A recent Freedom of Information request from a home educator to the DfES enquiring about the thinking behind the proposed consultation on increasing the monitoring of home educators elicited next to nothing by way of information on that topic. Apparently the legal advice sought by the DfES from their lawyers is subject to some sort of FOI exclusion clause, which in effect means that we still have no idea about their thinking behind all of this. (Does this sound about right, ARCH or should we talking to the Information Commissioner about this?)
I guess, though, that we shouldn't be surprised, though the unfairness of it all is more than galling, since whilst it is perfectly possible that families can be scrutinized down to the last detail, we are not apparently not even allowed the basic sort of impersonal information that would be an essential requirement for an equal dialogue with the very people we shell out for. No, the DfES play their cards close to their chest, so that we feel at some sort of disadvantage, even when we may not be, for I believe our arguments against any more monitoring of home educators to be water-tight.
Further on the subject of the inequities of transparency, see Deborah Orr in The Independent. Both Ms. Orr and ARCH also deal with the moral implications of a transparent society.