Regular readers will know that I am something of a connoisseur of hypocrisy among home educators. Not that I believe there to be more hypocrisy among them than the general population, but rather that some of the more prominent among them tend to be very po-faced and sanctimonious and so the hypocrisy is all the more entertaining.
A few days ago on the television news, Robert Goddard of ATL, a teaching union, said this:
`All evidence suggests that whilst some young people that are home educated do get a broad and balanced curriculum, there's a lot of evidence that suggests that quite a few of them don't. We feel that registration and monitoring of that provision will help towards all young people getting those skills and knowledge that they need to excel in life’
Inevitably, some home educators promptly went mad and accused him of a ‘slur’ against home educating parents. What evidence did he have that quite a few home educated children were not getting a broad and balanced curriculum?
Well of course, anybody who took part in the Graham Badman enquiry and the associated fuss will know full well that an awful lot of home educators were and are bitterly opposed to giving their children a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’. They have a visceral dislike of any curriculum; especially one which is broad and balanced. The concept of broad and balanced curriculum was regularly denounced on home educating blogs, forums and lists as a coercive tool, one which right-thinking home educators should reject. Here are Alan Thomas and Harriet Patterson explaining why they don’t think it is necessary for home educated children. See section 5 of the following:
Last year, the Department for Education website said this about home education:
'parents do not have to follow the National Curriculum. However, parents should deliver a broad and balanced curriculum'
This caused such anger among many home educators that Fiona Nicholson got together with Ian Dowty to try and make them remove it. The very idea, that home educating parents should be delivering a broad and balanced curriculum! It was outrageous!
And so a few years down the line, after having fought vociferously for their right not to provide their children with a broad and balanced curriculum, somebody from one of the teaching unions notices this and remarks upon it. He is at once attacked. How dare he suggest that quite a few home educated children are not receiving a broad and balanced curriculum? Why, it is a thing beloved of home educators, all of whom do their very best to ensure that their children receive such a curriculum.
This is such a monumentally awful piece of barefaced hypocrisy, that it goes straight into the Simon Webb Hall of Hypocrisy Fame. Indeed, I think that it will be a strong contender for the Seth Pecksniff Memorial Prize for Arrant Hypocrisy. Seriously, has anybody ever heard a better example of the doublethink which goes on in the world of British home education?