Sunday, 28 April 2013
I have been very anxious lately about the home education scene in Lancashire. I am sure that the local authority there are not supervising and inspecting home educators in a way that I would approve of and so I have been studying their policies carefully. There is a lot that I don’t like about them and I have now written a detailed letter to a parliamentary select committee, outlining my concerns and urging them to look into how Lancashire are organising their EHE department.
Well, actually of course; I have been doing nothing of the sort! After all, that would just be weird, wouldn’t it? I live hundreds of miles from Lancashire, I don’t home educate there; why on earth would I be fretting about how things are arranged in that county? It’s none of my business. I am pretty sure that if some readers of this blog discovered that I had been poking my nose into Lancashire’s EHE arrangements and trying to get them to run their affairs in a way that suited me, then it would be thought that I had way too much time on my hands and was turning into a frightful busybody. I am sure that we can agree on that. As for pestering a select committee about what I thought was wrong in Lancashire; that would just be absurd! I want readers to bear this in mind as I explain what has really been happening.
It has been suggested by those commenting on here, that I have an obsession with Alison Sauer; even, God save us, that I have some kind of crush on the woman! It is nothing of the sort, but rather that wherever I turn on the home education front; there is Alison Sauer, needlessly stirring up trouble. The latest example of my stumbling over her in an unexpected and unlooked for place, concerns the county in which I live, which is Essex.
I still have dealings with home educating parents in Essex, none of whom belong to any internet groups; largely because they have decided that such groups are full of troublesome maniacs. This is a view which I tend to share. I was looking for some support for one parent, when I chanced across this:
Have you ever seen the like? Here is a private citizen who lives hundreds of miles from my own county, writing to parliament to complain about what she sees as the shortcomings of my local authority when it comes to home education. Remember how we thought that this would be pretty mad if I were to be doing it about Lancashire? Recollect that we agreed that it would make me look like a terrible busybody with nothing better to do with his time? This is just precisely how I see the case here. The great irony is that home educating parents in Essex enjoy really good relations at the moment with the EHE department in Colchester. The LA officers there are friendly, helpful and offer all sorts of support if asked. I have never heard anybody complain about them. Alison says, with what justification I really do not know, ‘ Little wonder that many home educators choose not engage with the LA.’ I would be curious to know what grounds she has for thinking this.
I am sorry to mention Alison Sauer again on here, but even when I restrict my interest in home education to the county in which I actually live, two hundred miles from Alison Sauer; she pops up, causing mischief and spreading misleading information. Of course, I might be misjudging her. Perhaps she has some sort of genuine interest in home education in Essex and has heard of complaints about the staff who handle it in the county. If so, perhaps somebody could share this with us. Otherwise, I will be forced to think that this is no more than a random act of meddling and busybodying for its own sake!