Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Home education and traffic lights

Commenting here a couple of weeks ago, somebody expressed the view that it would be a fine thing if   I were to leave the planet and never again be heard from. The implication seemed to be that I am the only  fly in the ointment and that if it were not for me and my unwelcome opinions, then everything would be united and happy in the world of British home education. Alas, it appears now that I am not the only schismatic in Homeeducationville. An exceedingly well know home educator has recently divided home educating parents into the following categories:




"Pleasantly mad but thinking and competent;


 The Real Loonies aka two short planks;



The God squad (very strict religious and we barely ever talk to them or hear of them);



Fluffy (very autonomous but a little vague);



Yes sir no sir (UK homeschoolers their ilk who do everything they are told by the LA and live in a bubble);




The government listen to this woman on the subject of home education, so perhaps we should do so as well.  There is a little more about this here:



http://sometimesitspeaceful.blogspot.co.uk/






I am interested also in what I have heard lately about the idea that local authorities should operate a ‘traffic light’ system. This means that they should ignore the right sort of home educator, that is to say those from well educated, articulate and middle class backgrounds, and focus all their attentions upon those awful parents living on council estates. This sounds a grand idea and I can well see why another well known and high profile home educator has suggested such a scheme to her local authority. The day before yesterday Barbara Stark, a familiar name to many readers, wrote to Nottingham County Council about this idea, asking,



Dear XXXXX

Regarding the policy for Education (EHE) department dealings with
families where children are being educated at home by their
parents:

1. Do professionals working with home educating families within NCC
use the traffic light system of Red, Amber, Green

a) in relation to safeguarding and promoting welfare

b) in relation to the standard/suitability of educational
provisions?

Yours faithfully,

Mrs B Stark



I have an idea that we are going to be hearing more about this ‘traffic light’ scheme in the future.





41 comments:

  1. Simon you have a terrible habit of jumping to conclusions and they are often wrong. I do believe you owe Mrs Stark an apology. The so-called traffic light scheme had been discussed with Notts LA during their discussions with a local home educator known affectionately (to herself) as the Bulldog. Mrs Stark's FOIA request was an attempt to clarify if that suggestion had been implemented

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  2. 'I do believe you owe Mrs Stark an apology. The so-called traffic light scheme had been discussed with Notts LA during their discussions with a local home educator known affectionately (to herself) as the Bulldog. Mrs Stark's FOIA request was an attempt to clarify if that suggestion had been implemented'

    I have jumped to no conclusion. I was not suggesting that it was Mrs Stark who advised her local authority that the 'traffic lights' plan was a good one and this was not what I said. I was giving her letter to Nottingham as an example of the way that the idea was being discussed and an indication that we might be hearing more of it in the future. I have heard mention of this in half a dozen contexts in the last couple of weeks. I know who told her local authority that people like her should be left alone and it certainly was not Barbara Stark.

    I specifically said in the post that somebody had advocated the scheme to her local authority. The letter which I gave from Barbara Stark is not recommending the idea at all.

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  3. The traffic light scheme is in current use in many hospitals, in Police stations, in disaster management and in Local authorities. They call it different names of course such as 'triage'

    Nothing sinister in that.

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  4. Why on earth aren't you naming the person that said this? If they are speaking to government on behalf of me and my family, don't I have a right to know who they are? Why are you keeping it a secret?

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  5. Someone is being rude about home educators, making up silly categories in order to dismiss them. This is news?

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  6. "The traffic light scheme is in current use in many hospitals, in Police stations, in disaster management and in Local authorities. They call it different names of course such as 'triage'..."

    If HErs were by definition only sick (needing hospitals), criminals (needing the Police), disastrous (requiring disaster management) or contracting the LA to provide a service, then there'd be nothing sinister. Triage is to indicate what first aid to apply. Quite hilarious to use this on happily educating families! If you find yourself in the position of agreeing with such procedures you really should question your motives.

    As we are 'none of the above' on a daily basis, we don't require LA First Aid or Triage. Instead, we should be giving LA provision a few lights of our own! Thanks for your concern.

    Additionally, categorisation of HErs is quite dull and boring... unless... you actually provide a 'professional' service to LAs, instantly nullifying your professionalism. Quite simple really :)

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  7. Simon, you've omitted The Paranoid Pack category!

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  8. 'Why on earth aren't you naming the person that said this? If they are speaking to government on behalf of me and my family, don't I have a right to know who they are? Why are you keeping it a secret?'


    It is of course Alison Sauer. I have been accused in the past of running a vendetta against her, which is why I did not name her. However, since this could be serious for other parents, I am doing so now. her profile may be found below. The one thing which she does not mention in it is that she is herself a home edcutor. She leaves this out because it might put off her customers; that is to say the local authorities for whom she works.


    http://www.sc-education.co.uk/about/

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  9. 'Someone is being rude about home educators, making up silly categories in order to dismiss them. This is news?'

    It is news because the person making up what you describe as 'silly categories' has trained a substantial proportion of local authorities in this country about how to deal with home educators! She also gave evidence on the subject to the select committee last year. You would not guess it, but she is herself a home educator. One can imagine what she tells the local authority officers whom she trains.

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    1. Oh no, no more alison sauer?

      Delete
    2. You put 'silly categories' in quotes. Is that because you prefer the term 'major strand'?

      She forgot the other 'major strand': Organic Gardeners!
      You know what a scary lot they are!

      Delete
  10. "An exceedingly well know home educator has recently divided home educating parents into the following categories:..."

    This list looks like society as a whole but without some of the really nasty and dangerous bits.

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  11. 'Simon, you've omitted The Paranoid Pack category!'

    True and the reason was that the temptation to list the names of those she dismisses into this category is almost overwhelming! I thought it safer to say nothing at all on the subject.

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    Replies
    1. You are playing it safe???

      Delete
  12. Simon, you have nothing to fear. I am not a lawyer. But I know someone who might know one and there might be certificates allegedly.

    paranoid and proud

    Bws Raquel (N.B. the spelling Alison)

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  13. That reminds me, didn't someone tell the minister in wales about paranoid home educators, feral home educated children and messy houses? Red traffic light cases presumably? Never mind , I'm sure it was helpful in it's own way.

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  14. And I never do this, never never post here, but Simon, you are spot on about Alison, what on earth does she say to those high ranking government people and all those lovely LA workers?

    Maire Stafford, good job I never say never, Paranoid and Proud too, just a bit affronted not to have been named.

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  15. Blimey, I think we have stepped in to another dimension!

    Simon, just one other thing, you seem to be implying that the traffic light scheme is being propsed by Alison Sauer? Or do you mean someone else? I presume it would be someone who lives in the Nottingham area?

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  16. 'And I never do this, never never post here'

    Ah Maire, this is a delicious spectacle indeed! You found yourself caught between two people, both of whom you cordially dislike. I imagine you sitting transfixed at your keyboard, like some latter day Buridan's ass. On the one hand, you heartily loathe me and are determined not to be seen commenting on my blog; but then again, you cannot stand Alison Sauer and are reluctant to pass up a chance of denouncing her publicly.

    The fact that you finally chose to comment here and give us your opinion of Alison, can only mean that there is at least one person in the world whom you dislike more than me! This is a heartening thought.

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    Replies
    1. It just kind of gives you that warm fuzzy feeling that you are disliked less than someone else. Aww how sweet and endearing for you :-)

      Delete
  17. Lol Simon, I am interested in the truth not other people's pettyness. I dislike the way you treat people I know do not deserve it and I think you make yourself very much less than you could be in doing it.

    When I can see you are talking sense though I do not allow the messenger to divert me from the truth.

    I do not dislike Alison, I dislike her methods and her ambitions and her desire to understand us all through her own limited view, it is much the same with you.

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  18. 'I am interested in the truth not other people's pettyness.'

    This is indeed finding Saul among the prophets! Surely this cannot be the same person who conspired with Mike Fortune-Wood to have me arrested last year? It is good to hear that you are a reformed character.

    Incidentally, now I come to think of it, there were some here who thought that I dreamed up that whole, improbable episode. You would not, I suppose, care to set the record straight and clear my name on that score? By which, I mean could you tell all my readers that you did indeed do your damndest to have me locked up? I am not of course a man to hold a grudge, but I must confess that I was more than a little hurt when some of those commenting here at the time hinted that the entire story was a pack of fairy tales that I had invented.

    Or, of course, you could on the other hand denounce me as a liar and tell everybody that you were not involved in the affair at all?

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  19. Lol Simon, as you said there are far more important crimes, you overestimate my influence and your importance. Would love you to stop the emotional abuse and cruelty that you indulge in though.

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  20. 'you overestimate my influence and your importance. '

    You seem to be a little vague as to whether you did or did not conspire with Mike Fortune-Wood to have me arrested. Would it refresh your memory if I quoted from one of your emails?


    'He has attacked yet another home educator and the police said that if there was evidence that this was something that he did regularly they would have a better case.

    Maire'

    I have other emails that you sent, if that would be helpful. Why not just tell readers if you did actually send that email and if the aim was to close this blog down and have me arrested.

    'Would love you to stop the emotional abuse and cruelty that you indulge in though.'

    Could you give us a few examples of this? I know that you have made the claim before and now is a perfect platform for you to point out what I am supposed to have done. Before you do so though, perhaps you could just clear up the point about trying to have me arrested. I am not a vindictive man, but I would like readers to know that I did not make the whole surreal story up. Alernatively, as I said earlier, you could simply say that I am a liar and that there is no truth in it.




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  21. "Surely this cannot be the same person who conspired with Mike Fortune-Wood to have me arrested last year?"

    I've no idea what this is about (and frankly, don't really care), but, if it's true, it sounds like a naive attempt to perform an act of public service. Locking you in a padded cell with Alison Sour (not to mention a number of other characters) would be an act worthy of a Nobel peace prize.

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  22. I am completely out of the UK home ed world now, but very occasionally dip into various places to get a glimpse of what is happening. I happened to dip in here today.

    I can give an example of your making stories up and acting in abusive ways, Simon. Back when Alison was working in some former secret group, redrafting guidelines it seems, you announced here that I was a part of it. I had absolutely nothing to do with it and had announced that on a list, but you spread the story as if you somehow had 'inside' information. Then you wrote completely irrelevant personal and hurtful detail of my private life. And when I rebutted you here, pointing out you were wrong, you insisted "I" must not actually be me, but an imposter!!

    It's a shame you get some weird pleasure from meddling and provoking.

    Actually the way you've been in these comments sort of proves the point about the sort of blows you indulge in.

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  23. 'I can give an example of your making stories up and acting in abusive ways, Simon. Back when Alison was working in some former secret group, redrafting guidelines it seems, you announced here that I was a part of it'

    Simply extraordinary perspective! I made a mistake; this was hardly abusive. Do you seriously imagine for a moment that when rumours were floating around that I was a colleague of Graham Badman's, I felt that I was the victim of abuse? Such nonsense; people do get things wrong from time to time. You need to learn to distinguish between things which are irritating and things which are abusive.

    'Then you wrote completely irrelevant personal and hurtful detail of my private life. '

    I am not sure how 'personal' these details could have been. You were posting about them in various places, including one site with thousands of members. Generally speaking, when you announce a fact to a couple of thousand people, it ceases to be personal.

    I was told something incorrect about you, assuming that you are the American lawyer. Making a mistake of this sort does happen from time to time. It can be annoying when it happens. It hardly constitutes the 'emotional abuse and cruelty' of which Maire Stafford accused me. Why not let her explain for herself what she means by this?

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  24. "I am not sure how 'personal' these details could have been. You were posting about them in various places, including one site with thousands of members. Generally speaking, when you announce a fact to a couple of thousand people, it ceases to be personal."

    Interesting; without going into the personal details themselves, can you explain why - however public they were at the time - these details were relevant to home education?

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  25. Simon why can you not just say to Betsy, "I made a mistake and I am sorry for any distress my comments caused you." Why is that so hard for you?

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  26. We are detracting from the real issue.
    I am concerned that Alison Sauer, for whatever reasons, compiled a list of catergories and names and posted it on her HE Angels Facebook page, that a woman who affectionately refers to herself as a bulldog was involved in a meeting where a triage system of monitoring was discussed, but failed to clarify or question the traffic light system referred to and that certain individuals giving advice and representing our interests without disclosing interests or evidencing qualifications.

    My greatest concern is that, aside from a few individuals, the majority of the Home Education community are burying their heads in the sand, whilst AS, WCW, CM etc. bully, intimidate, ridicule and ignore reasonable questions and requests for information.

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    Replies
    1. I wish there were a like button for this comment!

      Delete
    2. "I wish there were a like button for this comment!"

      +1

      Delete
  27. Are these +s from people who want a like button or are they +ing the comment at 7 February 2013 03:45?

    If it's the latter, we should have reached +5 by now. If it's the former - as you were...

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    1. Speaking for myself, I was +ing the comment at 7 February 2013 03:45.

      Delete
  28. Lol https://homeedlampoon.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/operation-bulldozer/

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  29. I'd like to speak to these LA's that Ms. Sauer is allegedly training. Part of me wonders if she's just blowing wind up her own arse and boosting her notoriety in the process.

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    1. I heard on the grapevine that Sue Pamp could enlighten you about this as she was involved with Ms Sauer's last training session.

      The last training I have heard of was in Manchester last month and that had nothing to do with Ms Sauer, it was Mrs Pamp on her own.

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  30. Sue gave a power point presentation to a group of home educators in Mancester last month. It was regarding changes in under sixteen funding and has been discussed openly on a Facebook group.

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