Sunday, 7 June 2009


The news this week has seemed full of depressing stuff even more than usual. The Badman Home Ed review is due out imminently and alleged leaks from it sound truly depressing - compulsory registration and imposed minimum standards. Plus the suggestion that, due to parents' concenrs over MMR, it should be made compulsory in order to gain access to state education. Do these people listen to themselves? Do they think about the principles behind what they're suggesting and the implications? Or do they just see other people doing things they disagree with and so want to lash out and make them confirm to what they view as the 'obvious sensible choice'.
I am getting totally fed-up of the state trying to micro-manage every detail of my life. The fact that they have failed so dismally with schools recently that the level of functional illiteracy and innumeracy is at the highest level for decades, children are committing suicide due to exam pressure, and depression is at the higest level ever, suggest to me that the government may not actually be the expert on how to raise a happy and healthy child that they pretend to be. And so now they want to extend this ignorance to those of us who have opted out from the state schooling system? Yeah, right!
And don't even get me started on how abhorrent it is to even think of introducing state-enforced medical treatment, of any kind, for anyone.


bethnoir said...

As an ex teacher, I'm glad you're blaming politicians not teachers for lower levels of literacy and numeracy, but surely there are some parents who should share some of the responsibility (thinking of a person I encountered at work whose 4 year old spoke no english at all and said that he wasn't going to teach him, the school could do that).

The enforced jabs or no school sounds very draconian doesn't it?

Liz said...

I would imagine that current teachers are the ones who are most disillusioned with the govt, due to actually having to try and implement obviously stupid schemes! But, yes, in the end it does come down to parents as their children's education is their responsibility. I do wonder sometimes why more parents aren't absolutely up in arms. Some of the stories I've heard people tell me about their children's schools appal me, and the saddest thing is that people think these things (such as bullying, intimidation, violence) are normal and that they're 'making a fuss' if they complain.
Gah! Feeling a bit depressed by life right now.

Cave Mother said...

Liz, I agree completely with what you are saying here. You are a thinking parent and you know your own kids - you are vastly more well equipped to know what's good for them. The government at the moment seems to assume that people are basically stupid and need to be told how, when and why to do everything.

I am an ex teacher and like Bethnoir, I do agree that poor parenting has a very big role to play in the lack of achievement of some of our children. But I very much doubt that these 'poor parents' are the ones choosing to homeschool - homeschoolers are more likely to be the educated, individual, conscientious parents who don't want their children exposed to all the negative aspects of the school system. Also speaking as an ex-teacher, I am confident that the bright children of bright parents can easily learn in a couple of days at home what they would cover in a week at school. So whilst it might not be for everyone, I think you are doing a good thing.

One of the good things about the UK is that we do have autonomy in the choices we make about our children and I will be furiously writing to my MP if the government does make any concrete move to take that away.

Liz said...

And now I've just heard that the BNP (and far-right groups in general) have been winning seats in the European parliament, and I'm just speechless that anyone can agree with these ideals, and on the 65th anniversary of D-Day, no less. How soon we forget.

bethnoir said...

Absolutely Cave Mother, I wasn't having a go at home schooling parents at all, just some apathetic parents who seem to think once the children are in school it's not their responsibility to educate them any more.

Teachers I know are not the biggest fans of SATS and enforced curriculums that leave little space for creativity, but I think there are good schools doing their best for their pupils. I fully agree, Liz, all sorts of people, some with utterly irrelevant ideas, have had input into education over the years and children are the ones that suffer.

The BNP getting votes is horribly depressing. I'm so glad I made the effort to vote, I wish more of the moderate population had bothered. I get very anooyed by apathetic people who moan about the results after the event. The drift to the political right is making me feel very uncomfortable about the people of this country.

Laura said...

All horribly depressing news at the moment. I'm another ex teacher and my complete disillusionment with the whole system has led me to the conclusion that I will never go back again. Will be HEing my children and now can't imagine how i ever thought school and 'teaching' was a good idea. I am going to be an unschooling ex-teacher - quite ironic i think. Currently trying to unschool myself. lol

Have finished your book and will send it back soon. Very useful. Thanks. Will reply to your email tomorrow hopefully. x