Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The DCSF select committee report

The select committee's review of Badman's review has more or less agreed with everything which he proposed in his report. They came out against compulsory home visits and interviewing children alone, but since this has already been dropped, it isn't really news. They thought that it would all cost more than at first suggested, which is of course true. All the meat of the matter though, the registration and monitoring, statement of educational approach and so on, all that stays. It looks very much like a rubber stamp with a few minor details tweaked. I shall post more on this later today.


  1. I think it would be wise to wait until after midnight, Simon, it's embargoed until 0.01.

  2. Tut tut Simon; breaking the embargo so that you can be the first with the news. It's no great surprise though, given the supine nature of most of the membership.

    I hardly think home visits have been dropped; the issue has merely been obfuscated to protect the backs of those that will be whipped into voting for the proposals.

  3. I think the embargo is only a gentleman's agreement, so that says it all.

    Sadly, no hanging, drawing and quartering for violators.

  4. This is indeed finding Saul among the prophets! Three home educators who are so concerned with pettifogging rules and regulations that they are becoming anxious about another person's disobedience. Actually, the embargo is on publishing the text of the document in whole or part; there is no objection at all to commenting upon it. However, because it is causing uneasiness, I shall not post any more about it until tomorrow.

  5. Oh, go on, you know you want to!

    Besides, we all want to see whether ye olde serjeante at armes comes along to take you off the the tower - where you might find yourself joined by a few autonomous educators in due course.

  6. No, no. I am adamant that I shall say no more on the subject until one minute past midnight. Even the fact that the select committee recommends that registration be voluntary and not compulsory, will not be fully explored further today!

  7. You old tease. You're not exactly J.K. Rowling.

    Aren't you even going to comment on the minority report from the Labour members recommending that child "interviews" include beatings and psychological torture in order to ensure that HE children are fully socialised?

  8. I don't think you read it properly, Simon.

    * During 20 day delay in deregistration children are to be given authorised absence from school

    * No home visits

    * No child protection role for HE inspectors

    * No to refusing or revoking registration purely on grounds of refusal to co-operate.

    * No to refusing or revoking registration purely because of safeguarding issues

    * No to refusing or revoking registration because of unsubstantiated personal opinion of LA inspector

    * Yes to proper appeals process for families

    * No to using school attainment records as baseline yardstick for judging HE

    * Yes to giving school records to parents

    * And most importantly, registration to be *voluntary*.

  9. Yes, Erica, but remember that Simon had started typing before he'd reached the end of the summary. He couldn't contain his excitement on reading the committee's support for registration.

    However, he can comfort himself with the knowledge that the select committee report is already in Ed Balls' wastepaper bin. I expect it to be dismissed out of hand.

  10. No wonder he decided to go off to another topic; he probably cringed once he read the report in full. Maybe he'll just quietly delete the whole of this entry and comments - he's done it before when he's been shown-up for the sloppy-minded inconsistent fool that he is.

    Then he'll bounce back with some more drivel.

  11. Forgot to mention that the report says that the select committee received only *one* submission from a home educator that was not vehemently opposed to Badman.

  12. Erica, I won't go through every point that you make. It is enough to say that there is no mention at all of home visits in the Children, Schools and Families Bill, so it is hardly revolutionary for the select committee to come out against them! Similarly, nobody suggested for a moment that a child would have to stay in school during the twenty day delay before deregistation becomes effective. Maybe if people sat down, as I did, with the text of the Children, Schools and Families Bill and then went through it point by point, comparing it with what the select committee had to say, matters would be a little clearer?

  13. Anonymous, I went onto another topic not because I was cringing, but because people seemed to be throwing their hands up in horror at the idea of my writing about the select committee's report before it had officially been published. It is perfectly true that I may be a sloppy minded fool who bounces back with drivel, but I suppose the real mystery is why you are evidently so keen to read this drivel? It is no particular mystery that you wish to be rude to people without revealing your name, all anonymous letter writers have that in common, but what is it that you find so fascinating that you return each day like this? Surely there must be other sloppy minded fools whose writing would provide you with at least as much pleasure as mine?

  14. "there is no mention at all of home visits in the Children, Schools and Families Bill, so it is hardly revolutionary for the select committee to come out against them!"

    But you weren't comparing the Select Committee report with the bill, you were comparing it with the Badman report, which clearly does recommend home visits, and which is the thing that the select committee were reporting *on*!

    "Similarly, nobody suggested for a moment that a child would have to stay in school during the twenty day delay before deregistation becomes effective."

    Neither Badman nor the bill said anything about where children would be expected to be during the 20-day period. It needed clarifying, and the Select Committee clarified it.

    Why are you not answering the rest of my points?

  15. Well, in my opinion the Select Comm said much as I would expect them too; they came out against the things that have already been deleted between Badman's report and the proposed Bill, and waffled a bit about the statistical evidence. They did want voluntary registration - have I got this right? - as a trial for 2 years? which doesn't seem much of a change and anyway the actual Bill wants compulsory registration; and they are in favour of educational plans and do want more discussion/legislation on what "suitable" means??

    One of the things that has continually bugged me is that many home educators made a big deal of the dodgy statistics and the issues of whether you can have meaningful statistics about the % of home educators if we don't know the total population in the first place - but surely wahat we are therefore gpoing to get is registration ect in order to obtain more stat.... hasn't this therefore been a less than helpful argument?

  16. Erica, I did not answer your other points because they are not really true. To take a couple at random, "No to refusing or revoking registration because of unsubstantiated personal opinion of LA inspector." This idea has not appeared either in the Badman Report or the Children, Schools and Families Bill; Local Authorities will have the power to revoke registration. I see no suggestion that this would be done on the unsubstantiated personal opinion of and LA inspector. As for registration being voluntary, well the select committee said that it should be voluntary for two years and then if all home educators don't register, then it should be compulsory. How is that diffrent from either the Badman Report or the Children, Schools and Families Bill?