Thursday, 16 July 2009

Of course we are interested only in safeguarding children

Last month it was the turn of the home educators.

The government decided they needed to add home educators to a database.

The database will ensure all children are where they should be; that government agencies who need to know where our children are can locate them; that services offered by government can be more effectively targeted; and all local authorities can be brought into the twenty-first century model of citizen management.

And no one will complain, much.

After all, home educators are a disparate, incoherent bunch of oddballs and freaks. The best we can say of them is that they are a slightly batty, well meaning bunch of bread-baking lentil eaters.

OK, so they may include some parents who withdrew their child from school because of constant bullying by other kids. Let's dismiss them as the disgruntled parents who didn't get their first choice of school.

The database will ensure those disaffected parents can deliver parallel curriculum teaching. We can provide online support linked into our database service structure. Then those children missing in education can be simply slotted back into the state system at the first opportunity.

The database can track take-up rates for educational provision at all ages including the under 5s, produce statistics on lowered drop-out rates, and generate figures for an international audience, so we can prove the UK is rising up the worldwide league tables!

Well, OK.

There might be some parents who believe a pointless boring test regime has removed all pleasure from teaching and learning.

Those parents might say schools are increasingly run by narrow minded institutionalised thinkers adopting business models regarding exam achievement and league tables, turning local schools into factory production lines and manufacturing replicants for dead end jobs, where the success of the day will be to fill out a monitoring form on a colleague and mark their rate of achievement and performance by a success indicator chart which can be used in an annual assessment exercise which, of course, feeds into an employee's guided expectation of promotion and earning potential.

Weirdos. No, don't let's call parents that. Let's say those parents are disassociated from normal society. But given they are weirdos, they will fail to effectively socialise their children and fail to prepare them for a role in modern Britain.

Of course, in recalcitrant cases, like hard core weirdos, the database can help connect social services and other child protection agencies and the database can assist in removing children and assigning parenting courses.

And if there are objections to the database, we can say home ed parents are abusing their kids, brainwashing them, and photographing their bottoms for the international Mr Spooky abuse networks. Because the public will buy anything if we stick the word paedophile close by.

So that's the home educators sorted.

See? No one complained, much.

Now, whose turn is it next?

Ah! Story tellers. Makers of tales. Writers. They really are dangerous. They imagine other places, other times, other possibilities. They use their imaginations too much. They might have influence over our children. They might misuse their imagination. They might tell stories in the wrong direction.

But we can stop them getting at our children. We've got just the thing.

A nice, big, database.

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