I am growing increasingly baffled about the need for secrecy of those currently trying to impose their own ideas upon home education in this country. In a recent post here, somebody commented anonymously claiming to be a member of the group working on the new guidelines for local authorities. I responded to what was said, whereupon another anonymous person chipped in saying, in effect, 'You fool! How do you know he is really a member of our secret group? He might be a member of another secret group entirely'. Because they both insist on remaining anonymous and because even if we knew their names, we do not know the names of those who are in fact members of the group working on the new guidelines, any attempt to debate the matter becomes pointless. Even Alison Sauer still refuses to confirm that she is writing these guidelines, which is pretty bizarre.
I have myself always had plenty of opinions on the subject of home education. I have joined Internet lists and expressed those opinions and I have commented on blogs. I use my own name and personal email address; why would I not? When I wrote a couple of pieces on home education for the national press last summer, they were published under my own name. Obviously, I could have insisted on a pseudonym, both for the newspaper articles and when I joined the lists and forums. I simply cannot imagine why I would do that. I have something to say, what I say might have an effect on people, it is only right that those people should know who is saying this. I have had a book published about home education. This too is in my own name. Readers will recall that when I was writing it, I asked for input from others; there was no secrecy about the thing.
I am completely foxed as to why those drawing up new guidelines for local authorities in their dealings with home education should not want anybody to know their names. We are assured that they are all home educators; how are we to know that this is so? Kelly Green in Canada is offering plenty of advice, chatting regularly to Alison Sauer on the telephone. There is a slight problem about this, because Kelly does not really understand UK law and this might lead her to offer bad advice.
This is the difficulty which secrecy is bringing to the project. We do not know who is contributing to the thing, what their motives are or anything about them. I have been trying to work out why I would myself want to do something like that and keep my name hidden. I suppose that one possibility would be if I was one of those home educating parents who was determined to remain unknown to the local authority. This is weird, but it might provide a legitimate reason for wishing to conceal my name. Alison Sauer and Imran Shah are not in this position those; both are fairly well known and vociferous. Neither wish to acknowledge their part in this project. We are assured that only home educators are involved in the business, but that seems to me to be unlikely. An easy way of proving this point would be for the authors to come forward.