So Connexions is supposed to be the Careers Guidance for teenagers. Well, a guidance system that monitors your education, health, relationships, sexual activity, parent's drug use, etc., etc., etc., and all sorts of other things that they really don't have the training to deal with, nor the resources to do anything about.
My involvement with Connexions so far has been having my eldest's info passed on from the college in spite of explicitly saying no. Then, after she went to uni, getting a questionnaire asking what she is doing - except the options were 1) in training 2) at college 3) employed 4) unemployed. So there was no option of university. The letter threatened that they would come to our house should we not respond. We didn't respond, and they haven't come. Because, as I mentioned before, they don't have the resources to be of any use anyway.
Next came a knock at the door. I answered my door to a man asking about my son. Naturally, I went into protective mother mode and asked him what the hell he wanted with my son. He was from Connexions, and it is their policy to get in touch with all year 7s and since the Boy isn't in school, he popped around to the house. Actually, in the end, we had a nice conversation. He was just doing what he was told, and hadn't really thought about how knocking on somebody's door could be interpreted. He went away knowing a lot more about home education, and nothing more about my son. The sad thing to me was that he said he had never been challenged before. People just go along with all of this stuff!
Now, I have another 16 year old daughter in college. The other day, she got something in the post. Unfortunately for her, I handed her her post when she and her boyfriend were having tea. It was from Connexions. The good ole "careers service" had sent her a leaflet on contraception, and a couple of leaflets about Chlamydia. Now, I know it is important to educate people about these things. There are some really stupid people out there. But this doesn't sit well with me. They are not just providing info, they are making assumptions. As the Changeling herself said to me, "Why is it whenever these people talk to teenagers, it's always about sex?"
One of my problem with Connexions is the assumptions they make. Firstly, that parents don't communicate with their kids. That kids will only be able to get appropriate info from state sponsored institutions. Secondly, their standards are much lower than mine. I expect more from my kids, and they just lower the bar. Thirdly, they offer nothing of use to home educators anyway. What do some of us want? Access to educational opportunities, which Connexions cannot provide, because they don't control the funding. Fourthly, they assume that everybody wants their 'help' went it is really just their job to collect personal information for the state. They seem genuinely surprised when we say, "No thanks, we've got it covered."
Why is it that state institutions think parents are such idiots. My teenagers don't even think that!