Looking at the panel (6)
Well, here's a kind of insightful piece about his wishes for the 2004 budget but actually it doesn't tell us much, except that he'd like higher taxes and more money to be spent on children's services. He has a Wikipedia entry which mentions his membership of something called the DCSF 'Stakeholders Board', which immediately think of the discussions we've had here this week about how such a panel as the one for this review, is formulated. So there is a list!
I got a bit sidetracked then onto the subject of stakeholders and found this intriguing page on the ECM website, directed from DCSF about mapping them:
Look! They have spreadsheets [opens Excel] full of them!
There's been quite a lot of discussion on the home ed lists about the concept of 'stakeholders' which, I agree, is deeply disturbing. The term originated in the business world, which is where I think it belongs. Wikipedia now defines it as "A person, group, organization, or system who affects or can be affected by an organization's actions." Well, that's all of us then, when it comes to something like the EHE review. Obviously it's the cherry-picking of preferential stakeholders that gets to define government policy development though. And yes, as parents I think we are offended, for what it's worth (which obviously isn't much) that an ever-increasing list of strangers should claim to hold stakes in our children's lives.
Back to Mr Ennals. He wrote this article in the Guardian two years ago about 'The essential elements of a Children's Plan', though there's nothing in that which tells us anything particularly relevant to the EHE review except, perhaps that he manages to mention Victoria Climbié in his last paragraph without bizarrely conflating her death with elective home education (unlike the NSPCC) which possibly offers a glimmer of hope for us:
Finally, he should revisit the origins of Every Child Matters - the case of Victoria Climbié. Would the changes brought in so far prevent such a death happening again? The risks may be reduced, but there are big issues still to be tackled around private fostering, immigration policies, and the inequalities still faced by some children from ethnic minorities.
Our absence in that list hopefully indicates that he has no particular axe to grind about us, but everything I've read about him and his views this morning tells me that he sees solutions to children's problems in the wider society, as opposed to at home with their families and this does worry me a bit, as regards his likely position with regard to elective home education.
Ooh, I've just come across this quote of his: "If they are denied access to school they also miss out on health education," which, though taken wildly out of context (I think he's talking about excluded children - I get the feeling he's one of those people who lived in blithe ignorance of our existence, and to whom it was quite a shock when he found out) still rings alarm bells.
I've just gasped to come across a Tolkien [mis]quote in one of his NBC presentations [opens pdf] - and what a quote he chose! Talking about the Integrated Qualifications Framework:
One ring to bind them all
The actual inscription on the One Ring, 'roughly translated', read as follows:
One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
The One Ring was created by the Dark Lord Sauron during the Second Age in order to gain dominion over the free peoples of Middle-earth, so it might indeed be a very appropriate desciption for the entire ECM framework [opens pdf], let alone just the IQF - though perhaps not quite in the way Mr Ennals had in mind!