September 30, 2023

Math Prodigy, 14, Invited to Cambridge

LONDON, Jan. 7, 2010

Math Prodigy, 14, Invited to Cambridge

Arran Fernandez Would be Youngest at University since 1773, When Eventual Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger Attended

In this photo released by the Fernandez family on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010, home-schooled Arran Fernandez, 14, poses with the offer he received to join Fitzwilliam College at Cambridge University in October, in London.

In this photo released by the Fernandez family on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010, home-schooled Arran Fernandez, 14, poses with the offer he received to join Fitzwilliam College at Cambridge University in October, in London. (AP Photo/PA, Neil Fernandez)

A 14-year-old math prodigy has been offered a place at Britain’s prestigious Cambridge University – if he can pass just one more exam.

Arran Fernandez, who was home-schooled in southern England’s Surrey county, was offered an undergraduate place at Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam College after passing the university’s entrance exam.

He now needs only to pass his physics A-level exam – a standardized test for British students – to enroll.

British media Thursday quoted the boy’s father, Neil Fernandez, as saying that Arran would be the youngest Cambridge undergraduate since William Pitt the Younger, who became prime minister, attended at the same age in 1773.

Cambridge University spokesmen were not available late Thursday.

Home-schooling parents may face criminal record checks

Home-schooling parents

may face criminal record checks in the UK

By Steve Doughty
Last updated at 2:14 AM on 30th November 2009

Parents who teach their own children at home must undergo criminal records checks, say Government education inspectors.

The estimated 40,000 parents who choose not to send their children to school should be vetted, says Ofsted.

It said that parents whose records throw up suspicions should be barred from teaching their own children.

Mother home-schooling childChecks: Parents who teach at home must be vetted, education inspectors say

Vetting to root out any record of violence against children would be by the Criminal Records Bureau.

It would reveal to local authorities parents’ criminal convictions, cautions and warnings, and even information that did not lead to a criminal conviction.

It would also show any unproven complaints noted by the controversial new Independent Safeguarding Authority, set up to vet adults working with other people’s children.

Parents who fail the checks could also find themselves receiving attention from child protection social workers.

If accepted by ministers, the Ofsted rules would be the first state attempt to investigate and vet ordinary parents over the way they bring up their own children.

The proposal brought fierce protests from family campaigners.

Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust said: ‘It is sheer madness for Ofsted to suggest that parents should be required to undergo CRB checks to be with their children between the hours of 9am and 3pm from Monday to Friday during term-time.

‘If it is deemed unsafe for children to be with their parents during normal school hours, it is equally unsafe for them to be with their parents in the evenings, at weekends and during the school holidays.

‘If Ofsted are calling for CRB checks for home-educating parents now, how long will it be before they are demanding that all parents are CRB-checked?’

Robert Whelan of the Civitas think-tank said: ‘You can no longer be a parent without a piece of paper from the state. This is a monstrous idea and it shows the danger of taking things to logical extremes.’

A Bill from Children’s Secretary Ed Balls already backs the idea of a home-schooling registration scheme where parents must set out a curriculum and allow town hall officials to inspect their homes.

But in a written report to MPs on the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee, Ofsted said: ‘Registration would not of itself prevent those who have a conviction for offences against children, including parents, step-parents or privately employed home tutors, from home educating children.

‘Criminal Records Bureau checks should be a requirement of registration.’

The right of parents to educate their children at home has been enshrined in law since 1944.

Parents have until now not had to register with councils or tell them what they are teaching.

Advancing with NHERI and Dr. Ray

National Home Education Research Institute


mailing: PO Box 13939  Salem, Oregon 97309

shipping: 925 Cottage St. NE  Salem, Oregon 97301

(503) 364-1490, fax (503) 364-2827, Dr. Ray personal:

Dear Friend,

You may think western Oregon is always rainy, cloudy, misty, and cold. That thinking is what keeps our southern neighbors away (smile). But, we hit 107 degrees on a Tuesday in July then 108 the next day, and we are headed for 92 today – are we ever glad we do not have a water shortage here in Salem, Oregon! I am not, however, very concerned about physical heat. It will not stop parents from making the best choices they can for their children’s education; that is, their discipleship. Keep in mind, though, there is another form of heat that is placing children and family solidarity at risk.

I am detecting that heat and pressure are building from those who want to be in control of the teaching, training, and indoctrination of your children, rather than you being in charge. Consider four examples.

1.      A New Hampshire Court orders Christian homeschooled girl to attend public school. Although excelling in her academic education and being well-rounded in her social skills, the court is reportedly concerned about the strength of her Christian beliefs.[1]

2.      Badman report in England: Graham Badman, a former Managing Director of Children, Families and Education in the County of Kent’s, submitted his June 2009 Report to the Secretary of State on the Review of Elective Home Education in England. He proposes draconian changes in English home education law. He claims, on a faulty basis, that homeschooling should be extensively regulated in England. He makes recommendations that government officials be empowered to compel entry into the homes of families engaged in home education and interrogate each child.[2]

3.      Professor Robert Kunzman of Indiana University publishes a book, Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling, in 2009 and argues that all homeschool children should be compelled by the government to take achievement tests (against the will of their parents?).[3]

4.      Missouri law controls more homeschoolers. Under a new Missouri law (2009), compulsory attendance now extends to age 17 unless a child has earned 16 high school credits. This affects homeschoolers; it gives the state more control over parents and children.

I was recently flying home from serving as an expert witness in a court case in the Midwest and considering such examples as the above-mentioned. Related to that, I would like to offer you some brief comments on research and its importance. I remember once wondering whether I, as a Christian, was simply trying to selfishly justify or rationalize my participation in research,[4] which I enjoy doing. So I asked a nationally respected man if he could think of any scriptures that related to the concept of research. Although he could not give me the passage citation, I carefully listened to the rendition of the scripture that came to his mind. I searched all kinds of words and phrases but could not find it in the word of God. Months later, I received a letter from a Christian organization and, lo and behold, the following scripture was mentioned:

Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong, Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, And in a multitude of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 24:3-6, NKJV).

It was the scripture that the man had tried to quote for me. What is the application? I offer one. You might think that everyone should simply respect your right and authority to direct the education and upbringing of your children because you know this is a clear precept from God. Or you might be a non-Christian classical liberal who believes in a very limited government, and come to the same conclusion. Do not keep dreaming this way. Most judges who govern courts, legislators, professors of education, media reporters, professors of political science, and our culture (both in the United States and in many other nations) are far – very far – from biblical in their thinking and practice.

Facts, figures, and statistics from research that clarify and support biblical concepts and practices are knowledge that increases power for the advancement of God’s kingdom. Research built from right thinking can be an effective tool against wrong thinking and, bluntly put, malevolent attacks against parents and their children.

Along these lines, I am happy to tell you that a new nationwide study that NHERI has conducted, with major support from a well-known homeschool organization, was recently released. I am confident you will be enthused and blessed by the findings of the report. You may visit us and click on the link at the top of the page to read some of the findings of the research.

If you would like a copy of the full-length research report – in the form of a book –

please be sure to check the box on the enclosed form.

In addition to the new study, following are just a few examples of the many things that NHERI has been able to do for you and families around the world during the past several months:

4/22/09  KHRO Radio of El Paso, Texas interviews Dr. Ray.

4/27/09 Focus on the Family ministry gets research statistics from NHERI.

5/5/09 NHERI helps homeschoolers in Maine with research to help deal with  bad proposed legislation.

5/6/09 Dr. Ray observes a homeschool parent and children to prepare for a court case in North Carolina.

5/7/09 WBAL Radio of Baltimore, Maryland interviews Dr. Ray.

6/2/09 The Washington Times national newspaper interviews Dr. Ray

5/27/09 Dr. Ray prepares as an expert witness and arrives for a court case in Mojave, California.

6/5-6/09 Dr. and Mrs. Betsy Ray serve as keynote speakers at annual convention of Christian Home Educators of the Fresno Area, California.

6/15/09 Dr. Ray assists speaker/author R.C. Sproul, Jr. prepare to publicly debate an American university professor while in the United Kingdom.

7/9/09 Albany Herald newspaper of Albany, Georgia interviews Dr. Ray

7/23/09 Radio 940 AM of Norwalk, Iowa interviews Dr. Ray.

7/30/09 Dr. Ray serves as an expert witness in court case in Missouri.

8/4/09 Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Georgia, quotes Dr. Ray and cites NHERI’s research.

8/7/09 NHERI helps a doctoral student in Pennsylvania.

8/13/09 Generations radio program interviews Dr. Ray.

8/14/09 Dr. Ray testifies as an expert witness in court case in Minnesota.

8/18/09 Carroll County Times, Westminster, Maryland, interviews Dr. Ray

9/10/09 Il Sole 24 Ore, a national newspaper in Italy, interviews Dr. Ray.

Keep in mind that one study here and there does not, by itself, make for the effective production and dissemination of important research. Your ongoing financial support, encouraging words, and prayer keep us at NHERI alive and healthy, doing research and presenting it to the media, courts, legislators, and professors – and to skeptical grandparents, neighbors, and friends.

Please prayerfully consider a gift today. You can do it simply by one of the following methods:

1.      Put a check in the enclosed envelope.

2.      Contribute online at (at the left, click “online store”).

Godspeed into the autumn.


Brian D. Ray, Ph.D.


P.S. We can really use your financial and other forms of encouragement soon.

You may quickly contribute online then send an e-mail telling us which item you would like us to send you (see donation form) Click Here to Contribute Online (that is,

Please be sure to mark your donation form (below) or e-mail us at to let us know what you would like us to send to you.

NHERI is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization – contributions are tax-deductible.

NHERI News, September 2009, friend46  over —–>

N • H • E • R • I

Facts   Support   Encouragement

A “Friend of NHERI commits to supporting the ongoing work of NHERI by giving at least $5 per month for one year and will:

1. Receive Worldwide Guide to Homeschooling: Facts and Stats on the Benefits of Home School, Dr. Ray’s newest book

2. Receive the journal Home School Researcher (HSR) to keep up on the facts, 4 issues.

3. Receive an online password to access all back issues of HSR and other research.

4. Receive news letters from Dr. Brian D. Ray, the home school researcher and a homeschool father of eight.

5. Be promoting and defending homeschooling locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally in the media, in courts, with policy makers, and with the general public.

I/we would like to be a “Friend of NHERI” and support NHERI’s work with a monthly contribution of

$300         $100         $75         $50         $25         $10         $5         Other: amount $_____________

Enclosed Is A One-Time Contribution of $_____________

Or, go to and click on “contributions” near the top.

If your one-time contribution is $20 or more, would like us to send you one of the following? If yes, which one?

yes ?     no ?    New Study full-length book – Homeschooling Across America: Academic Achievement and

Demographic Characteristics – expected release date January 2010

yes ?     no ? Home Education Reason and Research – new full-color booklet summarizing research

If your one-time contribution or annual commitment is $120 or more and you would you like us to send you one of the following, please check which one (and if you are renewing, please request we send you something):

yes ?        no ?    Worldwide Guide to Homeschooling: Facts and Stats on the Benefits of Home School (ret. $10.99)

yes ?        no ?    New Study full-length book – see note just above

Total Enclosed    $___________

First Name(s)

Last Name


Street Address

City                                                                                                        State                                                       Zip Code

Home Phone                                                        Work Phone                                             E-mail Address

Please make your tax-deductible contributions payable to the nonprofit 501(c)(3) NHERI and mail them with this form to:

National Home Education Research Institute

PO Box 13939    Salem, Oregon 97309

phone (503) 364?1490   fax (503) 364?2827

[1] Chagnon, Pete. (2009, August 26). New Hampshire Court orders Christian homeschooled girl to attend public school. Retrieved 9/7/09 from

[2] Badman, Graham. (2009, June). Report to the Secretary of State on the Review of Elective Home Education in England. (Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 11 June 2009.) London: The Stationery Office. Retrieved June 15, 2009 from

[3] Mathews, Jay. (2009, August 21). Three smart rules for home school regulation. Retrieved September 7, 2009 from

[4] Research (definition): “studious inquiry or examination; especially : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws” (retrieved September 11, 2009 from

HSLDA: A Reply to the Badman Report


A Reply to the Badman Report

English Home Education: Already In Proper Balance

July 2009

Michael P. Farris, J.D.
Home School Legal Defense Association


His name is Badman. Graham Badman. His June 2009 “Report to the Secretary of State on the Review of Elective Home Education in England,” which proposes draconian changes in English home education law, lives up to his name.

The Story so Far

On June 11, 2009 a report on home education in England by Graham Badman, a former Managing Director of Children, Families and Education in the County of Kent, was accepted in full by the British Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. The report makes the case that homeschooling should be extensively regulated in England.

Read HSLDA’s June 16 article: “UN Treaty Jeopardizes Homeschool Freedom in Britain”

His core premise is that the current education law does not properly balance the rights of parents and the rights of children.

However, he reaches this conclusion on a faulty basis. Most significantly, he fails to fully and accurately describe the current legal framework that governs home education. He avoids any discussion of the power of local education officials to intervene with the force of law in a situation where they have found a home education program to be unsuitable.

Despite his failure to accurately describe the current situation, he makes a series of recommendations to remedy the problems he has “discovered.” Central to his scheme is the requirement that a government official be empowered to compel entry into the homes of families engaged in home education. Then he wishes the official to have the power to interrogate each child in order to “hear” the child’s wishes and make an independent determination of the suitability of the home education program.

A cryptic quotation appears as a preface to the entire report:

The need to choose, to sacrifice some ultimate values to others, turns out to be a permanent characteristic of the human predicament.

This statement was by Isaiah Berlin in a 1969 work published by Oxford University.

Badman’s apparent meaning is that one cherished value needs to be sacrificed to achieve a different cherished value. From the body of the Badman Report there is little doubt as to his intended application of this principle.

The Badman Report opines that traditional English concepts of parental rights and liberty must be sacrificed to achieve the value of adherence to children’s rights theory—specifically, the theory contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

But as so often is the case with meddlesome interlopers, it is easy to demonstrate that Badman’s conclusions are premised on numerous fallacies.

To read the rest of this report go to:

Government to clamp down on home schooling families

Some background for the Petition we have been asked to sign:

Government to clamp down on

home schooling families

Thursday, 11 June 200

Home schooling families are to face visits from their local authority to ensure they are providing what the Government defines as a “suitable” and “efficient” education.

Under recommended changes to the law accepted by Children’s Secretary Ed Balls this week, home schooled children will have to be registered with the local authority every year.

Parents will be required to provide their local authority with “a statement of approach to education” and a twelve-month plan outlining what they will teach.

Parents who fail to register or provide inadequate or false information will be guilty of a criminal offence.

Fiona Nicholson, of support group Education Otherwise, said: “If they introduce a registration system, it would completely shift the balance of power.

“The state is coming into family life and trying to regulate it. It is an extraordinary invasion of the family.”

Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust, said: “In accepting the recommendations of this report, the government is signalling its intention to introduce an unprecedented level of intrusion into family life.

“The plan to allow local authorities routine access to the homes of children who are educated outside the school system shows a fundamental distrust of parents.

“If the government gets its way, home educated children will be subject to a far greater degree of individual state surveillance than children receive in school. The current legal framework already grants local authorities sufficient power to intervene where they have evidence that a child is at risk of suffering significant harm whether the child in question is in school or not.

“The legality of going beyond that and granting local authorities a routine right of access to the homes of parents who teach their children at home is open to question under human rights legislation.”

The proposals come despite the fact that many parents who home school do so because they disagree with the state’s approach to education or believe that in practice it is not up to scratch.

The measures have been recommended by Graham Badman, who has been reviewing the law on home schooling. He was also chosen to lead an investigation into the death of Baby P last year.

The review’s launch prompted anger from home schooling groups when the Government suggested home education might be used to cover up child abuse.

The review has now concluded that there is no evidence for this, but Mr Balls has written to Mr Badman accepting his “call for urgent action to improve safeguards for home educated children”.

Ann Newstead, another spokesman from Education Otherwise, said: “To suggest that just because children are at home they are more vulnerable is not just flawed and inaccurate, it is downright insulting.

“Most parents have removed children from school to keep them safe.”

A consultation has now been launched on Mr Badman’s most “urgent” proposals. Mr Balls said responses to the consultation will be taken into account, but wants to “introduce these changes at the earliest possible opportunity”.

Earlier this week Conservative MP Mark Field said home schooling families “are concerned that the government is manipulating current anxiety over child abuse to intrude further into the sphere of home education when it has no legal right to do so”.

He said: “The majority of home educators feel that the government is simply incapable of trusting parents to do the best for their children”.

He suggested the Government should deal with its own failures relating to child abuse before pointing its finger at home schoolers.

It is thought that between 20,000 and 50,000 children in the UK are currently home schooled, with the practice becoming increasingly popular.

In a study on home schooling two University of London academics recently found that the method was “an astonishingly efficient way to learn”.

Last week Guardian education blogger Adharan and Finn said the introduction of a compulsory register and minimum standards for home educators would “remove from parents the responsibility for how their children are educated”.

He said: “For many, without the freedom to learn autonomously, the very reason for home education will cease to exist.

“We’ll have to wait and see how far any new legislation will go, and how hard home educators will resist it, but let’s hope we don’t end up with a situation like that in Germany, where the ban on home education means for many parents the only option is to emigrate.”

In Germany it is illegal for parents to educate their children at home.