Friday, 12 June 2009

The Church of England has its say

I am still reeling from the Report to the Secretary of State on the Review of Elective Home Education in England by Graham Badman.
I have skimmed the entire report and am now reading it through carefully, slowly, and as much as my blood pressure will allow in one go.
Among the many, many things that have incensed me is the trotting out of prejudice without evidence. Now, when I meet someone on the train who comments on my children being out of school and follows up my explanation of Home Education with questions or comments about socialization, I understand that these may be their initial thoughts. Often they have never heard of Home Ed, didn't realise that it was legal and are simply responding with the first impressions that come to mind. Hopefully, with some discussion and thought, most people begin to see how much Home Educated children do socialise and have all sorts of opportunities to mix with people of a wide variety of backgrounds and ages. My children, for example, between them, attend Rainbows, Cubs, church children's groups, a mid-week church service with older members of our congregation, gym, a film club, an after-school club at church, a holiday club at church, a day-time art group and swimming lessons as well as having their friends round to play and adult friends to join them for poetry tea from time to time.
According to the Education Department of the Church of England:
Children who do not go to school may not experience the social and cultural
diversity encountered there; they will not learn how to deal with the rough and
tumble of everyday life; they may never meet people with different faith and
value systems. All such encounters, even the difficult or painful ones are
I am shocked that this viewpoint has been given credence. Where is the evidence that Home Educated children do not experience 'the rough and tumble of everyday life'? And are they seriously saying that bullying in school is to be embraced? If the Badman review is based on ill-informed opinions from those who, frankly, do not know of which they speak, it is not worth the paper it is written on.
If I am to be inspected, and it looks from this report as if I will, then I want assurance that it will be by people who understand and believe in the philosphy of Home Ed and not those who have not given the truth of their opinion a second thought.

1 comment:

Jane D. said...

I totally support and agree with Gaynor on all points - and I would say if I thought my God-daughter was lacking in anything - as far as I am concerned that was part of the package in agreeing to be a God-parent to her! Much love, Jane x.