I am slowly recovering from pneumonia. I was not responding to treatment and finally required surgery. It is a slow recuperation for me: http://hef.org.nz/2014/
I am very thankful for the families who give donations to the Home Education Foundation each year which keeps the http://www.hef.org.nz website going and helps with many administrative tasks. Here is a letter I sent out to the doners for this past financial year: http://hef.org.nz/2014/letter-
While writing the above letter two items of concern came to me about the exemption application letter. Please see my letter above for some of those concerns. I made many phone calls to the MoE but could never get through to the right person. So I ended up writing two letters to John Clark:
You will notice that I have received a reply from Jim Greening which is below both letters.
I am really concerned about this letter from Jim Greening. I would love to get your feed back on it – especially on this list. As people talk about it we can bounce ideas off each other. There is a great discussion about this on a Facebook page at the moment. Some of the main concerns coming up there are:
1. There is nothing wrong with the law when it says “to teach as regular and as well as a registered school”. It is the POLICY in the MoE/ERO that we need to be concerned about and make sure that they keep to the LAW. That is what we need to be fighting if our ERO reviews fail and with new stuff on the exemption forms etc. (One person came on and said, “Actually Barbara, there is something wrong with the law – it exists, that’s what’s wrong!” I agree wholeheartedly.
2. What concerns me is that the MSD (Ministry of Social Development) in their White Paper and Supporting Vulnerable Children paper want 3 things: https://www.msd.govt.nz/…/
Early childhood education: In 2016, 98 per cent of children starting school will have participated in quality early childhood education.
Immunisation: Increase infant immunisation rates so that 95 per cent of eight month olds are fully immunised by December 2014 and this is maintained until 30 June 2017.
Rheumatic fever: Reduce the incidence of rheumatic fever by two thirds to 1.4 cases per 100,000 people by June 2017.
Assaults on children: By 2017, we aim to halt the rise in children experiencing physical abuse and reduce current numbers by five per cent.
Is it just me or does the letter kinda contradict itself?
‘ERO would not expect evidence just for an ERO review but because it’s useful and ethical to… record the child’s achievement and progress over time. ONLY then can the parent be satisfied that their child is being educated as well (or better) than they would be in another setting.’
To which I’d say ‘it’s in my head’ – which they can’t accept as valid because:
‘this doesn’t apply adequate accountability or provide assurance that the criteria is being met. Inability to provide evidence … means that ERO can’t be assured that the intention of the Act is being realised’
But hold on a minute, I thought you guys (MOE/ERO) said it’s NOT about reviews, but because it’s useful and ethical for the parent
– now you say the reason it can’t be in my head because then ERO can’t judge that?! So it IS just for ERO reviews? No explanation how having it written down rather than in my head is actually any more ‘useful’ or ‘ethical’ for anyone other than ERO – sure it’s not expected ‘just for an ERO review’… *rolls eyes*
My response: That was how I read the letter too. In the past “in my head” was fine. That was what a review was all about – the ERO talking to me to find out what was “in my head” was more important than talking with the child and seeing their work (although they did do this a little). After all the review is all about my “teaching” not the child’s “learning”. I think the ERO have forgotten this fact.
4. ERO reviews: There are only 35 ERO reviews budgeted for home schooling at the moment. The ERO is doing far less than this each year. The concern at the moment is that at least one family who has failed an ERO review recently has not been given a second review. In the past home educators were given two or even three ERO reviews if necessary. Schools are given even more than this. It is a concern if the ERO is now only going to be giving one ERO review to Home Educators. See my letter at the bottom of this link: http://hef.org.nz/teach/