Monday, November 06, 2006

The Rot Sets in for Independent Home Education

It's all light and love in Bedfordshire according to this Bedford County Council Home Education Service - Satisfaction Survey. And of course, it couldn't possibly be just a teeny weeny bit biased could it? Nah, surely not. All those Home Educators who prefer not to be interfered with by the ptb are absolutely bound to send in their satisfaction surveys by return of post!

Oh dear. Divide and rule in Bedfordshire is truly underway, separating out those home learners who are actually not home educators at all, given that they are registered at school and all those other genuine HEors who get on with it by themselves, as is their legal right, and who get sent threats of School Attendance Orders apparently almost as a matter of course.


Anonymous said...

overall, seems useful and innocuous. However, don't much like the registering bit! Maybe I'd rather a tax credit for home educating (and loss of income) ... that would probably allow more people to do it, and that would be good.
I don't see how you couldn't be an unschooler (even) and use the services they described (what you are is found in what you do, not in what you register for, or in a methodological name). As it is I'd argue anyone educating their child at home (or in the field) is a legitimate 'home educator' rather than a phoney one. Whatever method you adopt it is a worthy and sometimes difficult task deserving of respect. Personally, we unschool. However, I know a lot of other people who use other methods and the vast majority of us have developed our chosen methods after a lot of fetching around for what felt right/worked.
Best wishes

Carlotta said...

I too can see that the scheme could be very useful for many people. My main worry really is that one of the tactics used by LEAs is that they manufacture some research to prove that HEors just love their interventions. They then pull other more reluctant Heors towards them on this basis, (with arguments such as "well all the other HEors we interviewed loved having us visit etc) and very soon there isn't much scope for independent HE any more.

My wish would be that this kind of scheme could exist for those children who want it, and that independent Heors be left to get on with it. Even better, (as indeed seems to be the case with this scheme), I would hope that the two different groups of Heors could continue to meet up and share resources.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I've read the site info much more closely now (been doing that since I posted my last comment). You have to take SATs and give progress reports. I think I'd rather go without the funding, in honesty, than put my children through SATs, not least because I wouldn't have much to say for the reliability of 'standard attainment' (and mostly because they would hate it, and it would feel like prostituting them for the funding!)
I wish the law will one day support funding without these accountability clauses.
I do think most of the home educators I've ever known have had a rather healthy desire to be left alone (maybe healthy is the wrong word, as I think it stems from a bit of worry about intervention). I must admit that I've always felt a bit paranoid about LEA contact (haven't been offered any apart from the school nurse service) but haven't found any grounds for it in my area yet.
Some sort of tax benefit would seem reasonable in the long run, but don't suppose we are near that!!!

Ruth said...

It seems to me given the stated responses from H.E they picked on people who have very little confidence in their own abilities to H.E and even less in their knowledge of their rights. The report make them look lacking in a subtle way. It worries me they think they have right to monitor as well. They don't.

Anonymous said...

I am seeing in several places the concept of individual education is being presented by official agencies like it's a novelty they created and are now offering to parents in their benevolence.

I think it's inevitable home education becomes more legislated in Britain as in the rest of Europe.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to whether you think the current struggles to homeschool in the UK is related in anyway to the govt. funded home learning situations?

How popular are these programs in the UK?

Carlotta said...

The Bedford scheme is the first that I know of, but I think it represents a general feeling in the educational departments of the government that something needs to be done about home educators to ensure that they are fully under the control of the state.

We will probably be seeing an awful lot more of these kinds of schemes, as government realise that they will meet with huge resistance if they try to change the law too intrusively. These schemes however, do actually offer something that is very tempting to many HEors, namely the chance to do public exams without too much hassle.