Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Home educating parents still determined to mimic the behaviour of abusers

Before I took a break from this blog, I was looking at the way in which home educating parents will insist on behaving in similar ways to abusers. This not unnaturally  tends to make them the object of unfavourable attention. Needless to say, my posts on this subject caused a good deal of irritation! I have today been looking at the various internet lists for home educators and find, with no particular surprise, that this sort of thing is still going on. Let's look at an example.

 A mother posts that her four year-old daughter attends a pre-school setting for two days a week. The coordinator there needs to carry out an EYFS assessment on the children. This can be a requirement for funding purposes.  The mother will not be sending her daughter to school and is, for reasons that are wholly beyond me, anxious to remain unknown to her local authority. She wants to know what she should do about this assessment. Twenty six minutes after she posted her enquiry, some helpful person came up with various suggestions. It is worth quoting this person. Among other things, she said:

'if you feel pressure to give personal info you can lie'

'just give a false name and address'

'You could also tell the preschool that you are moving out of the area'

Let's just stop and think about this for a moment. Somebody in an educational setting is making enquiries about your child and your immediate response is to try and conceal the child's true address. You then go on to pretend that you are moving out of the area. This is classic behaviour of abusive parents hoping to deflect attention from their victim. It is one of those tricks, like visiting the A&E of a hospital a long way from your home, that people who are neglecting or mistreating their kids often resort to. 

The obvious question which springs to mind is why? Why would anybody in her senses deliberately set out in this way to mimic the conduct of an abusive parent?  This is by no means an exceptional case; one often hears of home educating parents carrying on in ways which set alarm bells ringing for teachers and social workers. I would be curious to know if readers can shed any light upon this bizarre trend. It is almost as though these people are determined to attract the attention of social services by their foolish actions.


  1. Yes, I find this business of why people deliberately lie fascinating. Why, for instance, assuming we've read the same post, would the LA in which this lady lives tell a childminder that you had to apply for permission to home educate?

    So while I'd never recommend lying and am devoutly relieved to live across the road from our local hospital which I've had to use a few times for my son, I can see why people mightn't want to be involved with a LA that starts a relationship with parents in such a dubious way.


  2. i'm not concerned with the ethics of lying; either by parents or local authorities. I am simply observing that if you go out of your way to imitate the typical conduct of an abusive parent, you can hardly complain if others mistake you for the real thing!