After yesterday's rather hurried post on whether home educators could accept any form of support from the DCSF via the Local Authorities, I realised I still didn't have a very good handle on the work of one of the review panelists, namely that of Prof. Stephen Heppell or on his project Notschool.
After digging around a bit, the best I could come up with on Notschool was this movie, a video prospectus which gives some sort of picture of the way that Notschool works. There's also this short piece here where we learn that each "mentor" has six "researchers."
However, I'm still not clear as to the degree of control and compulsion involved. How self-directed are these learners in reality? If they wake up late of a morning, or decide they don't want to do any Notschool approved project that week, how does that go down?
These, I think, are the key questions. Autonomous home educators are properly autonomous. They decide when, where, what they learn and they themselves set about getting the help they need to do this. Adults are on hand to help out, offer suggestions, provide answers when asked, but the learning isn't covertly shoe-horned to fit pre-conceived outcomes by some third party.
I am still not clear how this would fit with Notschool.
With a view to finding a clearly non-coercive route forward, it might be interesting to find out more about Prof. Heppell's work with the BBC. See project - BBC learning layer for the www, approximately 3/4 of the way down this page. If the BBC or similar body could be funded to provide more by the way of exciting educational resources, free soft-ware, educational virtual realities, video lectures that could be cherry-picked as and when by the learner? Now there's a thought.
UPDATE: For further information on Notschool, please see Gill's comment below.