Statement on rejection of EYFS Parental exemption request

Quite a number of readers have asked to see the public statement we made when our exemption request was rejected. The statement was published in the Quaker international journal “The Friend” last week. Here it is:

“The first parental exemption request to the compulsory Learning and Development Requirements of the English Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum has been refused.

Frances Laing, a member of Wirral and Chester (Quaker) meeting, received a letter from her child’s state-funded school saying: ‘the school feels…it would not be possible to make satisfactory accommodation for (your child’s) educational provision and for that of the rest of the children within the delivery of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum’.

Frances told the Friend: ‘We applied for the exemption on moral, religious, ethical, philosophical and political grounds’. I referred to Advice and Queries in our request: ‘Respect the law of the State but let your first loyalty be to God’s purpose’. I did not believe it was God’s purpose for my child (or any other children under five) to be subjected to the sixty-nine compulsory learning and development targets.

The government has created a straightjacket for all children, and all nursery and school staff. Neither the school nor the local authority could argue with the principles of our objection. Our objections constituted the ‘cogent set of beliefs’ which parliament stated is necessary for an exemption to be permitted on ‘philosophical’ grounds.

The only excuse they could come up with not to accept our request was administrative…they don’t have the resources to deal with an exemption. The truth about the parental exemptions process has now been revealed – it is a farce – and a violation of our children’s human rights.’

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