Well they would say that wouldn’t they

No surprises in DCSF’s report on the responses to the home education consultation. The report of the consultation largely dismisses the reponses of home educators to the consultation. Response after response is dismissed on the grounds that home educators would say that wouldn’t they.

What DCSF fail to grasp is the home educators and home educated children are the stakeholders and the experts here. We are the experts in education outside school, in the welfare of own children and the children in our community. We are the people who live this life and know how the proposed changes will impact on our children and community.

We are also people with an interest in education, often with a broad knowledge of different educational philosophies and practices.

The few areas where responses have been taken into consideration have just replaced one rock with another hard place. So rather than criminalise parents for not registering, or doing what they say at every turn LA will punish them and their children by forcing them into school. Hardly a better outcome for children removed from school because school cannot meet their educational and welfare needs, or because of bullying. Where is the child’s welfare in this?

Home educators will in turn say – well the DCSF would say that wouldn’t they. They wouldn’t want their actual stakeholders to get in the way of decisions they have already made. However articulate and logical an argument may be it is incredibly difficult to persuade somone with a widespread preconceived cultural idea – in this case that school = education that they don’t understand or know enough about something to pass judgement on it. In other words those with a pro-school prejudice are hardly independent when it comes to making decisions about a way of life that calls their own educational choices into question.