Do you know how much your child’s college education will cost you? In real money terms? I do. How about I tell you that in order to further his education, I will be handing over a cheque for the sum of £4231 to the college for a whole year’s course.
What if then I were to tell you that theoretically my child is entitled to government funding? Enough to pay the fee, if not most of it. That’s pretty good, right? But of course, I did say theoretically.
So this is when I tell you, my child ain’t getting it. Yup. There money is there. In this mythical pot located in Central Government. Seriously. It’s just waiting for him. But he ain’t getting it.
And why? Because in order to access this fund, which is rightfully his, the Education Department at my Local County Council would have to front the money first and pay the college. And according to the Head Honcho, there is simply just NO money in the budget to allow for this. Zilch. Zip. Nada. It doesn’t even matter that they would be refunded fully by the central pot later in the year. Nope. There’s only money in the budget to cover the staff’s salaries.
And my child? Well, he can just wait. Or he can go back into school and wait, if he is home educated like ours is. In cases like this, Every Child Does Not Matter and every child will just have to receive standardised education, disregarding completely age, aptitude and ability.
And what of that mythical pot of money? So what happens to it when more and more Education Departments claim that they haven’t the funds to front the money first for our children’s education? Does it just grow and grow or, realistically, will it just be reabsorbed into some monetary amalgam, where eventually central funding for the provision of college education for 14-16 year old home educated children disappears because there were simply no demands for it?
Of course, there is however money to train three new employees who will be afforded the travel expenses to travel the deepest darkest West Sussex in order to
monitor, ooops, my bad, offer support to home educating families by visiting them. Of course, it matters not a jot that they might not have any experience or training in education.
Bitter, moi? No. Thoroughly fucked off is more apt. Well and truly. In our 8 years of home educating, we have been illegally and out of due process threatened with a Statutory Attendance Order. All because we, as a family, do not respond very well to the stick waving jobsworth officialdom. The sort that think anyone could be blinkered enough to accept support comes in the form of monitoring and assessing and making families jump hoops. The sort that will cause the Social Services to descend upon you like the proverbial plague if your child were to ever have had an A&E admission.
And to the Head Honcho, you’ve got nerve to ask us for an educational report when you’d just declined to help our child further his education. It must have been bloody clear how well our 15 year old child is doing, seeing that he’s been accepted to a Level 2 course designed for mainly over 16s.
Go wave your stick elsewhere.
And whilst you’re at it, go sling your hook too.
And don’t forget that kite you need to fly either.
I’d stop short of going forth and multiplying, though.