Saturday, February 06, 2010

Classic schoolboy error, Ed.

Imagine this.

January 2009. The DSCF announces a splendid new support package for home educators. £400 a year per child for parents to spend on exams, ballet lessons, the educational financial outgoings of our choice. Craft materials, broadband internet, you name it.

Obviously, the government needs to know how the taxpayers' money is being spent, so in return, HEers subscribing to the scheme agree to go through an annual process of licensing and monitoring. It's all completely voluntary. Witness the undignified scramble, with lone voices - Techla, Grit, Lisa, Carlotta, Firebird, Maire - drowned out in the glad cries of home educators being given some of the money they feel entitled to. Maybe 85 or 90% of HEers sign up.

January 2010, the government announces that ALL HEers are now required to register and be monitored. In return they will get their money. Grit, Maire, Carlotta and co look a bit, well, _paranoid_ as they start trying to protest against the loss of civil liberties. Autonomous HE is stamped out within 2 years.

I just don't understand why, of all the minority groups in the country, Ed chose the ONE LOT who were least likely to respond in the time honoured way to the tactics of a bully. Smear us, cast aspersions, lie to the other kids and teachers about our activities and motivations - why was this ever going to be the winning strategy?

We are the parents for whom zero tolerance DOES mean zero tolerance - our children have freedom of association, we do not expect them to submit to bullies, to stand up to bullies, to engage with bullies. We expect our children to treat bullies with the contempt they deserve, and not to have anything to do with them if they don't want to. Why would Ed think we would be cowed by him? What kind of an example would that have set for our children?

I am, in an odd way, delighted that we have been dealing with Ed this last year rather than with a Dan level Go player.


Deb said...

You make a very good point about us not being good victims for bully boy Ed Balls. It is partly because of my own experience of bullying in school that I do not wish to send my son there (unless he wants to go), and so I can recognise the tactics of a bully from miles away. I understand them and their motives, and that makes me far stronger to resist them. I suspect the same may be true for many home educators.

Anonymous said...

£400 ain't gonna do it, no way.

Say £4000 per child and I might be interested.

emma said...

Absolutely, anonymous, but £400 might have been enough, for a lot of people, pre-Badman.

I worked it out this afternoon - the strategic mistake - it is a divide and rule plan. They should have divided and ruled the home edders - taken advantage of the many different reasons why people HE, what their desires are, and played us off against each other. But they thought at the next level up - they tried to divide HEers from "normal" people, by suggesting that we might well be child abusers and in need of checking up and just, well, weird. I think they underestimated the extent to which the Sheeple don't give a damn what the government does, and they overestimated the extent to which the Sheeple and the MSM would give a damn what WE do as HEers. So instead of separating us off from the herd as vulnerable defenders of private family life, they unleashed thousands of networked and VERY ANGRY SAHMs.

Carlotta said...

You are absolutely right, Emma...I think they have made a mistake, and thank you for making my visceral dislike of Mr Balls slightly more tolerable.

I strongly agree that all that glitters is not gold and that autonomous ed would be down the pan (to try not to mix metaphors!) if we accepted it.

I suspect that this would be problem we might face, given a hung parliament. Am thinking a strong Tory gov't will think it wrong to shell out for support at a time like this.

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Anonymous said...

it was done to take away the failure of the state school system but i think old Balls knew it would not be passed but he?DCSf/Teachers wanted to use us as whipping boys to take the flack but it baclfired!

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