The Children, Schools and Families Committee oral evidence session

October 8th, 2009

“Stitch up” has been the overwhelming reaction of home educators to the Children, Schools and Families Committee’s announcement of its oral evidence schedule for the allegedly “independent” inquiry into the Badman review of elective home education in England, due to be held next week.

A controversial line up of witnesses has been announced, which calls into question the independence of the selection process, and complaints are already being dispatched to the committee querying the choice of home education “representatives” who are anything but representative.

England’s most active home education group AHEd has been snubbed in favour of undemocratic home education organisations, while two male (probably both white) “home educating parents” have been invited, one of whom has mounted personal attacks on (mainly) female home educators and has been banned from at least one online home education network.This does not inspire confidence in the process.

One home educator commented: “It is difficult to imagine a more skewed line up. The only good thing about it is that it can now easily be denounced as a farce.” Another remarked: “Scotland it is, then. No point in hanging around in this unpleasant land.”

Bloggers have been equally unforgiving. Freedom in Education under Threat is “mad as hell” and posts a video reminding us that we should all be yelling ot loud about the injustices being wrought upon the home education community in England by state sponsored bullies. Watch the video and get mad!

Live Otherwise writes, “If you haven’t seen the list of witnesses for the select committee the phrase read it and weep comes to mind”, and suggests sticking a flea in a few MPs’ ears. Meanwhile, in an aptly titled Are we F****d? post, Maire observes, “If I wanted to make it look like the views of the 80% of home educators who voted for no change in the current arrangements had been ignored the list might look like this.”

We await the mighty Blogdial’s comments with trepidation, but he is not known for mincing words which are likely to include “illegitimate”, “corrupt”, “f*ck” and “off”. Let’s hope there are no (so called) public servants of a sensitive disposition who might feel vilified or harassed by fair comment.

Both the UK Government and Parliament have now lost all credibility with home educating families who have been disenfranchised not only by the DCSF but also by parliamentarians and home education organisations which erroneously claim representative status. It just will not do.

Enough is enough. Just Say No. Watch that video again, and yell.

Home Educators are not thinking about the attacks on their liberty in the correct way.

The fact of this matter is that none of these politicians or civil servants can ever be trusted. If you put your faith in them, your way of life will be destroyed, your family broken up, your children kidnapped and you will end up in chains or dead.

They have made their minds up that you will no longer be allowed to Home Educate. What you are seeing now is a pacification operation, designed to wear you down and force you to become resigned to the fact that you will have to accept some form of the end of your way of life.

Think about this committee; what power does it have to stop any new legislation from being enacted? Does it have any power to throw the Badman report out as a fundamentally flawed, biased and poorly constructed piece of fiction? Even if all the witnesses were exactly who you want them to be, and the committee had the power to quash this illiberal, fascist, perverted, anti family, anti education, deeply sinister and suspicious nonsense, do you REALLY think that they would do it? Would you risk your life that they would get it right?

All of the Home Education consultation results were overwhelmingly in favour of the law being sufficient to protect everyone’s interests. The beasts ignored everyone’s facts and opinions and even deliberately concealed and continue to conceal any fact or opinion that is in opposition to their sick desires.

This committee will sit and hear evidence on a report that contains cherry picked parts of submissions that are being kept secret on the most flimsy of pretexts. Until all the information that was used to construct this absurd report is released, this committee is negligent in taking any evidence on it, because no one has a complete picture of what the TRUE nature of the submissions were. Clearly some of the members have a sense that something is not quite right with this report; a careful, thorough investigation cannot be done without ALL of the evidence.

If it is to be taken seriously in any way, the process should be suspended until all the submissions have been released and the concerned parties have had at least 90 days to pour over them. That is what reasonable people who were working in your interests would do.

How many times do you have to be trodden upon before you finally understand that these people are not reasonable? These people are not guided by reason, logic, decency or anything that guides normal people. A perfect example of this is Bridget Prentice, who when confronted by a group of Home Educating children on a visit to Parliament, imperiously intoned that:

children belong in school because learning in groups is best for children”.


This is the level of ignorance, nonsense, illogic and pure insanity that you are dealing with.

Only someone who is actively hostile to Home Education would dare suggest that Simon Webb should provide evidence to this committee. Putting aside the legitimacy of a committee sitting to determine wether or not you have any rights, and that they will be examining a report where the submissions that contributed to it are now being kept secret, any competent, fair minded, and thorough committee would ensure that the holders of different opinions would be summoned to provide evidence.

It is widely known that Simon Webb is actively hostile to Autonomous Learners, and that he is a journalist that has used his column in The Independent to attack them and Home Education in general. This should mean, if the committee was acting in a fair manner, that this particular individual is INSTANTLY DISQUALIFIED, since he is overtly for the report’s nauseating recommendations.

In fact, the only person who should be there to defend this scandalous report is the author himself; but even that should be challenged, since the report is finished, has been submitted and accepted and should now either be re-accepted or rejected on what is already in it.

It is completely wrong that more evidence should be submitted to bolster this outrageous paedophile’s charter; how was it that the report was accepted in full, instantly, without this extra evidence in the first place? And for the record, I call this report a paedophile’s charter because it has a provision in it that gives social workers the power to interview children alone in the family home, without the parents consent. Training to be a ‘Home Education Inspector’ is now the dream of every monster in the land; it would be a perfect cover for those who prey on children, and this report opens the door to them. We have all read the stories of fat smiling nursery workers and teachers who were in fact perverts, all CRB checked, that abused nursery children and students. I will leave it to you to imagine the character and motives of people who would make, endorse and agree with such a recommendation.

On the other hand, it has been speculated that the unthinkable parts of this report were inserted as bargaining chips designed to be discarded, leaving Home Educators with a feeling that they have ‘salvaged something’ by getting them removed, whilst the core of the report’s recommendations, that Home Education be licensed, remain intact.

Who knows?

All I know is that a committee of fourteen people cannot decide what your rights are or are not. Your rights are given to you by your creator; they are not bestowed upon you by government or a committee.

This committee cannot sit and say you have no right to educate your children as you see fit, or practice your religion as you see fit, or that you should live or die, simply because they have a vote in a wooden chamber or produce a report. The representativeness of the people giving evidence is also irrelevant. Putting aside all of that, if this committee is powerless to completely destroy this bad thing that is about to happen, then they should not be sitting at all. Ed Balls is simply going to disagree with the findings of this committee in his written response if they in any way question the Badman report, and carry on with the legislative programme unchanged. In any case, the only acceptable result would be the total rubbishing of the report, guaranteed maintenance of the status quo and a further guarantee of no further discriminatory, predatory attacks or harassment.

In other words it is either illegitimate or it is irrelevant. I put it to you that it is both, since no matter what they say, Home Educators have almost universally vowed not to obey any new regulations of any kind.

AHED have not been invited to submit evidence because they HAVE evidence that this report is fundamentally flawed, and if they were given access to everything that they have requested but have been refused, there is no doubt that they would uncover even more evidence that this report is utterly worthless in every way that something can be worthless.

The charities that have been invited to present evidence have no business being there. Phillip Noyes of the NSPCC was actually forced to apologise for an unwarranted, ignorant and purely hostile attack on Home Education and the families that do it:

Vijay Patel, a policy adviser at the NSPCC, had told the Independent: “Some people use home education to hide. Look at the Victoria Climbié case. No one asked where she was at school.”

This is the sort of brainless nonsense that these people trade in. The newspapers (in this case, the same one that Simon Webb writes for) pick it up and repeat it without question, and now, the very organization that produced this lunacy is being called AGAIN to present evidence on a report that it has already submitted evidence to. If they have already submitted evidence to the report, that should be sufficient input. If their submission has not been released, it should be released, otherwise, when they speak to the committee, they will be talking about a submission no one has seen in full. If their submission was incomplete, they should have been more thorough in the first instance. The whole point of this exercise should be to determine the veracity, thoroughness and true motives behind this report as a fait accompli, it should not be an opportunity to scramble around and tidy up and make excuses for shoddy work.

Home Education is not a child protection issue. The swarms of charities (fake or not) whose concern is the welfare of children should have nothing to say about Home Education, since Home Educated children are in the most safe, stable families in the UK.

The very fact that a family is Home Educating demonstrates a greater than average devotion to the duty of child rearing. As usual, the perverted and twisted imaginations of the people behind this report, the charities and the government departments that are hell bent on outlawing Home Education completely reverse the true meaning of this act of selflessness and sacrifice. It is they who are the ones that are a danger to the welfare of children, not Home Educators.

If all of this had been happening in a vacuum you could give these cretins the benefit of the doubt, but we are in the age of the internets and in America, Home Education is exploding and the misguided laws regulating it (where there are any) are being repealed. If these hostile charity workers, quangonoids and apratchiks do not know about Home Education in the USA they should. That they do not speaks volumes on their level of competence.

Charities should focus their work and submission making on subjects that are their expertise. The fact that this committee is looking to the NSPCC and the National Children’s Bureau (another charity) for evidence demonstrates that they have no understanding of what Home Education is and its true context between the state the family and children. Home Educated children are the OPPOSITE of neglected children, and as for the education aspect, we note that this reports call for licensing does not hinge on the academic results Home Educators achieve, because Home Educated children perform so well.

That they have called a representative from a county council’s Children Missing Education team says alot about the ignorance of the people organising this. Children who are Home Educated are NOT missing education, in fact it is the opposite that is true. Imagine the logic of sending a ‘child poverty inspector’ to a country pile, simply because a family with children live there. This is the level of ‘thinking’ you are dealing with.

Home Educated children outperform state schooled children in every metric both academically and socially, but it is important to remember, Home Educators should not be forced to prove this, or demonstrate this to anyone.

Home Educating families and their children are not the property of the state. This is the fundamental objection decent people have to all of this constant harassment, discrimination and buffoonery. Talk of ‘The Five Outcomes’ is nonsense. The state has no business setting the goals for families and children, and even if we were to concede that they do have this duty, Home Educated children outperform state educated children in these aspects, and the services provided by the state are failing on a massive scale.

Whatever way you choose to look at it, they cannot win the argument. It is an argument that should not have been started in the first place.

I would not discourage a Home Educator from submitting evidence to this committee; knock yourself out. There might even be a few people on this committee who are decent, genuinely sympathetic, horrified by this government and its outrages and who understand both Home Education and their role as public servants. That doesn’t change the vicious nature of this attack on Home Educators, an neither should it weaken your response to it.

What I will say, is that if you put your faith in these people to defend your natural rights, if you put your faith in the democratic process, you are a COMPLETE FOOL, especially after having been kicked in the teeth again and again and again.

Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, SHAME ON YOU.

So, I hear you cry, WHAT SHOULD WE DO THEN?!

Refuse, point blank, to obey in any way, anything that comes out of this report.

For certain, nothing you do will stop these monsters from creating new legislation. They are deaf to reason, inherently immoral and violent. And if any of you do not believe that these people are violent, think hard about what they are advocating.

If you are an Autonomous Learner and you do not want to break your child’s education, these people are advocating that violence be used against you so that your child attends school. That is the bottom line in all of this; these people are violent and they are willing to use violence to make you conform to their sick philosophies.

Finally, and perhaps most upsetting and galling to you will be the fact that anyone who is wealthy will be virtually exempt from these regulations. We already know that the rich (and these very MPs deciding on your fate) are to be excluded from ContactPoint, the database (which is going to be scrapped) they planned to use to track down all Home Educators.

The rich can travel wherever they like, whenever they like, and can live wherever they like. Because one of you (if you are living with a husband, wife or partner) gave up working to Home Educate, you are now poorer than you would have been had you sent your child to school and went out to work. By showing the proper devotion to your family, you have found yourself not only viciously demonised but also financially penalised.

What should you do? You should firstly be INCANDESCENT WITH RAGE, and secondly ABSOLUTELY steadfast in your determination that no one will abuse you or your children by way of any new regulation on Home Education.

No matter what they say, no matter what procedural shenanigans they pull out of their hats, this is a step TOO FAR, beyond which THERE ARE NO MORE RULES and NO GUARANTEES OF ANY KIND.


This toothless committee has been rebuffed by Ed Balls over an appointment:

Sheerman, said night: “The committee believes this should be a campaigning role … and it didn’t seem to the committee that Maggie saw it in the same way.” He added that if Balls rejected the committee’s decision, it could be fatal to the process. “Every select committee in the house will say what’s the point if the first one not accepted is over-ridden?” he said.


That is exactly my point. These Select Committees are window dressing, a charade, a pointless waste of time and an exersise to make everyone feel that they are participating in government, when in fact, they are doing no such thing and the decisions are all finalised in advance.

Now get this:

Ed Balls branded ‘a bit of a bully’
Barry Sheeman, chairman of the Commons children’s committee, criticises Balls after schools secretary ignores panel’s advice on appointment of next children’s commissioner.

What a joke. This is a man who sits on a committee that deliberated on the merits of violating people’s homes and changing relationship between the state and the individual, and he has the GALL to call Ed Balls a ‘bully’ for ignoring HIS wishes?

Now that my friends, really does beggar belief.

3 Responses to “The Children, Schools and Families Committee oral evidence session”

  1. Educating Outside the Box : Here, have some trinkets … now hand over your children Says:

    […] Blogdial is right you know. And I will NOT OBEY! This goes to the very core of what it is to be a parent and as David Cameron said only yesterday “there’s nothing, absolutely nothing

  2. BLOGDIAL » Blog Archive » Badman completely discredited: Roundup of submissions to the Schools and Families Select Committee Inquiry into the DCSF-commissioned review of elective home education Says:

    […] memoranda submitted to the Schools and Families Select Committee Inquiry into the DCSF-commissioned review of elective home edu… have been […]

  3. BLOGDIAL » Blog Archive » Soley, Duff and Deech feel the fire Says:

    […] The only proper thing to be done with this legislation is scrap it entirely. The cause of its creation has been proven to be faulty, the man who wrote the report that inspired it has been totally discredited, and there is not a shred of legitimacy left to prop it up. Your best move now is to delete it completely and then take some time to learn what Home Education is, by doing some work on your own, rather than rely on the words of paedophile enablers, rent seekers, liars, social engineers, fake charities and charlatans. […]

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