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Protecting Parental Rights in the UK

by Nathan Field, Christian Education Europe • October 5, 2018

After a customary glance at some recent national and local headlines, you’d be forgiven for thinking that every parent in the United Kingdom is out to somehow hinder their own child’s education, livelihood, and well-being.

Consider these examples:

  • “Shocking rise in children being homeschooled”
  • “Council appeals for register of homeschooled children”
  • “Ofsted chief warns homeschooling loophole ‘sends children into the hands of extremists’ ”
  • “Homeschooling is blamed for the rise of extremist Islam”

These awful statements are now commonplace in a country that has historically asserted the responsibility of parents to nurture and care for every aspect of their children’s lives. In 2008, the last time homeschooling freedoms were under threat in the UK, supporters of home education broke the record for the number of local petitions presented at one time.

At the start of the proceedings in the House of Commons, the lead presenter, Graham Stuart, made this statement: “If enacted, the government’s proposals will, for the first time in our history, tear away from parents, and give to the state, the responsibility for a child’s education.”

The emphatic chorus from other members of parliament (MPs) there to present the petitions on behalf of their constituents was unanimous: “Shocking!”

Fast forward 10 years and attempts to break the record again are thwarted by walls of bureaucratic nonsense, and in some instances, the refusal of MPs to present their own constituent’s petitions.

If nothing else, these ongoing accusations focus the mind of concerned citizens up and down the country, with an ever-increasing number of parents and organisations raising their voices above the tumult.

The United Kingdom has often found itself needing to protect rights and freedoms, and now it faces a new challenge from within. The family unit, parental rights, and the protection of children are under threat as never before, and it is up to each person to preserve the freedoms the UK currently has through prayer, support, and awareness.