For Choice, for Freedom and for the Future.
What does that mean exactly?
Choice : I recently wrote about education in iScotland and the benefits of the Scottish Education System, but that was all based around nursery - school - further education. What about children who don't attend school (who are home educated), or only attend part time via flexi-schooling, prior to moving into further education (should that be their chosen path)?
Currently the Scottish Government says :
"Every child has a right to an education, and it is the duty of the parent of every school age child
to provide that education, either by sending the child to school, or by other means.
Home education is a key aspect of parental choice, and is an equally valid choice alongside the
option to send a child to school" (from their HE brochure)
This choice is not well known to the general public, with many people questioning whether it is even legal (yes, it is). With the new Scottish constitution being under consultation, I insist that the right, and continued choice, be protected and written into said constitution. At the moment, there has not been any threat made to the status quo of home-education, but with GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child - every child from birth to 18 years old having a 'state guardian' in addition to their parent(s) ) being implemented throughout Scotland under the current government, I am not so certain that the future of home-education is secure, and that the right to choose will remain with the parents.
Freedom : Part of the White Paper's plan is for free child care for every child from age 3 (or for vulnerable 2 year olds), the White Paper states (on page 192):
"By the end of the first Parliament: ensure that all three and four year olds and vulnerable two year olds will be entitled to 1,140 hours of childcare a year (the same amount of time as children spend in primary school). By the end of the second Parliament: ensure that all children from one to school age will be entitled to 1,140 hours of childcare per year"
By having the state care for our child(ren), this would enable women to return to the workplace. By having more women in work, the economy will grow and women will have a sense of worth and make a positive financial contribution to our country. By choosing not to work (I work 1 day a week, so essentially, I am a stay-at-home-mum), I have a sense of worth already, and I am making an invaluable contribution to society, in raising my child. Pounds and pennies are not the only measure of success.
Being the ardent feminist that I am, the liberation of being a women, is not the ability to go out to work and make a financial living/contribution; but to have the freedom of choice. To choose to work or stay at home, or juggle both. No one way is easier or harder than another, its just a different choice, equally as valuable to the individual making the choice, and the society as a whole benefiting from that choice.
iScotland is all for equality, and creating a fairer society for women - that freedom and choice is what makes it fair.
Future : With my rights a parent protected in the constitution (without GIRFEC - which will hopefully be over ruled and consigned to the depths of the history as one of the government's worst ideas), I will be able to make the best choice regarding my child's education for him and with him, and raising him to be the best person he can, to be a responsible citizen, able to contribute to society in a positive manner. That is a future I will be happy with. That is a future I will gladly vote Yes for.