Another thing Badman got WRONG
He assumes that home educators have the spare, free time to spend hours with their local authorities, sitting on panels (in addition to campaigning against the likes of him) and having meetings.
My local authority, having read the Badman report [opens pdf], now assumes the same thing.
What am I supposed to do with my children? How am I supposed to educate them while I'm sitting in meetings in local authority offices? Who is supposed to look after them? (In the event, it's usually the older children - now adults - who do this for me, but this takes from their free/work/study time also. Most home educators don't usually have adult other children on hand for the childcare and education of their younger ones while they sit in meetings with the local authority. How are they supposed to manage?)
Local authority officials, DCSF officials, MPs and, oh yes - Graham Badman - all get paid money for sitting in meetings discussing home education, for writing reports, for evaluating and advising and compiling. And they can't do it without our help because they evidently don't understand the first thing about how real learning works, which is proven time and time again within the school system. They have the gall to sit there talking about how the AWPU (£5000 per year?) should be drawn down by local authorities in respect of home educated children to pay for the new recommendations, and how home educators should 'come out of the shadows' and start to influence the new developments.
Well personally I'm not in the shadows, mate. I never was. I'm just busy.
Helping my beloved children to make a happy success of their lives because - I don't mean to cause offence, but - your school system can't do that for them.
So 'now the spotlight has been shone on us' (gee thanks) I'm to dump my children on their older siblings (again) and go and comply with Badman's behest by influencing things at my local authority. For free.
I'll do it - I've been doing it for years. I never used to mind, before there was talk of people being in the shadows and the AWPU being given to LAs and bypassing the real educators and the real learning.
But, like my children, it's the coercion that I mind. I think that probably applies to every human being on the planet.