Telegraph: If home-schooling is good for our children it is for us to say

Government plans to regulate home-schooling must be rebuffed, says Philip Johnston.
By Philip Johnston.Published: 6:29AM BST 19 Oct 2009

I attended a talk the other day given by a police chief under what are called Chatham House rules, which means I cannot identify him but can provide a flavour of what he said. He was candid about the difficulties he and his force faces. They are caused less by criminals than they are by the Government. Rules, inspections, targets, benchmarks, forms – all the things that ministers deny are suffocating public services in this country he confirmed were making the lives of his officers a misery. Last week, Sir Terry Leahy, the boss of Tesco, made a similar point: the regulatory constraints placed upon teachers are damaging the education of our children.

The next day, a report said the same was happening in the NHS, where targets and a one-size-fits-all, Whitehall-imposed strategic approach to patient care was causing more harm than good. On Friday, a study of primary schools suggested that testing and inspection regimes were dragging down standards of reading and spelling.

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