Thursday, February 19, 2009


Dear Mr Badman,

I am writing to express my concern about the constitution of the panel of "experts" attached to the Home Education review. While I am delighted to see Paula Rothermel on the team, I am flabbergasted that the rest of the panel seems to be made up of people with no experience of elective home education. How can this be considered a panel of experts?

I would have expected to see a lawyer with understanding of the law as it pertains to elective home education, particularly given the apparent lack of understanding of the law demonstrated both by the 6-questions open to the general public and by the 60-question survey offered only to LAs. Ian Dowty is the most notable expert - why on earth is he not on the list?

I would have expected at least one if not more representatives of the major elective home education organisations - drawn perhaps from the Education Otherwise policy group, or from the groups AHEd or THEN-UK.

I would have expected not only a university researcher on elective home education, but also researchers and writers with practical, personal, in the field experience. There are several names to choose from here, but the instant ones springing to mind are Jan Fortune-Wood, Mike Fortune-Wood, Roland Meighan, Harriet Pattison (co-author with Alan Thomas - who would have been another obvious choice! - of How Children Learn at Home, which I assume all your panel members will have read).

I would have expected representatives of the minority groups likely to be particularly impacted by any changes to the existing legislative framework - at the very least, representatives of SEN home educators and religious minority groups.

Please could you explain your rationale for choosing a team of people largely without expertise in and experience of elective home education? Will this not have a negative impact on the validity of any findings of the review?

Yours sincerely,

(signed with all my most impressive titles. You know, CBE, OBE, Victoria Cross, Dip SMELL etc)


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Badman

Change your name if you want to be taken seriously as a good person with good intentions.

(Explain the impressive titles joke, please?)

emma said...

damn, Leo, I wish I'd sent THAT letter!!!!!!

oh - the titles - just that there are certain types of people who, if one writes to them simply as "John Smith" don't take a blind bit of notice, but if one can write as "Sir John Smith" or "Dr John Smith" or even "John Smith MA" suddenly find one's ideas more worthy of notice. This was a letter where I used all the most impressive titles I could dredge up :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks. ^_^

I got the joke itself, just not what the impressive titles meant.

lotusbirther said...

hi there - just wondering where we can find out who is on the panel and who is being sought for info/evidence. Any ideas? Ta!

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