Monday, 16 July 2018

It's not the home register that matters...

A home-school register my fat arse. This is about getting all you parents and kids on a surveillance list.

The better to know where we are, little piggies, all the better to gobble us up.

1. The 'register' will give both schools and local authorities a free hand in bullying, abusing and generally lying to parents who express uncertainty that Tinkertop's school is doing the best for her. Especially when she gets the blame for having the crap kicked out of her in the playground.

Examples of poor local authority practice abound in my world. Rare it is, how we hear of benign hands and sympathetic nods to the alternative lives shaped by home education.

2. The government and media, continuous drum-banging of the words 'Home School'. But not 'Home Education'.

Oh how revealing is their language! Says the government with an agenda to enforce schooling: 'THERE MUST BE SCHOOL'. Education journalists, hang your heads in shame. Are you aware of the history of your words? Of philosophical inquiry into ideas about education? Of the difference between UK and US culture? Of what it means to school and to educate?

3. It's not the register they ultimately want. It's control over what's taught.

This is coming at home educators, just round the corner, hurtling fast. Stop going off into that field you ne'er do wells! What are you up to? You'll never learn anything useful from that blackbird! You must teach British Values and Citizenship!

4. And after the control come the inspections.

It's been a long-held belief by, um, almost everyone, that my children, like thousands of others, are invisible. If I mentioned to anyone, anywhere, that my children are invisible, I'd be sectioned before the week was out. But it's okay for the authorities to declare this paranormal state of my children to me and then demand that I make them visible.

5. Next... control over who's teaching, where a child learns, and much money from your taxes can be handed to Pearson?

It's not a far leap into the imagination to create a situation where every child has part of their school career delivered* at home.

Ah, you school choosers! You will throw up your hands in horror and exclaim, 'We can't teach anything! We're working!' And the government will say, 'It's alright! Your child can follow their personal goals on a step-by-step program delivered by Pearson, on a database maintained by Capita! Look! We already tested it out on the home-schoolers!'

And you can rest assured, knowing that your child won't miss out on anything and you can go to work leaving the camera turned on and the robot in charge.

6. I've come to believe that home education, especially of the autonomous variety, is not understood by anyone, unless you're doing it or are in it.

I have had my guts wrenched out, over the years, trying to explain autonomous education to people; how it changes authorities, dynamics, power structures, what you think about the world, every blasted thing. That freedom has been based on trust. It's in the government's interest not to trust and to sow lack of trust.

So today, I just want to say, Oh fuck off, you ignorant Guardian tossers.

7. At which point do you Home educate? Home school?

All you innocent parents out there, with your cute gurgling baby and blasted sleepless nights. Are you teaching your child at home? We can see you, spinning that early-learning Einstein cot toy. The register will extend to you, pretty quickly, because your child will need to be tracked. And is Tinkertop attending her nursery place? If not, why not?

8. A register has nothing to do with home education and everything to do with the nut-jobs.

Sadly that little hoard contain not just the downright dangerous Monster Parents, but fundamentalist, extreme-thinking Jewish, Muslim, Christian groups who have surfed their knowledge of legal educating options to use the home educating world as a cover for their crazy ideologies.

I guess I'm not allowed to say that.

*delivered ... I remember sitting in a school hall in 1993, fighting a headteacher over their use of this statement: 'delivery of the curriculum'. Look now. Another of my infamous lost battles. And who's left around me to even see what the issue is? This is how our normal moves on.

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