The whole business of registration is a constant bugbear. Even otherwise reasonable people think that home educating parents need to apply for a licence. In the good old days the reason was simply that ‘the others’ couldn’t see how a mum or dad could know all the subjects required for a “suitable” and “broad” education. With everyone stuck in the school model of teaching, there had to be a register so an ‘expert’ could come along and make sure all the parent lessons were set up and answer questions about how on earth you intended to teach a subject about which you were fairly ignorant. Interestingly, most of those who would insist that we need to apply for a licences to make sure we are capable of teaching our children would never dream of asking the simple question “How are your children learning that?”
People made assumptions about something they know nothing about-home education-and then assume those assumptions must be right even if the person who does know something about the subject, the home educator, says different. I think that is how this Government operates. Badman and Balls assume that home educators must need monitoring and liscencing and generally interfering with because we can’t possibly know what we are doing. And because so many ‘others’ who neither care about nor are bothered about the plight of a few strange people who don’t send their children to school are giving a nod and wink to Balls and Brown -they think they can do as they please.
The letter to the Guardian was published which for the Guardian to do, I suppose we should be grateful, especially when I can’t find any evidence that The Times published. The lack of any in depth reporting in the MSM is depressing. There were over 1000 sigs to the letter, but sadly even now most were from home educating parents STILL. Hardly anyone else bothered-perhaps if more non-home edders would speak out…
As the Second reading of the Bill continued Carlotta spotted Ed Balls being economical with the truth again. If this truly is to be a “light touch” approach as Diana Johnson keeps repeating-in the face of all evidence to the contrary- then why is Ed finding the plain truth so difficult to speak out on?
Then they go on about how “most” home educators are doing a great job, but that they have to wonder what about the ones who aren’t? What about the bad ones? Who are the bad ones likely to be? A little list has been emerging:
You might be considered bad if;
You have a religion, especially those of that part of protestant Christianity that believes in Creationism but as ‘creationism’ hasn’t been defined in the mutterings it could include anyone who accepts the design of Creation.
You have a disability or a mental health problem; for some reason depression has been mentioned a lot.
You follow an autonomous approach- don’t know what it is exactly, did ask, but never listened. Anyway it’s bad.
This is before all the curriculum plans, a year ahead and setting out hoops for your children to jump through. It’s thoughtless and destructive. I noticed earlier today that Grit was feeling a bit worn down trying to get people outside the home educating community to take some note. I admire her…grit…in continuing to try. I gave up a long time ago. People like their assumptions.
Meanwhile Tech has spotted this little gem all set up and ready to roll in Feb when the second reading of the Bill isn’t even over yet! Mind you they have some interesting speakers and as someone has commented on Tech’s blog, there will indeed be blood on the carpet.
I do not doubt there are families making a bit of a mess of the whole home education thing-those families will by the very nature of home education, be making a bit of a mess of family life. I have seen this a couple of times and education is not the root problem; whether these children were in school or not, there would still be the family problems to deal with. I am trying to imagine those families actually asking for help from a hostile and patronising official….No…can’t see it happening.
There are plenty of families I am aware of with similar problems where the children are in school. If, because of those few, Balls and Badman got together and decided that some official could enter the home of all parents, just to do a bit of ‘light touch’ monitoring and see children alone etc. would that be okay?
How many of you who have remained silent would want this for your schooled children or grandchildren?