Media Release – Beneficiary Parents “Not Able to Home School” Under Social Security Bill
October 24, 2012
Palmerston North, NZ – Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett last week told parents that under the new Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, beneficiaries will face increased government discrimination in seeking exemptions to home educate their children.
In a letter dated October 18, Ms Bennett told the concerned Kiwi dad who contacted her that “in general, a beneficiary parent will not be able to home school their child.”
Under the Education Act parents currently have the right to apply to the Ministry of Education for an exemption to home educate their children. Exemptions are granted if the Ministry is satisfied that the child will be taught “at least as regularly and as well” as in a registered school.
But according to Ms Bennett, the Social Security Bill will only allow beneficiary parents to home educate in strictly limited circumstances, where the parents can prove that it would be “unreasonable” for their child to attend school where transport is unavailable or because of severe physical or learning disabilities.
Ms Bennett alleged that these draconian terms are intended to provide “better outcomes for children”. But Barbara Smith, National Director of the Home Education Foundation of New Zealand, says that they are harsh and discriminatory.
“These new hurdles will effectively make it impossible for beneficiaries to choose the kind of education their children will receive—which is a basic human right under the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Mrs Smith says.
“All the research on home education shows its superiority to the school system. This bill makes it impossible for beneficiaries to give their children an excellent education.”
Mrs Smith says she has heard from hundreds of concerned parents who treasure the opportunity to learn with their children at home.
“Everyone has questions. What about the many responsible, dedicated home educators across this country? If their breadwinner loses his job, will they be forced to choose between their way of life and food on the table?
“What about the single-parent home educators, some of whom have left dangerous situations and gone on the benefit to keep their children safe? Will they be forced to part from those children because Paula Bennett doesn’t think they’re doing a good enough job of raising them at home?
Mrs Smith emphasises that current law already requires home educators to prove their children are being taught at least as regularly and well as in a registered school. “Requiring beneficiaries to prove that it would be ‘unreasonable’—according to the Ministry of Social Development—to send their children to school gives no benefit whatever to children,” she says. “By law, if the parents are home educating, they’ve already proved that their children are better off at home than at school. Why would Ms Bennett force them into an inferior education?
“It’s time the government stopped treating beneficiaries and home educators like second-class citizens.”
Mrs Smith encourages all concerned Kiwis will make a submission to the Select Committee by the deadline on November 1. Ms Bennett’s letter and materials for writing a submission can be found at www.hef.org.nz.
About the Home Education Foundation
The Home Education Foundation has been informing parents for 27 years about the fantastic opportunity to de-institutionalise our sons and daughters and to embrace the spiritual, intellectual and academic freedom that is ours for the taking. Through conferences, journals, newsletters and all kinds of personal communications, we explain the vision of handcrafting each child into a unique individual, complete with virtuous character, a hunger for service to others, academic acumen and a strong work ethic. For more information, please visit www.hef.org.nz or more specifically hef.org.nz/2012/make-a-submission-reject-compulsory-early-education-for-3-year-olds/
Already appeared here:
NewstalkZB: Welfare reforms may limit home schooling
As well as 3 Radio interviews today so far:
Radio Rhema at 9:45am
NZ Talk ZB
Raglan Community Radio 9:15am Friday
- Media Release 4 – Social Security Bill Targets Responsible Parents for Toughest Penalties
- Letter from Paula Bennett to Samuel Blight
- Opinion Piece in Truth
- Possible timeline for Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill
- Media Release 3 – Social Security Bill’s ECE Obligations Breach Human Rights
- Media Release 2 – Vulnerable Children Not Benefited By Social Security Bill
- Media Release 1 – Social Security Bill Coerces Parents, Removes Freedom
- Make a submission: Reject compulsory Early Education for 3 year olds
- Some of the main links
- Comment on Q+A: Social Development Minister Paula Bennett
- Human Rights in New Zealand Today: The right to education
- Raymond S. Moore on Early Childhood Centres
- Should preschool be compulsory?
- TVNZ One this morning Q&A with Paula Bennett
- Maxim Institute: What is best for children?
- HUGE Concerns over the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill
- Letter from Paula Bennett concerning beneficaries and home education
- Toby Manhire on Benefit-slaying Nats starting to look plain nasty
- Linking welfare to preschool attendance a world first
- New Update on: How will the new Social obligations which will be required of all beneficiary parents effect home schoolers?
- How will the new Social obligations which will be required of all beneficiary parents effect home schoolers?
From the Smiths:
Updated 5 October 2012: One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here
Needing help for your home schooling journey:
Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:
This link is motivational:
Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill