Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Campaigning against the Welsh proposals on home education; a slight problem

I can see a problem looming for those who are gearing up for a Badman style campaign against the Welsh Assembly’s new proposals to regulate home education. It is a very simple one and has perhaps already occurred to some people in Wales. It is this; most of those shooting their mouths off on the subject don’t actually live in Wales and will not be affected in the least by any measures implemented by the Welsh Assembly. I have an idea that this is likely to deal a death-blow to the organised opposition to the registration and inspection proposals which are currently being debated in the principality.

There are not all that many home educating families in Wales, at least compared with this country. Certainly not the tens of thousands that we have in England. Almost all the people who have so far been expressing opinions on the subject are living here in England. I can quite see their point. They fear, quite realistically, that if a regimen of monitoring and inspection is successfully instituted in Wales, then after a year or two, it will be the most natural thing in the world for the government in Westminster to point to it as a great idea that we should adopt here. They are right to fear this; I should say that it would be a racing certainty if the Welsh proposals go through.

Never the less, when meetings in Wales are packed with various English people, some of whom are not even home educators,  it is going to raise a few eyebrows. This will  look particularly odd when speakers from England at such conferences  outnumber the Welsh, as here:


 It will also look a bit strange when the responses to the consultation there are found to be vastly more numerous than the total number of Welsh home educators! I am going to be interested to see who in the Welsh Assembly is the first to draw attention to this situation. I quite understand the motives of those in England who are mixing themselves up in this affair, but really it could be argued that  it is nobody else’s business, apart from those who actually live in Wales.


  1. It is a bit worrying to me because for once I entirely agree with you!

    I don't know much about Welsh politics but I am sure they fought hard for these devolved powers and the last thing they will listen to is a load of English telling them their errors!

  2. 'It is a bit worrying to me because for once I entirely agree with you!'

    This is, I agree, more than a little alarming. Agreeing with Simon Webb one minute and then beetling off to the select committee the next; I think that you have trashed your credibility as a genuine home educator.

  3. Going by comments about the Select Comm, I am definitely going to be on some home educators hate list!

  4. Yes, I can't see that there's much to be done from this side of the border. I'm sure there's no obligation on the Welsh assembly to consult a load of English folk who won't be affected.

  5. Yet the Welsh assembly seem happy to import what was originally an English Bill. You would hope they would have been able to think for themselves, but apparently not. I have seen several people who live in Wales discussing opposition to the proposal though, so all may not be lost.

  6. any one who corporates with a select committee for making new laws on home education is a traitor to home educators hope your not going to be a traitor Julie?
    no monitoring or home visits that is what you wanna tell them! no thx to a re hash of crazy old badman ideas.what we want is for LA/s to be accountable to the customers and for it to be a sacking offense if an LA officer tells a lie about a home educated child or parent.

  7. Similar criticisms could be raised against this blog. What business is it of a former home educator to interfere in what's happening now? Of course you may feel you have experience of relevance to others. Perhaps the English home educators, alert to mission-creep after their encounters with Badman, feel similarly with regard to their Welsh counterparts?

  8. You're behind the curve, I asked the question a couple of weeks ago as to whether it was good to have a load of English input or whether that would make matters worse. The Welsh home educators assisted us against Badman, we should be offering to support them in whatever way they want, whether it's by direct input to the process or by providing material to support their own input.

    It's almost the same script as before, too.

  9. 'Similar criticisms could be raised against this blog. What business is it of a former home educator to interfere in what's happening now? '

    Interfering how, I wonder? Unless this means that once our children reach sixteen, we must never again express any views or opinions on home education. Let's hope that people like Fiona Nicholson and Mike Fortune-Wood share your view on the matter!

    1. I think you've taken the comment the wrong way - they meant that your views are valuable, just as the English home educators, "alert to mission-creep after their encounters with Badman", also have valid views to offer in this situation.

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