Saturday, 6 October 2012

Home educated children and the 'broad and balanced curriculum'

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:



http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmchilsch/memo/elehomed/me1602.htm




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?

79 comments:

  1. That a few vocal self-elected Home Education representatives, say that they 'don't think a broad and balanced curriculum is a necessity' isn't proof that all home educators don't follow a curriculum that includes or crosses over all the 'main' subject areas. What else is his evidence based on?


    But for what it's worth, there is an argument to suggest that children excel better when they aren't forced to try and cover every subject to the same depth as in mainstream schooling and they are permitted to be 'lopsided'. Lets say a child has a particular affinity for music - she studies it predominately, not givng half as much focus to anything else. She becomes brilliant at it and is accepted into a prestigious music school at an early age. Contrast that with another child who has a similar affinity, but is told she must practise music less in order to cover subjects for which she has less skill so she can be 'balanced'. She becomes better at the other things and not half as good as she could have been at music. Worse she becomes mediocre.

    Many exceptional and gifted children are not wholly 'balanced' in terms of their education. Personally I think that's fine, I prefer the idea of exposure to other subjects within a curriculum not a slavish adherence to everything.





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  2. 'That a few vocal self-elected Home Education representatives, say that they 'don't think a broad and balanced curriculum is a necessity' isn't proof that all home educators don't follow a curriculum that includes or crosses over all the 'main' subject areas. What else is his evidence based on?'

    Robert Gddard did not say 'all', he said that 'quite a few' children did not follow a broad and balanced curriculum. This is perfectly true. It is more than just a few vocal home educating parents who hold the view that this sort of curriculum is not required. Here is one of them:

    http://sprout-and-squidge.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/broad-and-balanced-badge-of-school.html

    What was interesting was that a number of people who were objecting to Goddard's remark, I am thinking of David Hough and Mieke Tennant, for instance, have in the past denounced the idea of the broad and balanced curriculum being beneficial to home educated children. All Goddard was saying was that some home educated children recived such a curriculum and others did not.

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  3. Has anyone defined a 'broad and balanced curriculum?'

    Or is this, yet again, people coming to something with their own meaning? I wouldn't call the National Curriculum either broad or balanced.

    (For instance, human induced climate change and Richard 3 killing the Princes in the Tower have both been presented as facts in NC approved text books in this weeks study for one of my children. We've debated the 'facts' and that's been part of the educational process as far as I'm concerned, but the book approach was totally one sided, so there was no 'balance' there and it definitely wasn't broad because, as my son put it, it missed out all the good stuff. Which, to him, meant farting dinosaurs and stab-in-the-back politics in the Tudor court.)

    And I'm sure I can't be the only person who's amused that the same teachers who are unhappy about the narrowness of the National Curriculum and believe that teaching to the test sacrifcing creativity and innovative thought in favour of rote learning seem so unsettled by the idea that some parents may abandon tests and prioritise creativity and innovative thought.

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    1. Sorry, reading it back, it should be 'teaching to the test means sacrificing creativity...' Must try harder.

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  4. 'human induced climate change'

    I remember telling my daughter that she would at least have to pretend that she thought that all the polar bears were about to drown because of global warming, if only until she had actually taken the wretched examination! Certainly, if your childrne are sitting GCSEs if helps if you can persuade them to believe six impossible things before breakfast each morning.

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  5. ' the idea that some parents may abandon tests and prioritise creativity and innovative thought.'

    For goodness sake do not attempt this until your childrne have actually finshed their GCSEs and A levels!



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    1. It's too late to stop them now, Simon. That's why we are learning to play 'please the examiner with the answer he wants.'

      They both cheerfully compartmentalise it into sylly stuff (As in syllabus) and proper learning. This doesn't go down too well with teacher friends, but I always point out that things could be worse. I could always send the children to school and then they'd have to try to teach them.

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  6. '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.'

    Did Goddard say what evidence he was referring to? I didn't realise that there *was* any on this topic.

    I wonder if he was referring to some actual research or just his mate down the pub who knew someone once who home educated his kids and they were made to study worms all day. Or something.

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    1. The mate down the pub most certainly.
      Nothing at all wrong with studying worms all day either; I can think of several ways in which just by taking the study of worms one can cover almost every area of the NC in a creative way.

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  7. What has always bothered me about the issue of 'broad and balanced' and home ed is that if anyone had peeked into our HE on any particular day, they might not see B&B. They'd probably see 'intense and specialist'.

    I tried to get B&B over the course of a week, but sometimes not even then. Sometimes the Vikings or Shakespeare or robots or growing veg or dancing or writing poems or doing chemistry experiments just took over for weeks at a time!

    However, over the course of many years, I'd say a B&B education is exactly what they got.

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    1. Yes, for us the main reason against a specified requirement for B & B education would be the inevitable result of LA staff looking for evidence of this on a daily or at least weekly basis. Like you I think this is what our children received over the course of their education but I doubt that it would have appeared so at any particular point in time.

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    2. Yes, for us the main reason against a specified requirement for B & B education would be the inevitable result of LA staff looking for evidence of this on a daily or at least weekly basis. Like you I think this is what our children received over the course of their education but I doubt that it would have appeared so at any particular point in time.

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  8. 'Did Goddard say what evidence he was referring to? I didn't realise that there *was* any on this topic'

    I think that the evidence is that quite a few home educators say that they do not think that a broad and balanced curriculum is s good thing for their children and they therefore will not use one. If you want evidence, then I could post dozens of links to blogs and forums where many parents boast that they are not providing their children with a broad and balanced curriculum. Do you really not remember during the Badman days how much opposition there was to the idea?

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  9. Here is a typical piece from the time of the Badman enquiry, on the Sometimes it's Peaceful blog;

    http://sometimesitspeaceful.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/stress-testing-badman-report-looking_18.html

    The whole concept of a 'broad and balanced curriculum' was rejected by many home educators at that time and also since then. Curiously enough, one of the parents commenting on that post was Mieke Tennant, who was very quick off the mark to condemn Robert Goddard for suggesting that some home educated children are not receiving a broad and balanced curriculum.

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    1. I think this may all be a matter of perception. One person's Broad and Balanced is another person's Mile-Wide and Inch-Deep'.

      Most parents want their kids to know enough about most things so that they can discover what they're good at and do that well. At what point that happens is going to be different for each child.

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  10. 'Did Goddard say what evidence he was referring to?'

    Actually, can we think a little about what sort of evidence might be good here? If some home educating parents tell us that they are determined not to provide their children with a broad and balaqnced curriculum, should we not take their word for this? If we do, then there is no shortage at all of evidence that their children are not in receipt of a borad and balanced curricuum. This seems to me quite satisfactory evidence that what Robert Goddard said was true. He was not, after all, claiming that all home educated children were in this condition; he went out of his way to state that some children being educated at home were actually receiving a broad and balanced curriculum.

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    1. Disregarding the pros and cons of such a requirement, you are talking about a handful of writers. How can anyone reach logical conclusions about a group of potentially 50000 based on the writings of a few?

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    2. 'Actually, can we think a little about what sort of evidence might be good here?'

      Yes, I am genuinely interested in that.

      Do you really think Goddard had been reading blogs? Or do you think he had heard, essentially gossip, from teachers who had seen the re-entry of pupils into mainstream education. I strongly suspect that it is the latter rather than the former. If this is the case, it could *well* be that 'a few' of those had not been having a B&B HE. We don't know though, because we don't know what evidence he was referring to.

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  11. But I wonder if it's the concept of a broad and balanced CURRICULUM, with the implication being the National Curriculm, that these parents have an objection to. I daresay they are not against an education that covers to some degree the Sciences, Arts, Maths, History, Music, I.T and P.E. I would have thought that with all the media available today, it were pretty much impossible to shun all these areas entirely. Perhaps the word curriculum conveys a prescribed planned timetable for some who prefer to cover each area as their childs curiosity dictates. If that were the case I'm not suprised they would boycott such a notion.

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  12. 'I think that the evidence is that quite a few home educators say that they do not think that a broad and balanced curriculum is s good thing for their children and they therefore will not use one.'

    Okay, so that's anecdotal evidence on what parents say, rather than what actaully occurs over HE long-term. I suspect they could point to different conclusions.

    However, if you want to stick to what parents say on blogs, then I think it's important to distinguish between two things: 'curriculum' and B&B education.

    Are parents saying that they don't want to buy a pre-packaged bought curriculum? Are they saying that they don't write a curriculum for their own children, but let things develop, whilst having an overview of the what their children are learning over the long-term and tweaking where necessary? Ie, are we talking about the idea of 'curriculum' being anathema? (Probably) Or are we talking about the concept of B&B over a the lifetime of HE (say, up to age 16 or 18)being the problem? (Probably not)

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  13. All this just points to the fact that if you're going open your mouth and assert something as fact, you'd be wise to base what you say on some actual, real statistical evidence, and not just speak (attempt to slur) on the basis of say-so or hearsay -from the pub or otherwise.

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  14. Simon, you're missing the point. What is irritating is his assumption that a broad and balanced curriculum is required and that home educated children are losing out because they're not getting one. Schools have to teach that way because they're trying to make sure all the children get something out of it, whereas for a home educated child, a tailored education is superior and there's no need to attempt to push progress on all subjects at the same time in the same way that a school does.

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  15. ' How can anyone reach logical conclusions about a group of potentially 50000 based on the writings of a few?'

    A good point. It is not just a handful of bloggers. Influential people in British home education such as Alan Thomas, Harriet Patterson, Ian Dowty, Mike Fortune-Wood and Fiona Nicholson, to name but a few, have made it clear that there is an ideological objection to the use of a broad and balanced curriculum. Robert Goddard did not say that all or even most home educated children were not receiving such a curriculum, only that 'quite a few' were not. Going by what many parents and others have said, I should say that this is certainly true.


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    1. You are still only talking about a handful of writers and I suspect you are overestimating their influence. I've spoken to many home educators locally who either don't know these names or have only a hazy idea of who they are and the views they put forward.

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  16. 'Do you really think Goddard had been reading blogs? Or do you think he had heard, essentially gossip, from teachers who had seen the re-entry of pupils into mainstream education. I strongly suspect that it is the latter rather than the former.'

    Hand on heart Old Mum, do you really not remember all teh fuss about the idea of a #broad and balanced curriculum' in 2009? I imagine that Robert Goddard simply read what was being said at that time and since on the subject.

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  17. 'All this just points to the fact that if you're going open your mouth and assert something as fact, you'd be wise to base what you say on some actual, real statistical evidence, and not just speak (attempt to slur) on the basis of say-so or hearsay -from the pub or otherwise.'

    Dear me, what an awful way to refer to the likes of Alan Thomas and Mike Fortune-Wood; both of whom are vehemently opposed to the idea of the 'broad and balanced curriculum'!

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    1. Have you sked Mr Goddard and he told you that he'd read Alan Thomas and Mike Fortune-Wood's remarks from 3 years ago?

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    2. Ha ha ha, very good. You got me there!

      However you know it was Goddard who I referred to!

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  18. Yes, I do remember it. I remember the discussions being about the things I've mentioned in my comments here. Don't you?

    I seriously doubt that a teacher's union leader was reading (and remembering) what a few HE parents wrote at the time.

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  19. 'Simon, you're missing the point. What is irritating is his assumption that a broad and balanced curriculum is required and that home educated children are losing out because they're not getting one.'

    This isn't at all what Robert Goddard said. He specifically stated that some home edcuated children were getting a broad and balanced curriculum and that others were not. Since many parents have declared publicly that they do not want to provide such a curriculum for their children, I am sure that he is right. Unless you think that the home educating parents who said this were secretly hoping to deliver a broad and balanced curriciulum and were for some reason only pretending to disapprove of it?

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  20. 'Are parents saying that they don't want to buy a pre-packaged bought curriculum? Are they saying that they don't write a curriculum for their own children, but let things develop, whilst having an overview of the what their children are learning over the long-term and tweaking where necessary? Ie, are we talking about the idea of 'curriculum' being anathema? (Probably) Or are we talking about the concept of B&B over a the lifetime of HE (say, up to age 16 or 18)being the problem? (Probably not)'

    Impossible to establish. We can only go by what parents tell us. Many say that they will not allow their children to receive a broad and balanced curriculum and Robert Goddard remarks that he believes this to be the case. I cannot see why anybody would be puzzled or confused by any of this.

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    1. Can't you? Read Goddard's own statements.

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    2. I wonder if we're making the mistake of assuming that those who shout loudest are representative of the group?

      I'm afraid I'm back to being a statistics geek again, but that isn't a very good sampling technique. Going on the lowest possible figure of 20000 home edders, only a small proportion of those post on HE forums, so we don't know what they do.

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  21. Well now! My suspcions were correct. Goddard was NOT claiming there was any actual evidence, except anecdotal, and it wasn't from HE parent's blogs. It was from teachers' gossip. In his own words, on the ATL Facebook page:

    'A number of our members have commented over the years on the difficulties and challenges that home educated children face when they are placed back into a school setting or find themselves at college.'

    Okay then. Whole new discussion necessary now.

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    1. Apparently, one of the poor mites he'd heard about didn't know how to switch on a television. {gasp!}

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    2. So it was the online equivalent of the pub then!

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    3. It's worse than that, Old Mum. Some home educated children don't even have a television in their homes let alone in their rooms. I was going to say 'quick, ring the NSPCC' but then I began to worry that someone might take me seriously.

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  22. Simon, I'm very disappointed in you. You knew all along that Goddard's 'evidence' didn't exist as you had been following and commenting on the facebook thread.

    I should have known...

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  23. Yes but he is being very disingenuous, Simon and I see no reason why a home educator of your calibre would attempt to pretend that he isn't.

    He covertly implies two things. An education that does not include and cross a variety of different subjects areas is not being provided to home educated children.

    These children are receiving an education that is inferior to a planned curriculum (and no he doesn't mention the NC but what do you assume most non-home educating people will think of when they read the word curriculum?)

    Finally these children are being left educationally deprived in some way.

    Whereas in fact, as has been mentioned, most home educators provide a very broad EDUCATION to their children. It may not include a planned scope-and-sequence curriculum, but then the most popular example in existance at the moment hasn't necessarily been proved fit for purpose either judging by the complaints of university teachers and so forth!

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    1. that includes and crosses...

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  24. Of course I have been commenting on the facebook page, Old Mum. That you beleive that Goddard has no evidence for his belief that quite a few home edcuated children are not receiving a broad and balanced education is truly extraordinary. Back in 2010, the Green Party said that they thought that home edcauted children should have what they called, 'a broad and diverse education'. They were pounced upon and denounced by many well-known home educators.

    Mike Fortune-Wood, whose reputation for calm, clear thought has never been extensive, spotted their true intentions. He said that this 'broad and diverse education' is none other than the 'broad and balanced education' which the DCSF and local authorities have been trying to push home educators into adopting for years.

    The concern was apparently that by pushing this notion of a 'broad and balanced' or 'broad and diverse' education, some people are intending to encourage home educating families to provide an education for their children which includes history, music, science, mathematics and so on. To most ordinary families this would seem quite unexceptionable and eminently reasonable. For most parents, a knowledge of science and mathematics is seen as a good and desirable thing per se. The more extreme types of autonomous home educator are evidently opposed to the idea not on pragmatic grounds; that it would be bad for their children. Rather, their opposition is rooted in ideology. The idea of having various subjects which it is intended that the child will study is unpalatable to such people because it does not accord with their fixed belief that children should be free to choose for themselves what they learn about and when they learn it. Deciding beforehand that history or science will be studied would remove that choice from the child.

    I honestly wonder where you have been for the last few years, if you really are not aware of the deep-rooted opposition to broad and balanced curricula which exists among some home educating parents.

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    1. 'I honestly wonder where you have been for the last few years, if you really are not aware of the deep-rooted opposition to broad and balanced curricula which exists among some home educating parents.'

      I've been mixing with hundreds of home educators who were busy delivering broad and balanced educations. Hence my confusion.

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  25. Another fairly typical objection to having a broad and balanced curriclum comes from the partner of Allie, who comments here:

    'the curriculum has to be broad and balanced, which will completely undermine AE, where you can be as narrow and specific as you like,'

    This was in reference to recommendation 2 of the Badman Report. I could quote hundreds of other similar views. The thrust of them all was that the idea of a broad and balanced curriculum was bad. I begin to wonder if I am the only person who remembers all this!

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    1. We HE'd in a fairly structured way, even using a curriculum for most of the time, but even we had weeks on end when our education was narrow and specific. I don't believe that you don't get that, Simon.

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  26. I'm sorry I'm as structured as they come, but I refuse to believe that even the most autonomous home educator would disagree that knowledge of maths and science is an undesirable thing, and I've met some extreme types.

    What they may believe is that little Johnny is transfixed with chemistry AT THE MOMENT so we're putting english etc on hold for a while(although even there it's hard to see how you could study any aspect of science without eventually doing some maths, english, and even historical science etc)

    There is a difference between the idea of a planned CURRICULUM and an education that focuses on different subject areas exclusively at different times!

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  27. *I refuse to believe that even the most autonomous home educator would disagree that knowledge of maths and science is a DESIRABLE thing*

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  28. Back in 2007, Education Otherwise were worried about possible changes in the law. One of their main anxieties was that home educating parents might be expected to deliver a 'broad and balanced curriculum to their children. Horrors! They organised a campaign aimed against this idea, which was regarded as being harmful to home education:

    'The Government is planning changes to the monitoring of home education. Proposed changes include: that HEors produce a mission statement and clear plan which we stick to, targets, a broad and balanced curriculum, more surveillance and monitoring from the LA to make sure we are "doing it properly".

    Education Otherwise has organised 3 more Regional Campaign Workshops which are free to all home educating families.'

    There has always been a lot of opposition in British home education to the idea of a broad and balanced curriculum. Anybody else remember EO campaigning against this? Once again, I seem to be the only one who knew anything about it!

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  29. I think you are bloody-mindedly missing the point on this occasion Simon.

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  30. An externally imposed broad and balanced curriculum would be a problem because local authorities would expect to see a broad and balanced provision every time they visit. As has been repeated many times here, a broad and balanced education can be provided over 11 years without any individual year's provision looking particularly broad and balanced. Of course such an imposition would be harmful to home education - it would remove much of the flexibility that allows us to comply with the law requiring us to provide an education suitable to our child's age, abilities, aptitudes and SEN.

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  31. 'There has always been a lot of opposition in British home education to the idea of a broad and balanced curriculum. Anybody else remember EO campaigning against this? Once again, I seem to be the only one who knew anything about it! '

    As I've said further up, YES I DO REMEMBER! However, the discussions revolved around things like, would the proposals curtail our freedom to become immersed in a topic for weeks on end, what the Dept meant by B&B (did they mean the NC?), whow it would be interpreted on the ground by LA employees etc.

    I can't figure out if you are deliberately misrepresenting those discussions or are just not good at seeing the whole picture.

    I normally enjoy your posts and the discussions here. But I do feel misled today. You claimed that Goddard had based his remarks on remembering parents' blog posts from the Badman Era, when you knew full well they were based on teacher gossip, because you had ALREADY read his words admitting that on the FB page.

    If you want people to believe what you write and take it in good faith, then you need to stick to the facts. You don't need to lie or to obfuscate or to twist or to spin. Facts, with a little discussion and occasional opinion, speak for themselves. If you need to mislead people, it becomes clear that your argument is not a strong one.

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  32. Still back in 2007, Education Otherwise gave people advice on what to say when sending of responses to the consultation on the EHE Guidelines that were being prepared. They suggested that home educating aprents should say:

    The point about home education is that the education has to be suitable to the home educated child's age ability and aptitude. It is personalised learning. and school standards do not apply. Nor is there any obligation for the home educated child or young person to follow a broad and balanced curriculum since this legal requirement .only applies to registered pupils in the maintained sector


    More opposition to the idea of a 'broad and balanced curriculum'. I shall stop at this point, because I think that i have made my point, which is this. There has for years been huge opposition among many home educating parents in this country to delivering a broad and balanced curriculum to their children. This opposition has been spearheaded by Education Otherwise and many of the ideologues of British home education; people like Alan Thomas. It is a major trend in home education in this country and I am not at all surprised or sorry that Robert Goddard drew attention to it.

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  33. ' You claimed that Goddard had based his remarks on remembering parents' blog posts from the Badman Era, when you knew full well they were based on teacher gossip, because you had ALREADY read his words admitting that on the FB page.

    If you want people to believe what you write and take it in good faith, then you need to stick to the facts. You don't need to lie or to obfuscate or to twist or to spin. Facts, with a little discussion and occasional opinion, speak for themselves. If you need to mislead people, it becomes clear that your argument is not a strong one.'

    Little point continuing with this. Of course Robert Goddard has heard about home educated children who started school and were not as prepared as some. I said nothing about his having learned about anything from blogs, merely that during the Badman enquiry he probably read about home education. I am waiting for a reply to an email which I sent him about this.

    You may feel that it is a lie to suggest that there has for years been strong opposition to a 'broad and balanced curriculum' among British home educators. You may also think that it is a lie that quite a few home educated children in this country are not in receipt of such a curriculum. I am prepared to take parents' words for the fact that they do not wish to furnish their children with a broad and balanced curriculum and I think that Robert Goddard was correct to say that while some children are getting this, others are not. You, Old Mum, must believe what you wish about this.

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    1. 'Of course Robert Goddard has heard about home educated children who started school and were not as prepared as some.'

      I know some who have spent all their time in the school system and are still 'not prepared' for it.

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  34. They didn't oppose a broad and balanced education. They opposed a broad and balanced curriculum.

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    1. And they oppose the legal requirement to provide such an education. It's entirely possible to oppose such an imposition whilst fully expecting that your child will, overall, receive a broad and balanced education as defined by the parent. This is very likely to differ from the broad and balanced education provided in schools in order to make it suitable for their child as required in law. It's the right of local authorities to define what broad and balanced means instead or parents that is primarily opposed.

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  35. 'And they oppose the legal requirement to provide such an education. It's entirely possible to oppose such an imposition whilst fully expecting that your child will, overall, receive a broad and balanced education as defined by the parent. This is very likely to differ from the broad and balanced education provided in schools in order to make it suitable for their child as required in law. It's the right of local authorities to define what broad and balanced means instead or parents that is primarily opposed.

    '

    True, but irrelevant. Robert Goddard made reference only to a broad and balanced curriculum and all the campaigning by home educating organisations has focused upon this. That many home edcuated children are receiving broad and balanced educations is idisputable and I have never heard anybody from local authorities or anywhere else claim that this is not so.

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    1. It is relevant because you are equating people arguing against making a B&B education a legal requirement with a failure to provide a B&B education or an expectation on their part not to provide such an education. This is not necessarily the case.

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  36. 'It is relevant because you are equating people arguing against making a B&B education a legal requirement with a failure to provide a B&B education or an expectation on their part not to provide such an education. This is not necessarily the case.'

    I have said absolutely nothing at all about a broad and balanced education which, for all I know to the contrary, may be enjoyed by every home educated child in the kingdom. I have been discussing broad and balanced curricula, to which many are opposed on ideological grounds.

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    1. You claimed that EO argued against a broad and balanced curricula per se. It could equally be read as an argument against the external imposition of a broad and balanced curricula. Not the same thing at all.

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    2. "I have said absolutely nothing at all about a broad and balanced education"

      Robert Goddard is.

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  37. "I have said absolutely nothing at all about a broad and balanced education"

    Robert Goddard is.'

    No, he isn't. He talked about the curriculum and then when somebody said that he was hinting that home educated children were not being educated properly, he said:

    'If you listen to my comments carefully I made no claim about the quality of education such children receive'

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    1. You ended you quote conveniently early. A fuller quote is:

      "If you listen to my comments carefully I made no claim about the quality of education such children receive - you are putting words into my mouth if you say that these children are taught badly. I did outline our concern about them not receiving a `broad and balanced education'."

      Delete
  38. I couldn't really take Mr Goddard hugely seriously once he'd felt the need to explain that teachers have to "master and put into practice complex pedagogy." I find the fashion for the use of the word pedagogy at every opportunity in the world of education almost as annoying as you find "ultra vires", Simon.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I couldn't really take Mr Goddard hugely seriously once he'd felt the need to explain that teachers have to "master and put into practice complex pedagogy." I find the fashion for the use of the word pedagogy at every opportunity in the world of education almost as annoying as you find "ultra vires", Simon.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I couldn't really take Mr Goddard hugely seriously once he'd felt the need to explain that teachers have to "master and put into practice complex pedagogy." I find the fashion for the use of the word pedagogy at every opportunity in the world of education almost as annoying as you find "ultra vires", Simon.

    ReplyDelete
  41. ' "master and put into practice complex pedagogy." '

    I didn't say I liked the guy, Allie! In fact I too found the sound of him very annoying, pretending that only teachers were able to provide a proper education. This was a tradesman trying to avoid being done out a job by warning the lay person that it would be a disaster for an amateur to tackle this complex task.

    There is however a difference between finding somebody snotty and irritating and believing that what he is saying is wrong. I don't think I'd care to spend an evening with Mr Goddard, but I couldn't really argue with what he initially said.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Simon said,
    "I don't think I'd care to spend an evening with Mr Goddard, but I couldn't really argue with what he initially said."

    Yet you seemed to have had such trouble understanding what he said, or did you just have difficulties reporting his claims accurately?

    ReplyDelete
  43. Were you a member of the ATL when you were a primary school teacher, Simon? Or were you too conservative for unions?

    ReplyDelete
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