To: Devon County Council

Devon County Council get Weapons Manufacturers Out of Education

With immediate effect I want Devon County Council to stop Babcock sending this letter as a first resort, and only use such a threat as a very last resort.
Further, I want Devon County Council to allow the Babcock contract to expire and then never allow weapons manufacturers into our education system again.

Why is this important?

Babcock International is a weapon manufacturer operating around the globe.
They are also contracted by Devon County Council to monitor and produce reports on school attendance.

After ten sessions (five days) of "unauthorised absence" they send this letter threatening a fine of up to £2500 and/or three months in prison.
The letter is sent to hundreds of parents each year, causing disproportionate distress for what, in many cases, is a single case of illness or forgetting to inform the school in time.

Children become worried that their mum or dad might go to prison. Parents worry their children might be taken into care, that they might lose their jobs, businesses, dignity and freedom.

The threat, and potential fine and imprisonment, disproportionately affects single parents and poor people, who are less able to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice within 21 days (after which it doubles).

I have personally supported a single mum who was working full time, raising two children, starting a business and having to comfort her children who thought that Mum was going to prison.

Babcock's business is in fear, not in children's education.

How it will be delivered

The petition will be sent to all Devon County Councillors, to Babcock International, to Babcock LDP, to MP's in Devon and to the LEA.


Reasons for signing

  • Babcock also runs the Devon County music service ? Who in the County Council allowed that to happen ?
  • I have just received a letter from this weapon manufacturing company threatening me with a £2,500 fine or 3 months imprisonment because my childrens' school marks them down as absent if they miss registration. As a single mum of 2 boys, even though I work full-time, I can't afford to run a car and so have to rely on public transport (not very reliable it turns out).
  • This firm has no place in schools. Moreover, their 'Fixed Penalty Notice' is of doubtful legality, and really designed to intimidate.

Updates

2017-10-26 20:50:37 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2016-10-07 11:42:18 +0100

Well done everyone, we've reached 800!
It seems a long way off, but it'll come round soon enough... In 2019 the contract will be up for renewal, at that time we can give our Councillors the support they need to get this firm OUT OF EDUCATION!
-They can only do this if there is a cheaper option OR there is a lack of "customer satisfaction". If schools or teachers unions or PTAs have raised concerns that will help - perhaps you are a school governor, or have useful contacts in this area?

Thank you for your support so far, please keep sharing!

2016-05-19 10:06:02 +0100

500 signatures reached

2016-05-19 09:45:06 +0100

After just 36 hours we are about to pass the 500 mark, well done everyone! Our first demand is that the council force Babcock to stop sending that letter, this is a perfectly acheivable goal - with your help we can get this done!

Please share as widely as you are able, let's get the message out there - Arms Manufacturers have NO PLACE IN EDUCATION!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1335557903126387&l=8021d37a87

2016-05-17 20:59:21 +0100

100 signatures reached

2016-05-17 19:59:18 +0100

50 signatures reached

2016-05-17 19:28:38 +0100

25 signatures reached

2016-05-17 18:57:16 +0100

10 signatures reached