Home Education is Our Project!

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Published 14 February 2021 by LED’A

10 hours of debate and 400 amendements later, the Republic en Marche (Republic on the Move) decided to restrict home education with Article 21. The wisdom of the senate now has the stage.

THE DAY when the Head of State launched a phone platform (call 3928), to enable victims of discrimination to expose cases to the authorities, the government spokesperson on the bill intended to “reinforce republican principles” Anne Brugnera, appears in Le Monde to once again stigmatise parents who have chosen home education.

In passing, with a wet finger in the wind, she estimates between “2,000 to 3,000 the number of children in a separatist situation”. A figure from Home Intelligence, right next to the Barbouze Group dealing with ghosts of the Republic or savage children? Even better, it is an “ex-tra-po-la-tion” she unashamedly confides to the daily newspaper.

Therefore, making the legal choice of a constitutional freedom enshrined in law since Jules Ferry, is for this parliamentary member for the Rhône, a form of separatism. With the good faith which is apparently the measure of the gravediggers of home education, she amalgamates education outside of school and withdrawal from society: “Withdrawing your child from school and from society is a form of separatism” is the title of her article.

It is certainly the new punch-line for a political executive who has never had any arguments other than their allegiance to Emmanuel Macron who declared a little too quickly, in his speech des Mureaux on 2 October 2020, his intention to ban home education.

The truth is, the government’s arguments are as poor as the impact study they produced for the Council of State when proposing the “separatism” law. Meanwhile the opinion of the sentinels of public freedoms are red in the face at Article 21, the Human Rights League, the Defender of Rights, National Consultative Commission of Human Rights (CNCDH), and now one year from legistation, it starts to become embarrassing, even for the ranks of the LREM.

De Rugy Annoyed by the Militant Mobilisation of Home Educators

Still you have to please the Prince. This was undoubtedly the intention of François de Rugy when he spoke during the session on the 11 February 2021, to invite parliamentarians to be more diligent to resolve the fate of home educated children. “62,000 pupils out of 12 million (…) a day in a very small part (…) let’s keep a sense of measure” invited the president of the special committee of the Assembly. To specify his annoyance at the mobilisation of home educating families and their effective relays: “it is the Republic which sets the framework, not the parents who set the framework for the Republic”. An expert opinion from a former President of the Assembly who has been well reprimanded.

For the deputy Di Filippo: “We will end up with the gas chamber”

This martial statement at the very least betrays the feverishness of the political executive and of the majority which has suffered more than 400 amendments, in particular on the very controversial Article 21. The incantations of Soldier Blanquer did not convince anyone in parliament. Similarly when he said that Article 21 “is a text of protection and freedom” or when he took up his slogan: “School is good for children”. Instead of pulling out their handkerchiefs and drying a tear, parliamentarians opposed to this liberticidal law have warned him on several occasions. Like the deputy Di Filippo: “We will end up with the gas chamber”. The elected representative of Moselle reminded him “of his duty of control” as the Senate had done before him on 18 June 2020, after Blanquer himself had admitted under oath to carry out on average only 70% of home education controls. Denouncing “a measure to the detriment of honest families” the Lorrain LR member specifically warned him: “the sooner an error is corrected, the easier it is to correct”. Cunning Blanquer pretends to drop some ballast by proposing an amendment that would make the application of Article 21 variable. Families already practicing home education during the 2021-2022 school year would not be concerned by a system of authorisation before the beginning of the 2024-2025 school year … if they satisfy the education inspection of course.

The carrot and the stick or how to keep families at bay with the “deemed insufficient” weapon of control. This is often the case with the National Education Department: coercion and manipulation.

Now more than ever, let’s stay MOBILISED!

Les Enfants D’Abord

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Project of Law to “Respect the Principals of the Republic” and restrict the freedom of home education: the home education associations demand a moratorium

Published on the 5th Januar 2021

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In France, as in numerous other democracies, education is compulsory, not schooling1. Beginning the 18 January 2021 in a special commission of the National Assembly, the bill to “Reinforce the Respect of the Principals of the Republic” retains, in Article 21, the principle of compulsory schooling for all children from 3 to 16 years old, making the free practice of home education conditional to prior administrative authorisation2.

Parental authority questioned by the French State

Despite the unfavourable opinion of the Council of State, Article 21 of the bill still translates a desire for the general abolition of the freedom of choice of home education, which is nonetheless a form of freedom of education which has been recognised in France since the Jules Ferry Laws (1881-1882). Disregarding any respect for parental authority and individual freedoms, the state aims to impose its own vision of the best interests of the child, even if this means going against the will of the parents, under threat of heavy penalty (six months imprisonment and a 7500 euro fine)2.

According to the government impact study, currently approx. 30,000 home educated children, may no longer be able to benefit from this type of education. In addition, parents and children wishing to home educate in the future would be prevented from doing so.

This project is all the more shocking as it is not based on any objective data: home educated children are neither radicalised, nor asocial, quite the contrary2.

For rational decision-making respectful of the democratic process

On the 30 December 2020 we submitted a request to the President of the Republic that a moratorium be decided on the restrictive provisions on the freedom of home education for the following reasons3:

  • the lack of relevant study to evaluate such reform which was highlighted by the Council of State in their recommendation4

  • the inadequacy of the parliamentary procedure implemented (emergency procedure) considering the multiple legal and social implications that the adoption of this text would imply

  • the constitutional obstacles that this reform faces, in particular:

    1. A fundamental freedom can not be subject to prior administrative authorisation, in which case it is no longer a freedom

    2. When guaranteeing individual freedoms, only the judicial authority is competent, to the exclusion of the administration, to decide against the will of the parents and in the best interests of the child.

In requesting a moratorium, our aim is to enable parliamentarians to act in full possession of the facts, on a base of rationality, once the nature and the impact of such a reform on home educating families has been properly clarified by the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE)5 and where appropriate, by additional studies.

There is no reason to require parliamentarians to validate such sensitive provisions to restrict the freedom of education with such urgency, without first gathering the necessary impact study elements for informed decision-making and particularly since the law on the “School of Trust already drastically strengthened the supervision of home education in 20196.

L’association LED’A L’association UNIE Le collectif EELM

L’association LAIA Le collectif FELICIA Enfance Libre

L’association CISE

Presentation of the Signatory Organisations and Contacts

The Association LEDA (Les enfants dabord – Children First), created in 1988, regroups more than 1300 member families who home educate their children. The association exists to provide information on home education, to defend this right and to enable meetings to facilitate the sharing of experiences and information. www.lesenfantsdabord.org/ Contact: libertedelinstruction@lesenfantsdabord.org / 0689987526 ou 0670100140 ou 0608950100

The Association LAIA (Libres d’Apprendre et d’Instruire Autrement – Free to Learn and Educate Otherwise) represents approx 450 member families throughout France. The association has existed for 14 years and publishes the only magazine dedicated to home education in France, the quarterly “Les Plumes”. Contact: contact@laia-asso.fr /0699338996 ou 0671938772 ou 0695955526.

The Association CISE (Choisir d’instruire son enfant – Chose to Educate Your Child) is an association in support and defence of home education, encouraging parental education which is diverse, progressive and responds to the needs of the child to enable them to become an enlightened and responsible citizen. www.cise.fr Contact: therese.pour.cise@gmail.com / 06 84 94 66 28.

The Association UNIE (Union Nationale pour l’Instruction et lEpanouissement – The National Union for Education and Fulfilment) in invested in mutual aid and cooperation between families. Open to all for whom education is done with respect for the development of the child. UNIE provides advice and assistance to 5300 member familles and to 12,000 Facebook group members. association-unie.fr. Contact: Armelle – unie.association@gmail.com / 07 68 47 76 40.

The Federation FELICIA represents local associations and more than 4400 member families of the group https:// www.facebook.com/groups/fedefelicia/, to defend the freedom of choice of education and learning. https://www.federation-felicia.org / contact@federation-felicia.org / 06 19 10 37 88.

The Collective l’Ecole est la Maison (EELM – School is at Home) represents and defends formal home education. Source of proposals for a proper supervision of family education. www.lecoleestlamaison.blogspot.com. Contact: Laurence Fournier – lecoleestlamaison@gmail.com / 06 62 92 84 70.

Enfance Libre – Free Childhood a movement in defence of the autonomy of families with regard to education. Prioritises facilitating children’s access to public and political speech. www.enfance-libre.fr. Contact : mouvement.en- fance.libre@gmail.com

1« Compulsory education may be provided in either public or private, establishments or schools, or within the family (…) » (article L 131-2 of the Education Code).

2Reread our common stance: « Il faut sauver linstruction en famille » (14 décembre 2020) https://droit-instruction.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/20201214_PositionCommuneArticle21_vf.pdf

3Letter to the President of the Republic (30 décembre 2020) : https://droit-instruction.org/demande-de-moratoire/

4« This suppression in not supported by reliable elements and documented by reasons, conditions and results of the practice of home education: the elements we have, show that this reality is very diverse. However the government plan could, according to the indicators of the impact study, lead to the compulsory schooling of three quarters of currently home educated children » (CE, Avis from the 9 December 2020)

5On the 22 December 2020, we also asked the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) to make a decision on this sensitive issue in order to enlighten decision-makers before any infringement of this fundamental freedom occurs (https://droit-instruction.org/saisine-du-cese/)

6 Before the Senate on the 18 June 2020 the Education Minister himself recognised: «This freedom of home education […] really has a powerful constitutional basis which one can only recognise and which I think is positive […] There was a need for more supervision, and that is what we did [with the law on the School of Trust in 2019] [] In terms of legal principles, it seems that we have reached a certain stage which is the right one.»

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Home Education: an Inadequate, Inconsistent and Insulting Impact Study

16.12.20 by LED’A

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“Insufficient” warned the Conseil d’Etat. The Impact Study of the project of law to ban home education is filled with empty words and outdated concepts under the guise of being in the best interests of the child…to confine them up for their own good.

The association LED’A (Les Enfants d’Abord – Children First) is not in opposition to the school of the Republic which unites us. We do not oppose school. We just choose to do without school. Like any public service, we want to have open access to it if, and only if, we need it or want it. As the name of our association and as our philosophy statement suggests at “Les Enfants d’Abord” (Children First) our activity is motivated by the best interests of children and the respect of these individuals in every regard. There is no president in our ranks and we are better for it. We operate true horizontality. Children, as soon as they are able to raise their hand, are able to vote. Their voices have the same weight as those of adults, regardless of whether they understand the question they are voting on or not.

Obviously operating in this manner often raises a few eyebrows.

At LED’A, a child is not just a child, they are first and foremost an individual. Someone who is able to decide for themselves and experience freedom in order to reach autonomy. So how could we force our children to join the ranks of an industrial education system when we are specifically organised and volunteer to create “home made”, made to measure education for those we consider most. To what end? Although not opposed to school, we are not blind. We can see more and more teachers providing home education for their own children so that they not be beaten down by a system that they themselves have inside knowledge of. 700,000 children are bullied each year. This should be the great national concern of the government. Just as children with disabilities wishing to be educated within the classic system are home educated by default due to lack of resources and willingness of public authorities.

Artificial Socialisation or Natural Sociability.

Contrary to government claims packed full of cliché, at LED’A home education never rhymes with confinement. The government wish to impose freedom on everyone from behind the school gates, the relaxation of an hourly bell, surveillance cameras at the entrance, the benefits of socialisation of children all the same age, packed by groups of 30 into an enclosed space, with only one adult as person of reference. All to be graded. Such an artificial form of socialisation, which has become the norm, is equally inept. In contrast, our children live their lives alongside their parents in every activity that life has to offer. Meeting other children and adults alike without every asking their age. These are simply people with whom they can play, exchange, experiment and learn all throughout their life…without grades. Specialists have shown and we are also fully aware that our children are hungry for knowledge and learn naturally. It is irrepressible and intrinsic. To deny them the right to learn at their own pace, the end of home education in elective form, would be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights of which France is a signatory. International standards in terms of human rights cannot be undone. This is called the ratchet effect. In an attempt to respond to this the government speaks of the right to an education being in the best interests of the child. And discredits the family who is, until proof of the contrary, the first social space and place of confrontation with the other. Above and beyond supra national conventions and regulations applied to democracies, one unalterable principle remains: natural rights or inalienable rights. The rights of a child who does not belong to their parents and even less to the state. At LED’A we believe that the people best placed to accompany a child in their existence are those who have know them from birth.

Some Statistics:

  • 0.4% of school aged children are home educated.
  • 700,000 children are victims of school bullying each year (14 times more)
  • 50.7% of home educated children are male
  • 49.3% are female
  • No figures exist on children “under the radar” or “phantoms of the Republic”
  • In 2019, according to the government, 179 children were removed from school or home educated with a view to radicalisation. This is 0.59% of the 30,486 home educated children not in the CNED program. A mere 0.00149% of the 12 million children in the education system.
  • In 2016 to 2017, 92.8% of home education inspections were deemed satisfactory by the National Education Department. Only 7.2% of those remaining were followed by a second inspection.

Quotes:

“Cases of children exposed to a risk of radicalisation and identified during the inspection of education at the family home are exceptional.” Excerpt from the Vademecum written by the National Education Ministry p.38.

“On a legal level, I think we have reached a good balance” J-M Blanquer, 18 June 2020, under oath, before the Senate Commission “Combat Islamic Radicalisation”.

The LED’A Media Team is available to reply to requests for exchanges on particular points of law with the aim to enlighten their readers on the Impact Study presented by the government.

Les Enfants D’Abord,

www.lesenfantsdabord.org

équipe média media@lesenfantsdabord.org 

contact-international@lesenfantsdabord.org

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Bill to Uphold the Principals of the Republic (Article 21): Home Education Must be Saved.

14th December 2020

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Article 21 of the bill to uphold the principals of the republic aims to eradicate the liberty to choose one of the modalities of educational freedom: Home Education.

This objectively unfounded restriction of freedom is contrary to fundamental rights.

Summary (Key Points) of the Shared Position.

  • In France education is compulsory, not schooling. Parents therefore have the possibility to choose to either delegate the education of their child to a school structure or to home educate.
  • Home education is a fundamental right anchored in French law for 150 years. In practice this concerns a mere 0.4% of the school aged population but greatly contributes to the resilience of the French school system.
  • On the 2 October, during an announcement on a bill on “separatism” the President of the Republic announced his desire to ban home education and make school attendance compulsory from the return to school in 2021, for all children aged 3 to 16 years.
  • Article 21 of the project of law upholding the principals of the republic presented to the National Assembly on the 9 December 2020, confirms this intention. In the event of non compliance with compulsory school attendance, a penalty of 6 months in prison and a fine of 7,500 euros is incurred. As a reminder, in Germany schooling became compulsory in 1938 under penalty of imprisonment, for children 6 years upwards not 3 year olds.
  • The Impact Study which carries the project is poor and full of allegations contradicting the body of research in Education Science on the subject of home education.
  • The aim of the government is to drastically reduce the number of home educated children by subjecting the use of this freedom to a pre-authorisation.
  • An exemption from compulsory school attendance would only be obtainable by authorisation from a recognised state authority, for one year only and under very restrictive conditions.
  • Invoking the reasons for exemption which could mean a doubly stigmatising constraint for certain children and leaves space for arbitrary decisions and discrimination against certain parents. “The existence of a particular situation specific to the child, provided that the persons responsible can demonstrate their ability to provide home education while respecting the best interests of the child.”
  • With this bill, the state increases its domination of the private sphere, replacing parents, to impose its vision of the “best interests” of the child.
  • Wanting to ban home education is not the answer to the existence of clandestine forms of indoctrination outside the control of the state: the government has the wrong target. This disproportionate interference with freedom of education is unanimously denounced.
  • Indicative of the inconsistency of the justifications put forward by the government to justify this measure, a new language element, the fear of a form of “social separatism” made an appearance in the Impact Study of the bill. Home educated children and their parents are however perfectly integrated into society.
  • Scientific studies show that home educated children are particularly independent and capable of easy adaptation to the school system and the working world if they choose to return to school or follow a path of training.
  • If the restrictions were adopted 30,000 children currently home educated could no longer be. Home education is often the only solution for children suffering at school due to an atypical profile which does not necessarily constitute a recognised handicap, or in the event of institutional dysfunction.
  • Banning home education with the exception of certain exemptions would constitute an infringement on public freedom, neither suitable or proportionate, generating much suffering and a loss of an asset to the country.
  • Defending freedom of education and educational diversity also means protecting the law of the land.
  • We are depending on the members of parliament and senators to entirely remove Clause 21 from the bill. There is no place for liberticide.
  • L’association LED’A
  • L’association LAIA
  • L’association CISE
  • L’association UNIE
  • Le Collectif EELM
  • Le  Collectif FELICIA
  • L’association PIEE
  • Le Collect’IEF
  • Enfance Libre
  • Autisme Espoir Vers L’Ecole
  • Cours PI
  • La Fondation pour l’école
  • Créer son école
  • Éduc France
  • Objectif Eurêka!
  • PEPsMagazine

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Home Education and Numbers Pulled from Nowhere: The Separatist Loto

9th December 2020

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Regardless of the life choices concerning home educated children we must, now more than ever, save the soldier Macron from any political setback.

Defamation, defamation and still there’s more.

Yesterday in Le Monde, Castex said, “In French law, the principal is compulsory schooling, a principal with assorted exceptions”. The Prime Minister is lying. Correction: “In French law, education is obligatory, not school”. A lie hammered out by the ministers still leaves a trace. During legislation, partial and one sided visions mount up and in the end, a climate of suspicion is created. This is known as ‘a priori’. Home education cannot avoid this mechanism. Since 1998 and Ségolène Royal at the Ministry of Education, the rhetoric used to stigmatise home education remains unchanged. At that time she said, “Every year, several thousand children escape the School of the Republic”. As though they were escapees, as though they were guilty of something. As if the freedom they enjoyed was not a justice they deserved. The vocabulary chosen tends towards a prison environment, which is the next step. At this time, she waved the red rag at the sectarian grip said to hold some 6000 children. That is all. La Miviludes (Mission Interministérielle de vigilance et de lutte contre les dérives sectaires) found no such trace.

In 2007, in the law on “Delinquency Prevention” proposed by a President for whom the prosecution requested 4 years imprisonment, 2 of which were suspended on the 8 December 2020, the so-called Administrative Inquiry from the Town Hall is extended to children enrolled in correspondance courses. The parallel drawn between correspondance courses and delinquency is insulting. Yet it is acceptable. This represents a mere minority within a minority.

In 2011, still at work, the government of President Sarkozy cause an uproar. They pushed for generalised registration of children from kindergarten age onward. It was to be used to identify ‘at risk’ children throughout their education. In face of the tumult it provoked, the bill was abandoned. A certain J-M Blanquer was the inspiration behind it.

With the Exception of 5000 Children…

Today, therefore, following the insulting shortcut in the Mureaux speech which moves from separatism to banning home education, as though a logical consequence to eradicate an evil, a new number is born, with this text is before the Council of Ministers. There are claimed to be 5000 children affected by cases of Radical Islamism. This figure is plucked from nowhere since the Conseil d’Ètat warned the government of the disproportion of the proposed law, the weakness of the Impact Study and especially the unconstitutional nature of such a liberticide measure. So the language elements propose 5000 children. Is that 5000 children in state school or 5000 in home education? It is a lot and creates a stir and is precise when we change the number of home education registered children, which goes from 50,000 in October to 62,000 in December 2020. It is surprising that before the Senate Enquiry Commission in June, J-M Blanquer under oath, said that radicalisation cases concerning home education were “exceptional”. Not a careless statement as the same was said in the Vademecum on the subject. Who to believe? The minister who is in the grip of a scandal with his ministry said to have created a fake union and used the apparatus of the state for partisan purposes. The judicial future will tell the tale. But for our children it matters little to us to be historically correct, we claim freedom as the immediate rule. Like Clémenceau, one of the most ardent defenders of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who fought injustice draped in the reason of the state, we affirm: “If there were ever a conflict between the Republic and freedom, the Republic would be in the wrong”. Was the Tiger a separatist?

Les Enfants D’Abord, équipe média media@lesenfantsdabord.org 

contact-international@lesenfantsdabord.org

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An Authoritarian System of Authorisation to Replace a Democratic Freedom

BRUT 4th December 2020

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For Macron to keep his head held high, the government are working on a system of authorisation to corral home education.

The parliamentarian writing the law appreciate this.

It’s almost Sarkozy. News is diffused, a law is made. Or rather, when deal with an exception, we change the rule. In this manner the head of state pulled the same scenario out of his hat on Friday during a live broadcast on the BRUT news channel (at 1hr 05mins). He speaks of little girls veiled from head to toe, educated collectively, while being home education registered. We are asked to take his word on the matter and specifically believe his comments that the current legal regulations on home education would be incapable of handling such a situation. The republic is in danger and legislation urgently required.

Except that this is untrue.

Children registered as home educated are among the most regulated in France. Firstly they are subject to a double registration each year; with both the local town hall and also the Education Department. Then there are assessments of their progression at least once every year. Not to forget that it is strictly forbidden for families having chosen this mode of education to form groups to educate their children. These are called de facto schools. This act is prohibited by article L131-5 of the Education Code and punishable by the Penal Code article 441-7 with a one year prison term and a 15,000 € fine.

Blanquer to the Rescue.

Obviously the way to combat separatism is not through banning home education. This is a smoke screen created to convince public opinion that the government have a strong grip when dealing with terrorism. In passing, a doubt is insinuated over Muslims and Islamic Extremists, in order to feed right wing voters. On the political field collateral damage does not matter, a mere 25,000 minors affected even without counting the phantoms of the republic. The government does not care.

The opinion of the Conseil d’État on the bill to combat separatism remained very discrete on Thursday evening to the extent of fleeing during the week and warning the government of the ineptitude of this prohibitive measure. The Conseil d’État will give their final opinion on Monday the 7th of December 2020. Then we shall see whether the Conseil d’État is still a guarantor of our institutions. The foot soldier Blanquer, Doctor of Constitutional Law, who has known from the beginning that the proposed measure is unconstitutional, was call upon during the 16 hour deliberation at the Palais Royal, to save the day for Emmanuel Macron. To try to avoid a major political setback. Macron himself said that Blanquer: “He has been (working) with the Conseil d’Ètat and will continue with the parliamentarians”. His task is to “anticipate the real exceptions which correspond to the situations which people are living”. With a miserly hand, he will reinvent educational freedom.

The Inspectors of the Academy Against this Project

In any case, he will need to be inspired, as the arguments to defend this freedom which, according to Blanquer are based “on a strong constitutional foundation”, 58 mins, find the unexpected support of the Inspectors of the Academy. The revue du syndicat fine tooth comb the measure declared by Macron from pages 7-10 in the best possible way. Inspectors of the Academy who could not have been suspected of being pro home education, invite the president to show proof of subtlety and reflection. And to avoid the amalgamation of home educating families and radicalisation. The Human Rights League could not have said it better. This unwavering guardian of fundamental freedoms, spoke out clearly in favour of educational freedom of choice. If the madness of banning home education passed the vote of parliamentarians from both chambers, without referral to the Constitutional Council, the Human Rights League, reserves the right, as do we, to call on that noble institution. Even if it means offending Macron’s certitude.

Les Enfants D’Abord,

équipe média media@lesenfantsdabord.org

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Illegal Refusal of Home Education The Purely Academic Fake News

Published the 3 décembre 2020 by Actions politiques

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The project of law to ban home education in France has not yet been presented to the ‘Conseil des Ministres’ and families are already having their declaration to home educate refused. Almost as though the freedom of home education is already subject to a system of authorisation.

In Calvados there is no need to be burdened by the Education Code in order to deny families who declare their wish to educate their children beyond a school structure. Rather an almost acrobatic interpretation of the law is made. Thus the services of the National Department of Education are already proposing a recommendation which would necessitate a declaration being made at the beginning of the school year in order to better refuse a declaration dating from November. Firstly this circulaire of the 26th of December 2011 was repealed on the 10th April 2017. Secondly, a circular is never more than a memo which is not intended to be binding for the population but rather for the employees of the administration. It is meant to explain a law to them, not rewrite one. It simply does not have this power. https://www.facebook.com/groups/53948352109/user/1588370304

Specifically the article cited from the Education Code 131-5, speaks for itself. The double declaration of the town hall and the National Education Department are “formalities which should be carried out within eight days following any change of residence or choice of education”. End of drum roll.

This drift or rather shift is worrying to say the least. What is hidden behind this zealous fever of the departmental services of the National Education Department which seeks to obstruct home education? The desire to please the president, who decreed the end of freedom of educational choice? Should this be seen as a widespread practice of using the apparatus of the state for partisan purposes as in the article of the Liberation denouncing the creation of a false union to aid the reforms of Minister Blanquer (Education Minister). https://www.liberation.fr/france/2020/11/20/magouille_1806308).

Lost at Every Level

The totem of ‘School for All’ stirs even Mélenchon who in October declared: “I am hostile to home education. Teaching should occur in school. There is one complex case, not very widespread, that is known as ‘School Phobia’ which poses a question.” School Phobia or School Refusal indeed concerns only between 2% and 5% of school attendance age and who are treated for this malaise. This amounts to between 240,000 and 600,000 children. A mere handful.

Added to or combined with the 700,000 children victims of bullying https://www.observatoire-sante.fr/harcelement-scolaire-chiffres-causes-et-consequences/. A beautiful Republican success.

Therefore since the school of the republic exists everything should be sacrificed for it and a blank check signed on the mental health of our children. We are not resigned to this, we who have chosen to accept responsibility of the education of our children in a setting which respects their rhythm, their interests and personality. This freedom seems to frighten those who dream of controlling and assessing individuals up until the age of apprenticeship. We will be the rebellious ones if need be. We are already the rebels of the republic marching in line.

The End of the Old World

Why so much distance between the complex thought of Macron and that of a man who claims to be the republic in his own right. Are the public schools aflame? If you believe the survey, https://www.franceinter.fr/societe/professeurs-et-parents-d-eleves-jugent-severement-l-action-de-jean-michel-blanquer-selon-un-sondage, parents judge Blanquer’s way of dealing with the health crisis very harshly. As a matter of fact, many of them have chosen to home educate from the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. Other parents, unable to bear having their children forced to spend their days masked, made the same choice with advent of the second period of confinement. This explains the decision, as spectaculaire as it was disproportionate, to ban home education in 2021. Remember it is not yet law!

The signs of this mass movement are numerous: the Vademecum (a document explaining home education regulations) of the National Education Department, in the flurry of the presidential declaration of the 2nd of October, already stated that home education was no longer possible, before quietly erasing the error from this document during an update in November.

Are the ‘Old School’ afraid of the ‘Start-Up’ of home education? Home education is, until proven otherwise, an elective choice. Aiming to reduce it to a system of authorisation is not only preemptory but totally illegal. When declaring the choice of home education, the role of the Director of the Academy of the National Education Department is simply to take note. And also to provide us with a receipt.

Les Enfants D’Abord www.lesenfantsdabord.org

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Macron Backed into a Corner

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Press Release Le Parisien 28.11.20

Will the top notch at the Élysée be able to breach “the wall of home education” was the front page of Le Parisien on Thursday. The Conseil d’État (Council of State) made a polite reminder of the risk of failing. If he stubbornly persists, he may well crash land. https://www.leparisien.fr/politique/le-mur-de-l-ecole-a-la-maison-26-11-2020-8410724.php

These days FREEDOM of the press is a precious ally for freedom of educational choice.

After having informed us of the birth of the law against separatism when Macron outright decided to ban home education in France (https://www.leparisien.fr/politique/separatisme-l-histoire-tourmentee-d-un-projet-de-loi-brulant-19-11-2020-8409223.php), the Parisian newspaper has now gone behind the scenes at the Conseil d’État to inform readers of debates between the jurists of this noble institution. Unsurprisingly the initial debates reiterate the arguments that we have been developing since the beginning of this crisis. The difference being that they emanate from an institution which is placed above the project of law that the government is preparing to submit to parliamentarians. The unconstitutional nature of such a ban on educational freedom raises questions. This is indeed an understatement when we realise that Jean-Michel Blanquer, himself a Doctor of Constitutional Law, in June of this year, proclaimed before the state senate that home education was based on a powerful constitutional principal. Curiously, after several press releases, during which the Education Minister then claimed that banning home education would be positive progress for children’s rights, the ‘Baron Noir’ of the National Education Department (https://www.liberation.fr/france/2020/11/20/magouille_1806308) has become much more discreet. “In other words, it is the state apparatus, Rue de Grenelle or in decentralised administrations, which has been put at the service of partisan instrumentalisation”. As of yesterday it is Darmanin’s turn to be weakened by police violence. Schiappa is up next…

The Impact Study is Insufficient for the Conseil d’État

On Monday at Place Beauvau, Paris, LED’A was received by advisors to the Minister delegated to citzenship (with LAIA, the cours PI and the association Créer son école). At the Ministry of the Interior, home education representatives were received out of politeness while it was indicated that the proposed ban on home education is the work of Blanquer. Clearly, if like Darmanin and Schiappa you see ‘ghosts of the republic’ don’t dial 911. Calling Ghostbusters on your Minitel terminal, would be more useful.

Once again home education representatives call for the Impact Study which was presented to the Conseil d’Ètat. “Vision with Education!”. It already exists. Defender of the contradictory, Blanquer’s department wants to reserve the first consultation of the study for parliamentarians…rather than the principal groups concerned. The people’s elected representatives will no doubt be delighted to learn that the Conseil d’État considers this study “inadequate”.

Since the freedom of inadequacy is not yet constitutional this little attribute opens a breach towards a first class abandonment of the flagship measure in the law against separatism. We will make sure of that.

We have reached a turning point. Either Macron discreetly withdraws the measure concerning home education from the law against separatism and elegantly lets one of his ministers take the heat or he isolates himself with his shoulder to the wheel. In the long term Macron risks being disowned by the Conseil d’État, but for many families the damage caused will be considerable. It is for this reason that we have to increase the pressure, more than ever. It is to this end that LED’A encourages its members to use the freedom to demonstrate in front of the courts of law throughout France the 4th, 5th and 6th of December 2020. The aim is to show the executive that if we must, it is through the courts that we will increase our contention to cancel this law against liberty.

The opinion of the Conseil d’État, however enlightening it may be, is of an advisory nature for the time being.

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Home Education Ban: the work of Prince Macron

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Published the 22nd November 2020 by Actions Politiques

As parliamentarians from all sides mobilise to preserve educational freedoms, Le Parisien this week showed that the proposed ban on home education (IEF – Instruction en Familie) beginning at the start of the school year in 2021 is the work of one man, Jupiter. At the same time the United Nations preaches to France about the decline of liberty in a right wing country.

Reading the Parisien from the 19th of November, home educating families (IEF) understand where the wind in the sails of the 2nd of October announcement comes from; the charge that threatens their life choices,. https://www.leparisien.fr/politique/separatisme-l-histoire-tourmentee-d-un-projet-de-loi-brulant-19-11-2020-8409223.php

The project of law is underway but the president is still is groping around to find where the text will land.

He has surprised us on other occasions. For example during the meeting with the ministers organised on September the 17th 2020.

Jean-Michel Blanquer evoked the rampant deregistration of students from school and “suggests locating them by crossing schools roles with social aid data to identify the families in question and better target their regulation”. Macron replies: “We should be more ambitious. Let’s instead look at means to ban home education outright”. “Blanquer was astounded. He had not dared go so far, convinced he would not be followed”, said a participant. Astonishing to say the least.

In the wake of Macron’s 2nd of October 2020 announcement to ban home education (IEF), in the Vademecum of the National Education Department (a document outlining home education in France) we find:

“Following the announcement fro the President of the Republic on the 2nd of October 2020, school attendance will be obligatory for all, ages 3 years and up from the return to school in 2021. This will result in the strict limitation of home education, specifically for health requirements”.

In passing, the services of J-M Blanquer, Doctor of Constitutional Law, does not burden themselves with the legislative process which requires that a law be voted and enacted before being imposed on the population. This week, it was with the discretion of the scent of a violet that these few lines have been withdrawn from the Vademecum, realign with the separation of powers and due process. https://eduscol.education.fr/2212/l-instruction-dans-la-famille

A Lively Debate Promised at the Assemblée

We no longer hear anything from J-M Blanquer defending the designs of his president. There is a storm on the horizon of the Hémicycle of the National Assembly.

This week no fewer than 80 deputies (elected parliamentary officials) replied to the invitation of Anne-Laure Blin, LR deputy of Maine-et-Loire, who organised a video conference with the associations who represent home educating families. https://twitter.com/AnneLaureBlin/status/1329456631189557248/photo/4

This parliamentarian stated “I share the governments concern to fight the islamic politicalisation and radicalisation but home education (IEF) is the wrong target. The target is underground schools. Banning home education is an attack on educational freedom”.

 

Since the government seems inclined to trample constitutional rights, a number of parliamentarians are breaking rank. Fabien Gouttefarde, député LREM from the Eure, who participated in this meeting  https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10160639450122729&set=gm.10158526083377110

soberly said: “Education is compulsory, not school”.

Cédric Villiani went further. In an interview in L’Opinion on the 19th of November the parlimentary député from Paris, former LREM, promised “a lively debate at the Assembly on the subject of the banning of home education”. He also sent a substantial letter to Jean Castex on the 3rd of November and seems to understand the issues which lead to home education. For him “not all means are justified in the fight against separatism”.  https://www.lopinion.fr/edition/politique/cedric-villani-tous-moyens-ne-sont-pas-bons-lutter-contre-separatisme-229610

The United Nations Reprimand France

Since the French government wanted the press to register at the prefecture in order to exercise their freedom of press, the United Nations reminded the country which is the birthplace of human rights…what human rights are. Alerted by the Human Rights League, the international organisation called France to order on the Global Security Act which was debated on the 18th of November at the Assembly. https://www.ldh-france.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Rapport-Haut-commissaire-aux-droits-de-lHomme-ONU.pdf

To be precise: “The project of law, which emerges in the general context of the fight against terrorism, also seems to reflect a lack of precision which could undermine the rule of law”. Inspiring!

Gérald Darmanin who sees “little phantoms of the republic” everywhere but unable to provide figures connecting extremism and home education, could not have said it better into the microphone of Europe 1 on the 18th of November, concerning freedom of expression. At 13 mins he freely exclaims: “we have the right to be shocked by something but we have no right to prohibit it. This freedom of expression, must be accepted”. (…) “It has to be understood that France is a country of liberty. Liberty, liberty cherie. (…) France is so well loved because of this liberty”. Beautiful sentiment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYfob7EPqxU

The Association Les enfants D’Abord (LED’A – Children First) and the 1275 member families who chose educational freedom for their children are waiting for action. That the government withdraws from their project of law against separatism (strengthening secularism and the principals of the republic) the component which bans home education. The freedom of education should not only be reserved for the few individuals given permission from an authority. It is a constitutional right, full stop. 

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