Yesterday, a number of home educating families met with Graham Badman who is heading the review of home education and Liz Green of the DCSF at one of our local meeting places near Bromsgrove. It was a beautiful day, and the meeting was congenial throughout. Mr Badman, who was constantly surrounded by HEing parents and HEks, asked many incisive questions, received many incisive answers and provided some clues as to his current thinking.
Several other HEors also spoke along similar lines to Liz Green and reported that they received a sympathetic hearing.
In brief on the matter of clues provided by Mr Badman as to his current thinking: he says he hasn't made up his mind about anything as yet, but that the status quo is not acceptable, and things will have to change. He stressed that he is independent, that he would take on board all comments and his report would reflect his own independently formed view. He also pointed out that he is only there to make recommendations, and that it is ultimately up to government to decide what they do.
Home educators, including myself, talked about how we cannot see how monitoring can possibly be constructive, that standards do not apply to HEks, they are unique in their learning, and that coercive monitoring of autonomous educators makes it impossible for inspectors to monitor what they are meant to be looking at since coercion prevents autonomous learning. Mr Badman was provided with the link with the results of the recent poll about HE children's preference not to see LA personnel. I didn't flesh out the full implications of this, ie: that it would be coercive to monitor these children, and that you therefore won't be able to assess the autonomous education of these children as it will not be in evidence. I imagine that this point would be clear to Mr B though.