Tuesday, May 05, 2009

EO's bombshell: the reaction

Debs says she feels:

sick, depressed, angry, and, for reasons I'm not quite sure of, betrayed. Education Otherwise: Don't dare to attempt to speak for me or on my behalf. All I require from the LA, the Government, and now sadly the biggest home education organisation in the UK is to be LEFT ALONE.

Alison at Home Education Forums speaks of 'The final betrayal':

Key proposals contained within the document, regardless of who wrote it, have already caused major ripples throughout the home education community as incredulity has given way to anger. Riddled with typographical and grammatical errors, it makes recommendations which have been described as everything from "naive" and "dubious" by some through to "stitch up" and "sell out" by most. It has nevertheless been sent to Graham Badman, who is conducting the home education review, in the name of Education Otherwise when it apparently represents the personal opinions of no more than a handful of self appointed individuals who decide EO policy on the hoof without any formal accountability. Misleading, or what?

And I have Mike Fortune-Wood's permission to quote the following e-list post of his:

This prospectus is so very bad, its implications are so very awful and the outcome that the authors have destined for us is so completely at odds with peoples aspirations that there is no going back from here.

EO have sold out the home education community so completely that its continued existence must now be in question.

People here will not forgive this, it's the ultimate sin of betrayal.

This prospectus accepts as valid the ECM agenda. By doing so it invites or accepts the authorities as parenting partners rather than parents of last resort, the one thing we have been fighting to avoid for perhaps the last 10 years or more, possibly the chief underlying reason why most of us home educate in the first place and by doing so it incorporates us into the government system.

Our wildness is tamed.

There is nothing EO can do to repair the damage on this, it's a terms of surrender and is completely disgraceful.

The trustees should all resign in disgrace. EO truly has no way forward from this other than to wind up.

I simply cannot express how I feel about this whole mess.

My own detailed reaction will come after I've fisked the 'Prospectus' [opens pdf], starting tomorrow.


Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Maybe "they know not what they do"
I honestly suspect some have not realised the possible implications of this and not seen the value in continuing to argue, simply, that the law as it stands is sufficient if it is followed appropriately.

Let's hope they work it out asap and follow Mike's advice.

"EO have sold out the home education community so completely that its continued existence must now be in question."

Surely the only honorable thing is for EO to fall on its sword. I'm sure there must be a mechanism for some wise trustee to arrange this. It's an organisation that has more influence than it deserves. It sure would cure a great deal of old pain if EO were to be disbanded.

It's a shame that it seems to need to come to this, Education Otherwise is a catchy name and the kids escaping from the triangle sign on the logo is so witty and symbolic.


6:11 pm, May 05, 2009  
Anonymous Firebird said...

Honourable? Do they know the meaning of the word? After the recent dirty tricks AGMs and the SUM list fiasco most people would have expected some resignations but there have been none. No, the people who have turned EO into what it now is will not fall on their swords, they and their supporters will continue to work for their own ends with little or no regard to what it does to the broader HE community or even paying EO members.

6:57 pm, May 05, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny you've mentioned that phrase, Elizabeth, because I was thinking about that earlier. I wonder if EO has panicked and rushed into suggesting something, anything rather than sit back and take whatever the jury decide to hang home educators with.

I just wish EO could be more open about things. Next to no one knew what was going on, yet it affects everyone who home educates.

I was wondering what, if the logical conclusion that EO will be the monitoring factory that the LAs and government want, how that will work? What if EO representative makes an error, will government indemnify him/her? It could be a disaster for some family, and the person who monitors. A real sack of snakes.

(latest post on 'safety' in school)

7:05 pm, May 05, 2009  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

"they and their supporters will continue to work for their own ends with little or no regard to what it does to the broader HE community or even paying EO members"

If they are doing that it's crazy, there are surely no guarantees that those in EO would get paid jobs on this yet to be HE Committee. I can see no advantage other than imagined kudos and that is something that disappears once you screw up like this and no one can see any advantage in what you have done.

I really suspect they are thoughtless and bureaucratic and don't realise the damage they are capable of. I happen to think that thoughtless and bureaucratic can be extremely dangerous things to be.

I don't believe that all the signatories have seen the whole document, they are certainly not all working to their own ends. So there is hope that someone can put this right.

Seriously if you wanted to feather your own nest, you'd find a better way to do it than a Home Education Charity wouldn't you.

8:30 pm, May 05, 2009  
Blogger R said...

Of course they know what they are doing. Ths is the GPG who know every government document inside out! I'm not sure of the agenda, but they don't come across as people who haven't got a plan...or people who just scraped one together...or people who don't know the consequences of their actions.

8:43 pm, May 05, 2009  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

They may have a plan but I'm sure it'll be more complicated (worse) than they think.
I would not wish to play with government spin types or feed into the plans they make.

9:42 pm, May 05, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

Elizabeth, my best guess is that of the six people named, one didn't get to see the whole thing, or didn't get much of a say in any but the SEN section, one sweetly went along with things because she usually does, one read and approved it in a hurry without properly thinking it through, one thought she'd come up with a brainwave and was naive enough to not think it would be a total catastrophe, and the last one knew exactly what was going on, but didn't stop the process because it might have suited her personal interests not to. This last person may also have planted some of the 'brainwave' seeds, or at least fertilised the ground they fell on and nurtured their growth, or may not. I don't suppose we'll ever know for sure.

I certainly think there needs to be a swift and total public retraction of this document now.

Firebird, with any luck the SUMs can do something about this, vain hope though that might be. At least they're getting themselves organised now. I'm.. nearly.. tempted to sign up to be one myself, just to get a vote. Stop me, someone.. ;-)

Diane, I think there was an element of that in the minds of some of the authors. As for them being more open about things, LOL! Do you wish the moon was made out of green cheese as well? ;-) If that outcome comes to pass, it will be a nightmare for us all, IMO. Worse than what the govt might have had in mind for us. Imagine having to take anything you wanted to influence through their little committee? Some of us wouldn't even have our requests acknowledged, or our emails ever answered. What power they'd finally have! Paradise, for them. Funny that our best chance lies in Graham Badman realising its supreme unpopularity, because there will be some very upset HErs around if he includes it as one of his recommendations.

6:41 am, May 06, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

Oh, I just realised I only listed five people in my first paragraph there. I've not idea what Julie Bunker's name is doing on the report. That one has me completely stumped.

6:55 am, May 06, 2009  
Anonymous suzyg said...

To submit these proposals without consulting EO members could be seen as duplicitous. To submit them in a document that is badly structured, unclear and full of grammatical and typographical errors suggests an alarming level of incompetence.

9:13 am, May 06, 2009  
Blogger Allie said...

I find this whole thing bizarre, to say the least. What on earth were the authors thinking? That we'd all be grateful for their work? That we'd be too polite to point out that this appears to be the result of some brainstorming session between a handful of people? That it was fine to send this off to govt without even running it past *anyone* else from the community it purports to speak for?

9:29 am, May 06, 2009  
Blogger Tech said...

I was almost tempted to sign as a SUM too Gill, but then I figured that if we all did that the membership numbers would increase which might send the message that people were joining because they agreed with this policy paper.

10:28 am, May 06, 2009  

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