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Travel and educating children - a question


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#1 Phasmatis angelam

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:43 PM

Don't know where to find the answer to this, so thought I'd pick the collective mind of EB.

If someone is a citizen of a country where education is compulsory (the UK, in this instance) and they spend a lot of time travelling in other countries, is there any way to enforce that their child be educated?

I ask because my niece is being raised pretty much travelling widely, and we find now that she's currently visiting us that she is 8 and has received no schooling, no education from her mum, I gather she barely knows her alphabet.  Would any authority care or be able to enforce that this child (who is also a UK citizen) should be educated?

#2 EsmeLennox

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:46 PM

I guess it would be very hard to police, but if the child is a citizen then there would be legislation in place. Of course actually doing anything abut it might be a different thing when they are travelling overseas a lot.

Most parents would be concerned enough to enrol their child in an appropriate distance education facility - maybe suggest this to the mother.

#3 Phasmatis angelam

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:47 PM

QUOTE (Jemstar @ 14/11/2012, 03:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Most parents would be concerned enough to enrol their child in an appropriate distance education facility - maybe suggest this to the mother.


The mother doesn't want her to have formal education.

#4 Ice Queen

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:47 PM

Sounds like she has slipped through the net.  UK is a big country with a very stretched and understaffed child protection agency.  Yes, in theory it could be reinforced but she is probably not even on their radar if she has alwyas been travelling.  Someone would have to report it in the first place.

#5 Phasmatis angelam

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:50 PM

QUOTE (Ehill @ 14/11/2012, 03:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Someone would have to report it in the first place.


Which is exactly what I would like to do, but I am wondering to whom?

#6 EsmeLennox

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:51 PM

QUOTE (Ange Vert @ 14/11/2012, 12:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The mother doesn't want her to have formal education.



WTF now?

In that case I would be contacting relevant authorities (Department of education/child protection agencies) in the home country and outlining concerns. Also, if they are in Australia for any length of time it might be worth contacting the authorities here. That poor little girl being denied the basic right of education needlessly.

I get that people aren't always fans of the school system, but education is a priority and can be carried out effectively in other ways.

Edited by Jemstar, 14 November 2012 - 02:52 PM.


#7 BunnyBob

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:54 PM

Ange, here is a link to information about child protection in the UK from the NSPCC.

Having said that, and knowing that they are understaffed, underfunded and overworked, I would imagine that a situation such as you describe would fall most definitely into the "too hard" basket, until such time as they start living in the UK permanently  sad.gif

#8 Phasmatis angelam

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:56 PM

Awesome, BTK, thanks.  I'll have a proper look through and see whether I can do something effective from here.

#9 mum201

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:57 PM

Seriously?!?!?!? I can understand maybe not wanting to have your child enrolled in a formal school, but surely doing some form of distance education so the child is not left behind re a basic education such as reading or writing!!!!! That do the parents do for a living?

#10 tothebeach

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:59 PM


QUOTE
The mother doesn't want her to have formal education.

There are plenty of children who do very well learning organically and following their passions.  Not everyone needs to undergo an industrialised education through formal schooling.  There are many unschooling/home schooling examples where children do not learn to read till they are 9 or 10, learn it immediately and take off.  At some point, she will want to read and at that point, I imagine that her parents will teach her.

Steiner philosophy does not encourage children to learn to read till they are 7/8 and most children suffer no ill-effects from that.

Sounds like she is in a very fortunate position of travelling widely and learning about the world.  Unless the parents are genuinely neglecting her well-being, I would let this one go.

#11 Phasmatis angelam

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

The parents aren't together and the dad has been all but cut out of their lives.  I honestly don't know what the mum does for a living...she and my niece spent several years living on an ashram in India, though, so perhaps the answer is not very much?

#12 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:00 PM

You would think that travelling would offer multitudinous learning opportunities and there must be lots of times when it would be easy to pull out the books and have the mother run through the basic literacy and numeracy skills and incorporate them with things they have experienced during their travels. What a wasted opportunity!

#13 Percoriel

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:02 PM

I would think that a complaint like this would be at the very bottom of the social services huge pile.

Have you talked to the child's grandparents about it? Maybe a family conference to discuss it?

#14 Phasmatis angelam

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:05 PM

QUOTE (Percoriel @ 14/11/2012, 04:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have you talked to the child's grandparents about it? Maybe a family conference to discuss it?


This post came about because I was talking to my mum about this yesterday.  Mum (who knows a lot more about the details than I do) is very upset because she says that DN wants to read, is embarrassed that she can't, but her mum won't teach her.  Mum has taught her a bit while she's been here, but is frustrated that they're leaving again today and she won't have ongoing support.  Mum even investigated whether it could be reported here but was told DOCS here couldn't touch it because she's an overseas visitor.

#15 Tigerdog

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:07 PM

QUOTE
Of course actually doing anything abut it might be a different thing when they are travelling overseas a lot.


Umm, I don't see how it would be so hard if there's legislation in place?  The parents would just have to be made to curtail their overseas travel or else face consequences (unsure of what would be appropriate as a consequence though!).

#16 Phasmatis angelam

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:09 PM

QUOTE (It'sallgood @ 14/11/2012, 04:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So this is your sister-in-laws child? Your husbands sister?


No, this is my brother's daughter.  He had a fling with a British tourist 8 years ago...  ddoh.gif

#17 EsmeLennox

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:10 PM

Tigerdog, I don't think extraditing parents over something like this would be high on a government's list of priorities is what I meant.

#18 Tigerdog

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:10 PM

QUOTE
How long are they in Asutralia for? I would think we do have reciprical child protection laws, so perhaps if they are here a while, it could be investigated / reported here?


No such thing as Australia having reciprocal child protection laws with another country, we're lucky to have communication happening between our own states at the moment!  However I would report it here in Australia, if they are staying in this country for a longer period they may be able to enforce it while she's here (maybe too late though if they're leaving your town soon, as you said they are OP?).

Edited by Tigerdog, 14 November 2012 - 03:20 PM.


#19 casime

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:14 PM

https://www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence/overview

Looks like their local council may be who you need to approach.

BlondieUK may be able to give you more info on this as she works as a teacher in the UK.

Edited by casime, 14 November 2012 - 03:15 PM.


#20 BunnyBob

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:16 PM

Tigerdog I imagine the cost of it would be prohibitive, sadly. David Cameron has cut a lot of funding from children's services, disability services, and other services supporting the vulnerable and needy and many of those services were working on the clippings of tin to begin with. In a country where Baby P could be seen repeatedly by child services but still be beaten and tortured to death (warning, the link is distressing) I don't hold out a great deal of hope.

#21 SeaPrincess

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:16 PM

Have you discussed it with the mother at all?  I would point out to her that if her daughter can't read, there is no chance that she'll be able to do what the mother is doing when she grows up herself, which is to travel independently.  What does the mother do for a job that they don't seem to have a home?

I think it is quite selfish of the mother actually.  She'd be better off leaving the daughter with a relative in a stable home than dragging her off and denying her any sort of education at all.

R

#22 mum201

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:18 PM

QUOTE (It'sallgood @ 14/11/2012, 04:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Where is he?
It is up to him as the parent of this child, regardless of what country they reside in, to ensure she is educated.
Can he do anything? Does he know the child at all? What does he think?

Tamm


This
Surely if the mum is refusing to educate the child, he would have a good chance at custody?

#23 Phasmatis angelam

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:40 PM

QUOTE (It'sallgood @ 14/11/2012, 04:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Where is he?
It is up to him as the parent of this child, regardless of what country they reside in, to ensure she is educated.
Can he do anything? Does he know the child at all? What does he think?

Tamm


There's a lot I could say, but I think it's enough for now for me to say that I wouldn't count on my brother to be able to do anything here.

QUOTE (shmach @ 14/11/2012, 04:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it is quite selfish of the mother actually.  She'd be better off leaving the daughter with a relative in a stable home than dragging her off and denying her any sort of education at all.


Well, it's funny you should say that.  That's precisely what she's done with the twin sister, who's being raised by her other grandmother in the UK.

#24 EsmeLennox

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:42 PM

ffear.gif

So this child has been separated from her twin? Am I reading that right?

Far out...

#25 Phasmatis angelam

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

QUOTE (Jemstar @ 14/11/2012, 04:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So this child has been separated from her twin? Am I reading that right?


Yep.  Did I ever mention on EB that my family is dysfunctional?




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