Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Two people withdraw from the home educating ‘community’

I was a little surprised to see Mike Fortune-Wood announce that Tania Berlow has withdrawn from the home educating community. How does one actually do that? By not home educating any more? By no longer posting on the Badman Review Action Group list? Ali Edgeley, her best friend, clarified matters later by explaining that Tania would no longer be commenting on message boards, lists, forums and so on. She has apparently ’suffered’ from people saying horrible things about her over the Alison Sauer guidelines business. I have to say that this strikes me as absurd. There has not been any shortage of people saying horrid things about me over the last couple of years, but I would not say that I have ’suffered’ as a result! People need to get a sense of perspective.

I must express my unbounded joy at the news that the awful Alison Edgeley will also be withdrawing from the ‘home educating community’. People have in the past been a little sniffy about my commenting on home education, on the grounds that I technically stopped when my daughter turned sixteen in the summer of 2009. What then shall we say about Ali Edgeley, who hoofed her kids back into school when she started up a business in 2007? Three years after she had stopped home educating, she was still pestering the London Borough of Islington with communications like this:

Both woman are active on the Internet in other capacities than as home educators. Ali Edgeley posts as tinpanali and Tania as both Alex Panzeca and catbythetail. Some of the things that both Ali and Tania get up to and say elsewhere, tends to confirm strongly some of my remarks about the general strangeness of many well known figures in the world of home education!


  1. Sorry, how is this piece of information worth its own blog post? I just doesn't seem to add anything to useful HE discussion.
    And with regard to how people are affected by these kinds of things, its all subjective. Just because you were able to tough out criticism and insults from others, it doesnt mean other people are so robust and impervious to unkind words.

  2. Does this mean the re-writing of the guidelines has been dropped? Has Alison Sauer also withdrawn?

  3. 'Sorry, how is this piece of information worth its own blog post?'

    Ah C, I had forgotten that you play kiss-in-the-ring down in Somerset with Tania and Ali! As to whether this is worth its own blog post; well, probably not. Mind, I suppose that as its my blog, I should be the best judge of this. It is at least keeping readers up to date with one of the leading ligts of the British home education scene.


  4. Leading lights?

  5. with very dim bulbs if so

  6. Re your link, that was an interesting piece of research. I was part of the team that put in the same FOI request to every LA. At this time FOI requests had been used to great effect, to prove that the statistics on abuse and suitable education in the Badman Report were seriously flawed. Then the DCSF started refusing to answer them on the grounds that they were part of these alleged campaigns. They also told us that the LAs were aware of the campaigns and that there had been correspondance on the subject between the LA's and the DCSF.

    This particular FOI was designed to find out if the DCSF was correct by asking the LA's if they were aware of the campaigns or had had any correspondance with the DCSF about them. Nearly all of them, like Islington, gave a categorical no to both questions, and the few that didn't said things like, 'We have had rather a lot of FOI requests recently, so if that's a campaign we're aware of it'.

    This suggests to me that the reason the DCSF gave for refusing to answer our FOI requests was not the real one. Whether they gave it in good faith, or deliberately misled us, is of course open to interpretation.

  7. lol, I do what? Let me point out again I do not know Ali Edgely at all, and Tania Berlow and I do not have regular contact. In fact I have been far too busy giving birth to check on the status of all the HEers/ex-HEers in Somerset.

    When I asked the question I just meant: Obviously you felt it was worth pointing out but with the thousands of HEers out there why is the status of these two people so noteworthy? - why does it matter?

    I hope this explains what I was trying to say.

  8. Congratulations C. Now, that's the sort of positive news that deserves to be spread!