The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education …either by regular attendance at school or otherwise
Civil servants are notoriously bad losers and the Department for Education has now muttered about changing the law. So, if you have children of school age, I suggest you get your holidays booked pretty sharpish before they get round to it.
I met our MP, Peter Heaton-Jones, when he was still merely the Conservative candidate and, as it happened, we discussed the question of Nanny Gove’s diktat. Mr Heaton-Jones said, at that time, that he was opposed. In fact, he pointed out to me the incongruity that the Education Act does not require a parent to send a child to school, so that a parent whose child never goes to school is OK, but one whose child resolutely attends every day, except a few, can be prosecuted. This is daft. Peter, if you still believe this, I urge you to put whatever pressure you can on the minister in charge. Many of your constituents work in the hospitality industry and, if the Nanny Gove regulation gets reintroduced, they will never be able to have a holiday with their children while the children are of school age.
Personally, I have always thought that, whatever else it stood for, the Conservative Party stood for the rights of the individual over the Nanny State. The Gove regulation is Nanny Statism at its worst.
Did you know that a German mother of a child whose father is British and who lives in England has been refused permission to send her child to Germany for 2 weeks to improve the child’s grasp of German?
Meanwhile, a girl has been suspended from school, because the school does not like the colour of her hair. So, despite all the rhetoric about the importance of not missing even one day of school, it seems that it is more important to maintain the correct hair colour than it is to teach the poor kid.
I have said it before, and I will say it again however often I need to: if our education system is such that a few days or even a couple of weeks absence is sufficient to damage a child’s prospects for the rest of his or her life, then there is something seriously wrong with the education system, and the Department for Education would better spend their time resolving that problem than dreaming up new ways of persecuting parents who simply want the best for their kids.
I’m not sure if you will see this in time, but there are a couple of art competitions, see posters below.
Back to the blooming EU. The Remainders have now got Christine Lagarde, head honcho of the IMF, to come out in their favour. This is the Christine Lagarde who a French Court has ordered to stand trial for alleged negligence in handling an affair whilst she was French Finance Minister. With friends like this, do the Remainders need enemies?
I have recently seen a short speech by a Brexiter which, in my humble opinion, is the best argument I have heard either way. One of the things I like about it is that it doesn’t try to flummox me with lies, damned lies and statistics. Instead, it discusses unemotionally the principles behind staying or going. I intend to post a link to it in my blog next week. However, in the interests of maintaining a balance, if anyone in the Remain camp would like to provide me with a link to a similar argument in their favour, I will be glad to post that also.
Meanwhile, the Hampshire Rose, the retired lifeboat, was used by a crew from Channel 4 filming a programme in the series Homes by the Sea. The skipper tells me that the TV crew got some beautiful film of the boat and the town as the boat came into the harbour.
So, let’s keep our eyes peeled for some more publicity for our lovely town.
I was pleased to hear Peter Heaton-Jones in parliament raise the question of continuing services at Barnstaple hospital. We need only recall the Northern Devon NHS Healthcare Trust’s duplicity over the Tyrrell to know that we must not let up on pressure to maintain all of the services there. If you haven’t done so, please sign the petition at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/128996.
My only disappointment was that they did not find room for my favourite Shakespearean quotation: “Lord, what fools these mortals be”, which you may have noticed I used last week. It is particularly useful when talking of politicians.