Fans of HE-UK, which according to the list owner Mike Fortune-Wood is going from strength to strength, might sometimes notice that everybody there seems in general to be singing from the same sheet. This is a little strange when you have a couple of thousand members. The explanation is fairly simple. We saw a few days ago that somebody asking too many questions is likely to meet with a frosty response and the suggestion that she must be some sort of infiltrator and not somebody with a genuine interest in home education at all. I posted humorously about this yesterday. Readers may have noticed that one of the people who commented light heartedly about my post was Loz, who is herself a member of the HE-UK list under her own name. Incredibly, she has now been thrown off the HE-UK list, presumably for not disagreeing with me strongly enough here!
This is how things often work in the home education world and it is the way in which the appearance of a united front is maintained, promoting a certain orthodox view to which all home educating parents are expected to subscribe. Those who are happy to cooperate with their local authorities are routinely made to feel like Quislings and collaborators; anybody not bitterly opposed to the regulation of home education is not welcome on most lists and forums. Because any dissenting voices are thrown off the lists, as Loz was this morning, it enables some home educating groups to claim that all home educating parents agree with them about everything. How could it be otherwise, when those who even ask too many questions are treated like lepers? That somebody would be thrown out of a major home education support list in this way purely for engaging in a little banter with me here is really quite disturbing. It is not the first time that it has happened though and I don't suppose that it will be the last. The next time that we see a home education group claiming that all their members support this or that point of view, it is worth remembering that maintaining this unanimity has been achieved by chucking out anybody who disagrees!