Sunday, 7 October 2012
The task of Sisyphus
Readers with a smattering of erudition will no doubt catch the above allusion, which is to an ancient king condemned by the gods for his hubris. He was doomed to spend eternity rolling a heavy boulder up a hill each day; only to see it roll down again at nightfall, leaving him to attempt the task anew each morning. I know the feeling!
I set out a few weeks ago to explore the rationale behind the Welsh Assembly’s efforts to enforce compulsory registration and monitoring of home educated children. I hoped to do this by looking at a new aspect of the case each day and in this way gradually building up an understanding of what was going on. I need not have bothered. Even establishing the simplest and least controversial of facts proved too much and so I have abandoned the attempt. Perhaps this was the intention of some of those commenting here?
To give an example of what I mean, I took two things for granted recently; two things connected with home education which are absolutely and incontrovertibly true and about which there cannot be the slightest doubt. Even with these simple facts, I found myself bombarded with objections and argument. No wonder we never got past the initial stages of considering the proposed Welsh legislation!
Here are the two, very basic and obvious statements which caused such debate;
The five outcomes of the Every Child Matters agenda were incorporated into the 2004 Children Act and are now the law of England
There has for years been a concerted campaign by some home education organisations and academics against the concept of a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’
Now I was not inviting readers to decide whether a couple of propositions from Russell’s Principia Mathematica were veridical. I was presenting two pieces of information, both of which had a bearing on discussions about the new Welsh law, and using them as givens so that we could look more closely at what is going on in the minds of those both in Wales and England who are demanding further powers with regard to home education.
It was a hopeless endeavour and I shall according leave the topic of the Welsh legislation alone for the foreseeable future and concentrate more upon my own idiosyncratic views and opinions of things relating to home education in England. There is also, incidentally, the fact that I am currently writing three non-fiction books and a novel simultaneously and this is taxing even my powers, to the extent that I have less time to engage in debate with those commenting here. Since it is discourteous to ignore comments, it seems better to limit myself for a while to posts such as this, to which nobody could really take exception.