Monday, 11 January 2010

Thank goodness they don't put mugshots in Hansard

The Children, Schools and Families Bill moves through Parliament today, so it's all up for debate - and not only by a gang of home ed parents huddled round the back of the hired scout hut. This time, by Members of Parliament looking like a selection of grey suits hanging from coat racks propped up against the benches.

Valiantly I ignore the first bit of this televised debate with a la-la-la and fingers in my ears. Mostly because I feared that if I saw Ed Balls' fizzog on the box I might become hysterical, take to the screen with a hammer, and destroy the developing media career of my daughters forever.

But then of course all those winking twitter messages on home ed speeches in the old House broke down my resistance and drew me in.

So I started to watch parliament on and off, glad that we had a television thing called democracybox and being interrupted and irritated by demands for food and showers and reading the next installment of story while cuddling up in front of the fire. And now worse I have to stop talking TVdemocracy with Dig and put things to bed and kissykissy and all that.

But I just want to take this opportunity to dab at myself with a hanky, because from what I've heard this evening, some of the MPs speaking are extremely well briefed on home education. They provide for the record all the salient points on why this part of the Bill is so fundamentally destructive.

So here's a big BIG thank you, to you educators who have worked so hard to put your voices forward, apply pressure, keep the debate coherent, understandable and relevant to everyone.

I am grateful. Let's keep the pressure going for the committee stage. The more people who know, the better.

And tomorrow I will be swotting over Hansard, where I don't have to look at Ed Balls' mug.


Firebird said...

His assistant Pit Bull Vernon Coaker is no oil painting either :-p

sharon said...

There's always hope!

Angela said...

As I told you in Germany home education is strictly illegal, so I am always following your english experiences with high interest. Me, I would have LOVED to have been educated by a devoted educator and mother like you (not that my own mum would have been up to it), and I truly suffered in my schools (no need to tell you details, everybody knows). So I wish you and your "colleagues" a good outcome on this debate. Did I not just read of a young student of 14 who is a maths genius, educated by his parents, who is now being admitted to Oxford? Where would he be if he had been discouraged by a maths teacher at school ("Can`t you stop ASKING all these questons?") and his class mates who told him he was a nerd?

Maire said...

It was gobsmackingly impressive wasn't it, watched it all, couldn't tear myself away and had to go to Tesco at 11. Only one person on checkout and the reason, the other one was on holiday! Yes we must redouble our efforts.

Carlotta said...

I feel the urge to warn you that I don't think Ed Balls is any less irritating in fact I wound myself up good and proper reading what he said in Hansard this am.

Grit said...

hi people, thank you for your comments!

angela, it is a truly frightening scenario that home ed would be illegal. some feel that autonomous home ed is effectively made illegal by this new bill.

we certainly do not plan ahead one year at a time. but of course the only way anyone can do so, is to follow the state curriculum. :(

we could return to some honest direct action and put superglue on the floor as they all go into parliament. appeals to the 12-year old in me.