1,000 signatures reached
To: Canal & River Trust
Boat children deserve equal access to education!
We call upon Canal & River Trust to stop its distance requirement that is preventing children who live on boats from going to school.
Why is this important?
In the 19th Century, the authorities took steps to ensure that the children of canal boat families could go to school, by passing the Canal Boats Acts of 1877 and 1884.
But the Canal & River Trust's recently imposed policy that forces boaters without permanent moorings to travel at least 20 miles before turning round is actively preventing children who live on boats from attending school.
The policy means that children who live on boats can end up having to travel up to 20 miles to school which is not always possible. If the parents are unable to travel that far, they risk losing their home.
This is what the head teacher of a primary school attended by many boat children says:
“I feel very strongly that this is an issue concerning Human Rights. I do believe that the law is clear that children should be in education, and attending very regularly. Our children's attendance is carefully monitored and by law children are only allowed to be absent for exceptional circumstances. I don't think that any of the laws that refer to boating were intended to make it impossible for the children of parents who continuously cruise [ie. live on a boat without a permanent mooring] to attend a local school."
For more information please see https://boatchildren.wordpress.com/