I have to confess that I find Kelly Green immensely irritating. It is not so much the fact that she claimed on her blog that far from being a home educating parent, I was really an adviser to the Department for Children, Schools and Families. I suppose anybody might inadvertently spread a falsehood like this. Nor is it that when I commented courteously on her blog correcting this ridiculous lie, she deleted the correction immediately. Why should I worry if she is keen on censorship, opposed to free speech and likes to propagate untruthful and damaging allegations about other home educators? No, these are relatively minor matters. The thing which annoys me about this woman is the confident way in which she shoots her mouth off about things she knows nothing at all about. This is not at all helpful to the cause of home education, particularly in this country. Have a look at this, from her blog Kelly Green and Gold;
Several things jump out at one from this post. First, Kelly believes that the Code Napoleon operates in the United Kingdom. She apparently thinks that as in some continental countries, we are limited in our actions to things specifically guaranteed in law. This shows alarming ignorance. She talks of the 'socialist paradise' countries of Sweden, France and Holland. Holland is socialist? Since when? France had a socialist government back in 1993, but even then, I would not have described it as a socialist country. Sweden has not had a socialist government since 2006. Home education in France is growing and has been for years. The situation there is that home education is a guaranteed right in law. Why on earth is she bracketing it with Sweden and the Netherlands, where home education is under threat? Where does this woman get her information? Now have a look at this post:
Anything strike you as odd? Wait, Graham Badman is described as a civil servant. This really demonstrates that Kelly Green understands little about what is going on in this country. She says of this country in her post;
'We need to demand that government tells parents up front that this is one of your options when your children reach the age of compulsory education. You can educate them at home. This choice must not be hidden, and should be treated as an equal alternative to public and independent schools.'
Is this meant to be serious? If so, it again shows how little she really knows about the situation in this country. Let's have a look at the Department for Education's website;
What actually is being hidden here? How are the government not telling parents up front that this is one of their options? They even go out of their way here to draw parents' attention to the 2007 guidelines. Why does Kelly Green think that this choice of educational provision for children is being 'hidden' by the government? Is she not aware that both this government and the last went out of their way to emphasise that parents had a right to home educate and that there was no intention to change this?
I said earlier that I found Kelly Green's ignorance about home education in Britain and the rest of Europe alarming. The reason that I am alarmed is that this ill informed individual is now intimately mixed up with the group who are writing the new guidelines on home education. Frankly, this could be a disaster, judging by the level of her ignorance. Why would you wish to involve a person who knows nothing about British law when drawing up guidelines to the application of the law in Britain? This should be making us uneasy on a number of different levels.
On the plus side, she seems accidentally to have outed a few more members of the so-called secret group, which is interesting. Most of us knew that she and Alison Sauer have been running a mutual admiration society for a while and chatting regularly on the telephone about the best way of phrasing the new guidelines. In one of her recent blogs though, she thanks various other parents in this country for their help. Tania Berlow is one and we know that she is a member of the 'secret group'. Also mentioned is 'Leaf Lovejoy' (One of these days, I too am going to start using a whimsical name of this sort when commenting on lists and blogs. I can't decide though between 'Dreamcatcher' and 'Flower fairy). I think that Leaf Lovejoy has been doing some proof reading of the guidelines. The other names were Diane Varty and a woman who wishes only to be known as Grit. She has a blog called 'Grit's day'. Mind, I don't say that these two people are definitely members of the 'secret group', but it seems likely.