Jump to content

Travel and educating children - a question

  • Please log in to reply
47 replies to this topic

#1 Fyn Angelot

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 Fyn Angelot

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 Fyn Angelot

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 RedBob

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 Fyn Angelot

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

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 Fyn Angelot

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 Fyn Angelot

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

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 Fyn Angelot

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

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


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 RedBob

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.


#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?


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

#23 Fyn Angelot

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?


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


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

Far out...

#25 Fyn Angelot

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?

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Finding baby name inspiration in unusual places

Sometimes the greatest baby name ideas come from the most unexpected places, as these EB members show.

The case for inducing at 37 weeks

While we often think of pregnancy as a 40 week affair, experts agree that 37 weeks is actually “full term". So is there an argument for inducing all births at 37 weeks?

Does controlled crying really work?

Controlled-crying techniques may help some babies sleep through the night, but for many exhausted new parents, it's just a recipe for more tears all round.

How I taught my infant to use a toilet

As people become more aware of these benefits, I hope more parents will practice this method, so we can cut down on nappies and improve baby bonding.

'I thought it was impossible': Emily Symons pregnant at 45

Aussie actress Emily Symons has announced she is pregnant with her first baby.

Shallow water blackout kills fit, healthy dad

A little girl will grow up without her father after the fit and healthy 34-year-old passed away while doing something he had practised his whole life.

Afternoon naps may be bad for toddlers' sleep

You could be doing yourself a disservice by encouraging your toddler to have an afternoon nap, according to new research.

Best gifts for newborns, new mums and christenings

We've compiled a guide to some of the most popular presents for newborns and new mums, and for christenings and naming days.

Jaime King to be a mum again

Actress Jaime King is pregnant with her second child, giving 16-month-old James a sibling.

Nannies should receive government funding

The Abbott government should extend funding to nannies, and direct childcare payments to low and middle income families, a landmark study on childcare has found. 

Common skin irritations in newborns (and how to treat them)

As many as one in two newborn babies suffer from skin irritations in their first few weeks. So what are the most common rashes and irritations to look out for?

10 wall decals for the nursery or playroom

Wall decals are the answer to creating a beautiful nursery or children's space without lifting a paint brush, a spirit level or even a hammer.

Preschooler walks 2.4km home alone

Three-year-old Cain Trainor headed off home after his first day at a new preschool without telling anyone.

Video: Why mums get nothing done

In spite of being in an almost constant state of motion while looking after the kids and trying to keep things together at home, it can seem as though parents have managed to get nothing on the to-do list done by the end of the day.

The middle name game

The middle name is no longer an afterthought, and parents' inspiration comes from many places.

Have a baby or your money back - but there's a catch

A new IVF scheme offers couples the chance to fall pregnant and give birth - or get their money back. But there's more to it than you might think.

A rare glimpse inside the womb

A baby born still inside the amniotic sac gave US doctors a rare glimpse at life inside the womb.

Battered mum forced to write to her attacker ex in jail

Three years ago Jason Hughes viciously attacked his ex-partner. Now she has to write to him three times a year.

Woman pleads not guilty to ultrasound scam

A West Australian woman will fight allegations that she scammed expectant mums by selling them fake ultrasound pictures of babies.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.


What's hot on EB

Brain damaged mum receives compensation

A Sydney mother who suffered brain damage when she was hit by a car while pushing her newborn baby in a pram has reached a confidential out-of-court settlement with the driver's insurance company.

Indigenous midwives break down the barriers

A culturally sensitive midwifery service has gained the trust and respect of Aboriginal women.

The Katering Show's next big delivery

Most mums-to-be plan to take things easy and perhaps have a little break from work as the birth of their baby draws near. Not Kate McCartney.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

Why I have mixed feelings about Cindy Crawford's leaked photo

Last week an un-retouched photo of model Cindy Crawford surfaced, showing the 48-year-old mother-of -two posing in underwear.

How to create a Peppa Pig pancake

Thought your toddler could not love pancakes any more than they already do? How about if the breakfast treat came in the shape of every two-year-old's favourite cartoon character?

'It's a little life, not a little loss': pregnancy after miscarriage

I thought I was never going to be able to have a successful pregnancy. I decided that I wasn't going to form an emotional attachment with this baby.

Bonds Baby Search 2015: what you need to know

February 18 marks the start of one of the most prolific annual baby competitions in Australia: the Bonds Baby Search. And this year is going to be more special than ever.

Who will manage your Facebook account when you're gone?

This is not something that people like to talk about, but Facebook has announced that it will grant users more control over what happens to their pages after they die.

Struggling mum of four wins $188 million

Mother of four Marie Holmes was financially struggling after quitting her jobs at Walmart and McDonald's in order to care for her children.

Pregnant obese women a 'relatively new problem', coroner hears

A first-time mother whose daughter died hours after her frightening birth insists she was never told of the risks of being obese and pregnant.

'I'm angry as hell': the story behind mum's passionate vaccination plea

She has labelled parents who do not vaccinate their children "misinformed imbeciles" - and for that, she makes no apologies.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

8 different kinds of tantrums

I never thought I’d say this, but for a brief moment last week, Kim Kardashian and I had something in common: both our kids had public tantrums.

Polycystic ovary syndrome: symptoms, treatment and your fertility

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female hormonal condition, affecting roughly one in 12 Australian women.

What's the best position for giving birth?

If doing it on your back is out, what's the best position for labour and birth?

Wife forgives snake catcher husband for car surprise

With Valentine's Day coming up, Nat Gilbert could be forgiven for thinking her husband might be planning a surprise for her.

Kids who meet milestones at their own pace

We usually only hear the success stories: tales of the two-year-old who’s talking, running and completely toilet trained. But other stories need to be told too.

Ruby shines as Bonds Baby

Sarah Kiss has a word of advice for proud mums and dads who are keen to enter their babies in this year's Bonds Baby Search Competition - just have fun.

Why dads should go to sleep school

If your family needs to go to sleep school, go with them. You are part of that family and you are part of the solution.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.


Win a KitchenAid Mixer

Let's celebrate 300,000 fans on Facebook

To celebrate, and to thank our amazing fans, we?re giving away a KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer.

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.