Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy?!
At our first interview Mr Badman was interested in what I had to say. His opening question was to ask me if home educating mothers suffered from Munchhausen's by Proxy. I thought this to be a curious starting point - that of questioning whether home education is a symptom of mental illness. I am not medically qualified, but I was able to inform Mr Badman that there is no research evidence available that I am aware of, which makes this link.
This actually makes sense of the way the whole review was carried out and written up. If he was starting from that kind of basis of supposition, there was no chance of him ever doing anything good for home educators.
Let's get one thing straight, though:
Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP), is a disorder in which a person deliberately causes injury or illness to another person (most often their child) usually to gain attention or some other benefit. [Source]
So sufferers of this so-called syndrome (probably imaginary in itself, since its inventor was struck off the doctors' register by the General Medical Council for manipulating statistics to desperately try and prove his point in his presentation of evidence as an expert witness at Sally Clarke's trial. Remind you of anyone at all?) actively seek professional help for their children all the time, as a way of getting attention for themselves.
Home educating parents tend to do the precise opposite. Many of us avoid seeking professional help like the plague, unless it's absolutely necessary, and just want to be left in peace to bring our children up outside of the school system and to therefore enjoy our family life. Many of us have campaigned long and hard to try and hold back the incoming high tide of routine professional involvement in family life.
It's laughable (or would be, if such expert postulating hadn't led to Sally Clarke's early death and the wrongful removal of many children from their loving parents) and I'm glad to see that people on Facebook are seeing the funny side. Actually, what's funny is that Badman could get it so wrong. As Paula Rothermel said, she's not medically qualified - so why would he start effecting mass diagnoses? I'm very grateful that she shared this information with the Select Committee, and hence with the rest of us. He probably thought we'd never know.
You can see the rest of the written evidence here. Of particular interest is Tech's submission, which makes some interesting - and actually well-substantiated - suggestions about Mr Badman's own motives, not least in relation to the formation of his limited company, Nektus.
Everything comes to light in the end.