Friday, 3 July 2009

Mr Balls, I hope you can see your mistake

Because Mr Balls, now you're not contending only with old trout Grit in this household.

You're taking on all the little grits, fourteen unicorns, a plaster fairy and a pegasus.

This unlikely alliance is the result of you trying to remove their rights. Shark, Squirrel and Tiger believe it is their right to choose what they learn, where they learn, and how they learn. And they see you as trying to undermine those rights.* So they have started drafting out campaigning newsletters.

And putting up banners in the garden.

And then assembling the leaders of the march in a big pile to be given a rousing speech by Squirrel, who has said you are probably a big fat bum and she would like to punch you on the nose, but she recognises that is not how we do things so she is setting up an organisation to defeat you. Her words. Not mine.

Now you can pooh-pooh their work as the result of parental brainwashing if you wish.

But I will call it the result of seeing school parties of 60 kids at a time queueing for twenty minutes in Snibston discovery centre to be shouted at for wandering off, while Shark, Squirrel and Tiger play happily on the equipment for as long as they like before discussing their observations one-to-one with the education staff.

I will also call their work today the result of the freedom they experience in choosing to go swimming, visit London, attend walks, workshops, and be talked to and respected as individuals at our local library, shops and museum.

I'll also add the fact that one of their schooled friends told them that being home educated must be the coolest thing ever.

And the fact that Squirrel says she now is quite interested in politics, and why don't they teach that at school because she quite fancies that when she is not doing law, running her own business or being a paleontologist and dancer.

I haven't yet got round to their observations about the way kids are locked up all day away from society, or the boring uniforms, the lack of ambition in creative arts, and the grudge that Squirrel still holds about the sandpit from nursery. The sandpit she so desperately wanted to play with, day after day, and was told she could not do that because they were all doing something else INCLUDING WATCHING TV.

And the fact that my mini campaigners originally spelled out We want rats before this was pointed out to them and it became We want rits and finally We want rites merely goes to show that this is all part of a living education, tied to real life, real need, and real demands.

Mr Balls, I hope you're listening to these active campaigners, and future voters.

* Recommendation 1, being told what 'outcomes' to teach for, and 'supported', should we choose differently:

At the time of registration parents/carers/guardians must provide a clear statement of their educational approach, intent and desired/planned outcomes for the child over the following twelve months.

Guidance should be issued to support parents in this task with an opportunity to meet local authority officers to discuss the planned approach to home education and develop the plan before it is finalised. The plan should be finalised within eight weeks of first registration.

Would that plan co-incide with your National Curriculum, Mr Balls?


The Green Stone Woman said...

I do so hope Mr Balls reads you blog, or at least gets many outraged emails, if not that, much hate mail from all over the country.

Maire said...

I want to joint their campaign, and to thank them for another image to use when visualising our success.

Martin said...

Yeah! Go Grits!

Elaine said...

look they can put posters up all over this site , they can tell all the schooled children how fantastic home ed is and how they should all exercise their RIGHTS and demand an education of choice.
It is after all the site of the childrens commissioner ;)

Firebird said...

Yeah I bet he's got a fat bum too!

Excellent banners and personally if I were Ed Balls I'd be very worried about that plaster fairy, they can turn mean!

Grit said...

thank you for your comments, people. we shall certainly nose around that website, elaine.