Alexandra Frean
Times Online
May 26, 2008

A powerful coalition of England’s leading independent schools is demanding that the Government scale back its new national curriculum for the under-fives, claiming that it violates parents’ human rights by denying them the freedom to choose how they educate their children.

The Independent Schools Council (ISC), which represents 1,280 fee-paying schools educating more than 500,000 children, has written a blistering letter to Beverley Hughes, the Children’s Minister, complaining that the new curriculum will mean that the education of under-fives is subject to greater government interference than that of any other age group.

A leaked copy of the letter, seen by The Times, says that the curriculum, known as the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, will compromise its member schools’ independence. “This clumsy intrusion into the early years’ curriculum of independent schools is both unjustified and unnecessary. More importantly, this interference conflicts with the rights of parents to privacy in their home life, which includes the freedom to choose how they educate their children and to educate them free from the control of the state,” the letter states.

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