One of the accusations often thrown around in the world of British home education is that many of those active in doing things connected with home education are motivate purely by money. We saw this with the so-called 'secret group', who were apparently drawing up new versions of the 2007 guidelines for local authorities. A popular term of abuse thrown at such people is 'rent seekers'; as in my personal favourite; 'rent seeking vulture queen'. Why, the accusation has even been levelled against me, the suggestion being made that my book was an attempt to cash in on the Badman Review. Since I have yet to receive a penny for the thing, this particular cock won't really fight.
There are those who are making a little money out of home education and these are the consultants and advisers, a whole tribe of whom seem to have sprung up in the last year or two. Somebody commented here a few days ago that such people persuade home educating parents that they are needed by making them scared that the family courts will become involved and that they might even lose their children as a result of home educating. These are the people who benefit from the atmosphere of paranoia which is to be found on some lists, blogs and forums. Parents who were quite perky and confident come onto these places and get sucked into the fear that there is a government conspiracy to prevent them from educating their own children and that they are a persecuted minority. Some parents realise how mad this is and leave the groups fairly quickly. Others stay and buy in to this fantasy. It is upon these that some of the 'consultants' and 'advisers' prey. They offer, for a price, to come and help write an educational philosophy, to speak on behalf of parents being menaced by their local authority and things like that. A while ago, these types were openly touting for business on some lists, although this has now been discouraged. They are still contacting parents privately though, having got their details from places like the Education Otherwise list.
As I say, one person commenting here is aware of this, I wonder if anybody else has had experience of this sort of thing, that is to say parents being made frightened by advisers trying to put the wind up them about trouble with the authorities over home educating. I have the impression that this has become something of a cottage industry among home educators and former home educators recently. Has anybody else noticed this?