Sunday, 14 June 2009

Children educated at home more at risk of abuse

That headline up there is from The Independent. Or should that read The Incredible Inventing Newspaper.

Stupidly, I've always read The Independent by preference.

Heck, I've followed their diet, gained two stone and STILL been loyal, but reading the educational pages of The Incredible Inventing Newspaper on the Badman report requires me to stand upside down on my head with a pair of socks over my eyes just to get a hold on the perspective of the reporting here.

I'd just like to say out loud, in defence, that the education pages of The Independent have always been crap.

That should read TOTAL CRAP by the way. Weak, lacking incisiveness, lacking criticism, lacking any thoughtful independent journalism at all. Probably because they are basically a vehicle for advertising, let's face it, and you can't be independent when there's several thousand pounds being waved at you from the ad manager to crow about an MBA course, or a private school who'd just like a little plug about their carrot scheme.

Well the education pages are like a joke against educational reporting. They should be labelled SCHOOL IS LOVELY LICKY LICKY or something, because there's precious little discussion about education. It's like the editor of that section, possibly Coco the clown, cannot conceive of an education that takes place outside of school. Except when six photogenic toothless 5 year olds do some gardening in the school playground and then it deserves a close up photo opportunity of a cute grinning kid holding a carrot and a double page spread exclaiming VEGETABLES ACHIEVE ASTONISHING LEAGUE TABLE PERFORMANCE.

It's not only the educational feature and news writing in The Incredible Inventing Newspaper which are tediously and relentlessly school arsy licking.

You should read the weekly Educational Quandary sorted out by the smuggymuggy Hilary Wilce. These are hilarious. Really, me and Dig fight each other to get hold of that bit so we can guffaw our way through breakfast. For a start the problems come from people like Mrs Trellis wringing their hands over issues like How many hours homework should a five year old do? and What should happen to chairs in the classroom? Should they go on top of the school desks? and Does this help the cleaner or not?

But this 'news item' about the Badman report really went further out than I have ever seen.

Let's be kind. Coco the education editor who unicycles to work wearing a squirty flower and whizzing bow tie probably saw a press release on home education come in on from the government Ministry of Truth.

Coco pressed COPY and PASTE because the press release fitted in a spare quarter of his empty page. There. That didn't require any questioning, no quizzical finger-on-chin moment to wonder whether these statistics actually exist,* no critical thinking of any type, and no independence either.

Mr Balls is probably delighted by how easy this is, to get crap like this splattered unconditionally in front of hundreds of thousands of readers.

On this basis, I could send Coco an educational press release about how I have a dog called Asparagus who wears pink bootees on his ears and how Asparagus is standing as a candidate in the next general election on a ticket of more lovely schools and bones, and they'd print that.

Of course I can't suspend my reading of The Incredible Inventing Newspaper. Absolutely not. The education pages are simply too much fun. Just wait. Next we'll read

100% of Home Educators are Aliens in Disguise. Certified. True. Honest. And what to do about it, by Hilary Wilce.

* Thank you, Renegade Parent.


Maire said...

Have you seen the tes'

cosmic seed said...

thank you grit that has cheered me no end :D

Helen said...

So I'm not the only person who is declining to buy the inde any more then?

Grit said...

hi maire. after reading the TES i filled in the pcc form. i do not know of any other group in society who is having to bear this vicious campaign. i feel totally betrayed, and so hugely disappointed in the media for doing balls' dirty work without question, challenge or argument.

hi cosmic seed! for that, i am happy!

helen, i can't actually name a news source i can trust! i note the daily mail never published a comment from me. it obviously didn't get past the moderators! hmm! have to blog it instead :D

kellyi said...

I had the same! I wrote a comment on the Carol Sarler article and it never got through the moderators. Mind you, I did ridicule her a little (big) bit.

Jax said...

I've complained to the independent about their reporting of this, and so far not even had an acknowledgement, so that will go to the PCC when a week has passed.

I think we've all got to challenge this stuff wherever we find it. Unfortunately, I can't vote with my wallet as I never buy a newspaper, just read them online :( said...

it's not funny. none of it's funny: certainly not broad sweeping dangerous accusations like that. but your piece was. and cheered me up. how can your kids not benefit from being taught at home with a mother who is clearly as clever as you are. well done x

as for moderators and newspapers: they only print what they want to. which just goes to show it's not a free press at all.

Grit said...

yes, kelly and jax! i am not going to shut up now without a flippin loud mouth fight.

thank you memsahib! i have to say, everyday i meet my match. thanks to shark.