. And should innocent loving families really want that level of intrusion into their lives?
The children are 'registered' with the state by having had their births registered and they should then be registered with a GP surgery, as I understand this child was. The family will almost certainly have received Child Benefit for him so he was hardly 'unknown'.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:02 pm 
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Couldn't agree more that it will give a bad name to home schooling with absolutely no basis. And as you say, most home schooling parents have happy and healthy children.
And you're right, how on earth could social workers ever get involved in a preventative capacity?
I guess the answer lies somewhere i between, that these children should be required to be seen on a yearly or six monthly basis at the doctors surgery, just for a check up. Had I been homeschooling, I would not have seen this a intrusion, I would have been happy to do it as a a small inconvenience to prevent even one neglectful death.
Another poster suggested that seeing someone every year would not help, but I do think that either a regular appointment would give the doctor or professional to look out for signs which would be mush easier to pick up in a specific appointment. Or it would highlight a risk factor if that child was not presented for the appointment.


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