For to be free is not to merely cast off one's chains,
but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
- Nelson Mandela -

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rules for some... Yet another reason to declare Badman's Report 'not valid'

Maybe not many people have seen the very first page of the Report to the Secretary of State on the Review of Elective Home Education in England, but it's quite an interesting one. I've copied it here below:

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© Crown Copyright 2009

The text in this document (excluding the Royal Arms and other departmental or agency logos) may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium providing it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context. The material must be acknowledged as Crown copyright and the title of the document specified.

Where we have identified any third party copyright material you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.

For any other use of this material please write to Office of Public Sector Information,
Information Policy Team, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU or e-mail: licensing@opsi.gov.uk

ISBN: 9780102961133


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Please take note of the part I've highlighted, before you continue reading.

On page 13 in Chapter 4: Elective Home Education in Context - the Views of Home Educators and Others, Mr Badman writes:

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And the Education Division of the Church of England states its concern:

“that children and young people not in formal education are missing the benefits and
challenges of learning in community with their peers. Children who do not go to school may not experience the social and cultural diversity encountered there; they will not learn how to deal with the rough and tumble of everyday life; they may never meet people with different faith and value systems. All such encounters, even the difficult or painful ones are enriching. We are concerned not only with the five Every Child Matters outcomes, but also with the spiritual well-being of all children and young people. Spiritual well-being arises not only from being cared for in a loving family and/or faith community, but also in encounters with people of different opinions and backgrounds; in learning to listen to a variety of opinions; to encounter diversity and the riches and life-enhancement it can bring. Spiritual well-being depends on living and taking a full part in community life. Children and young people in schools learn about and from the five major religions. This may be a difficult part of the curriculum for home educators to provide, yet it is vital for the Government’s community cohesion agenda that all children learn in a balanced way about the variety of religious values and practices, and to be encouraged to question their own beliefs and practices.”
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Mr Badman may view it a 'fundamental problem' that home educating parents do not have a 'representative voice' [page 14, 4.10] but that doesn't mean we don't communicate with each other. And although the Report (intentionally?) doesn't mention the source of this quotation, it was soon mentioned on some of the home ed lists that it was part of a ten point "Submission from the Church of England Education Division".
It took some doing, as the link on the available websites only produced encrypted documents, but eventually my much more computer literate husband managed to create a legible file for me (I have a pdf and a Word file, if anybody is interested) and I managed to copy the complete Submission into this post, at the end.

For the record, the fact that I copy it on here does not mean that this Submission represents my personal opinion (and this obviously especially goes for point 7).

May I draw your special attention to point 10?


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"We have seen no evidence to show that the majority of home educated children do not achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes, and are therefore not convinced of the need to change the current system of monitoring the standard of home education. Where there are particular concerns about the children in a home-educating this should be a matter for Children’s Services."


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And may I now remind you of the first page in Mr Badman's Report, in which it says "the text in this document (......) may be reproduced (.....) providing it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context".

As a whole, I find the submission of the Church of England to be mostly sympathetic of Elective Home Education, with some points of concern, which I'd be delighted to discuss with them.
By only using point 7 Mr Badman has, in my opinion, taken part of the Submission out of its well balanced context, to give readers the impression that the Church of England is against Elective Home Education.

That's more than Bad. That's Evil.


Review of Elective Home Education
Submission from the Church of England Education Division



  1. Church of England Education Division
    The Church of England Education Division is a provider of statutory education in over 4,500 Church of England primary schools and 220+ secondary schools and academies and of voluntary education and training of children and young people and adult learning.

  2. We welcome the opportunity to contribute to the independent review of Elective Home Education. We believe in the absolute value of each child and young person as being made in the image of God, and that we have a responsibility to safeguard the vulnerable, whilst offering the freedom needed for growth and development.

  3. We also believe in the importance of relationship within families and within communities, and that children and young people need to encounter a diverse range of people to enable them to learn to live in community and communion and to develop relationships outside their own family and close community.

  4. Children and young people need to be equipped to challenge oppression and injustice and where they are the victims of such oppression and injustice and have no voice that is heard, the Church should be advocates for them.

  5. As Christians, we cannot condone the use of home education as a cover for any form of child abuse. We are not aware of any research that shows how prevalent this is or whether it is widespread. Prevention of abuse under the cover of home education seems to be the main reason for this review, and in making it so, has the effect of tarnishing the reputation of the many parents who choose to home educate their children from the best of motives.

  6. Parents are in the vast majority of cases the best people to decide what is appropriate and best for their children, and those who choose for whatever reason to educate their children outside the state or independent system do so for many reasons.

  7. Our main concern about home education lies in (3) above: that children and young people not in formal education are missing the benefits and challenges of learning in community with their peers. Children who do not go to school may not experience the social and cultural diversity encountered there; they will not learn how to deal with the rough and tumble of everyday life; they may never meet people with different faith and values systems. All such encounters, even the difficult or painful ones, are enriching.

  8. We are concerned not only with the five Every Child Matters outcomes, but also with the spiritual well-being of all children and young people. Spiritual well-being arises not only from being cared for in a loving family and/or in a faith community, but also in encounters with people of different opinions and backgrounds; in learning to listen to a variety of opinions; to encounter diversity and the riches and life-enhancement it can bring. Spiritual well-being depends on living and taking a full part in community life.

  9. Children and young people in schools learn about and from the five major religions. This may be a difficult part of the curriculum for home educators to provide, yet it is vital for the Government’s community cohesion agenda that all children learn in a balanced way about the variety of religious values and practices, and to be encouraged to question their own beliefs and practices.

  10. We have seen no evidence to show that the majority of home educated children do not achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes, and are therefore not convinced of the need to change the current system of monitoring the standard of home education. Where there are particular concerns about the children in a home-educating this should be a matter for Children’s Services.



    Church of England Education Division
    February 2009

13 comments:

Jax said...

Hi Mieke

An excellent post and a distressing point.

Surely we have grounds for a review of this review?

dawny said...

thank you Mieke,
isn't it just awful , i feel so inadequate to do anything about it!

Maire said...

We have been worrying about this, and I agree it is entirely and inexcusably evil.

Surely there must be some accountability for government reports, some ombudsman type org that demands a certain standard, or am i being silly when you consider the report that took us to war.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for doing all the leg work. It is manipulative and evil. You are absolutely right.

Su

Rosemary said...

So grateful to you for doing this research: not only does it prevent my writing an ill-informed letter to the CofE but it further exposes the 'Badness' of the Report.

Mieke said...

Jax and Maire, again I must plead ignorance and once again admit I do not know enough of the UK situation - although I am learning rapidly! In Holland I would take this up with the National Ombudsman, or I would have it questioned in Parliament. I would probably even take it to a public court (summary proceedings?)for numerous reasons. I must admit I'm limiting myself to doing the few little things that I know I can do and leave the rest to people who know more...

Dawniy, Su and Rosemary, thanks! And as I said, I am only adding a little bit to the huge amount of work that's being done by so many in the Home Ed Community. Although it's hard to keep up with everything that's being done, I do take heart from the sheer brilliance, quality and eloquence that I encounter!

By the way, I will be blogging - probably today - about more inconsistencies (aka lies)...

suzyg said...

Just told my other half about this brilliant piece of detective work. He says it's called 'quote-mining' and is much frowned upon by academics, in particular. Badman will of course argue that he was quoting to illustrate a particular point.

I'm glad I came across this, too, because I drafted a letter to Rowan Williams about the Badman report this very morning. I'll put something in about this before I send it off, if that's OK.

Sue

Louise said...

Hello Dutchess Discloses,

Well done you and your husband for finding the 10 point submission from the CoE. Please could I have a copy of the document in question. I will be meeting my MP soon and I would like to have a copy to show him.

louise@magniloquent.net
or
louise.thorn@gmail

best wishes

Lou Thorn

kellygreen said...

Thanks, Dutchess, I needed your research for my letter to the Church of England! If you want to see my response to the C of E regarding their submission, you can read it on the discussion board of the Facebook group "Stop the UK Government Stigmatising Home Educators." We in Canada support you.
Kelly Green

David Landy said...

Thanks, Dutchess! I used this as ammo in my letter to the Institute of Education at London University, where Mr Badman is a visiting Fellow.

I'd asked for the base data for Mr Badman's review but they said they didn't have it, however they tacked on a piece stating that they supported academic freedom and the right to free speech.

Well.... I let them have it for this bogus piece of "academia"! I hope they rip up his fellowship for this fraud.

Read the full story here...

Mieke said...

My pleasure, David! Good to see you and so many people giving them what for :). Now let's just hope we can change their intended course.

Anonymous said...

Does the CoE response to question 4 imply that the CoE should be joining the fight against the recommendations made by the Badman Review?

Mieke said...

Anon, you have a point there. I haven't had a reply from them yet, so I'll write to them again and I'll bring this up.