I wrote a couple of days ago of the way in which a small group of militants try to give the impression that they are speaking on behalf of the majority of home educating parents and promote the idea that most of these parents are fiercely opposed to the registration of home educated children or any monitoring of them. Only yesterday, a fine example of this racket turned up in a provincial newspaper. Here is a piece from the Bradford Telegraph & Argus; which only appeared online yesterday;
Within hours, two of the people whom I had mentioned in my recent post here had commented on this article. They may be seen in the comments as 770177wendy and llondel. They are of course Wendy Charles-Warner and Dave Hough and they are the owners of the Facebook group Home Education and Your Local Authority: Help Dealing with Officaldom. A number of points spring immediately to mind. The first is that one of these people lives in North Wales and the other in California. Why on earth are they commenting about home education in Yorkshire? We also observe that neither of these people are even home educating their children in the United Kingdom; this being so, it is hard to see in what way they might be representing the interests of home educating parents in this country. There is also the fact that both have a variety of identities under which they comment. Why should Dave Hough be so averse to using his own name? Wendy Charles-Warner also posts under various identities. This is done so that the same names do not appear to be cropping up again and again. A final point is the sheer dishonesty of the things which are said in the comments there! Here is Dave Hough yesterday;
parents who have the option of remaining unknown to their local authority invariably choose to remain so and not make contact.
In the first place; how could he possibly know this? Secondly, let us remind ourselves of the advice which he dished out on the 'Officialdom' group, a little while ago, to a home educating parent who was moving house;
post a letter with a second-class stamp on your last day there
informing them that as of that date you're no longer in their area but
that you will still be home educating. Don't give them your new address
or area, and make sure the new occupants of the house and any neighbours
also know not to tell them where you've gone if they know.
One of the reasons that home educating parents do not have contact with their local authorties is because they are denounced and ostracised for doing so on many of the online support groups for home educators. They are called traitors and Quislings; those who do allow visits from the local authority often do so secretly, for fear of the reaction from people like Dave Hough! The chief reason that people remain, or pretend to remain, unknown to their local authorities is because many of them rely upon support from Facebook groups containing other parents whose children are not at school. It is the reaction of some of the more vociferous of these parents which they fear, rather than the local authority itself.
Turning now to the comment posted by Wendy Charles-Warner, we see she claims that;
Freedom of information requests to Bradford Local Authority confirm that
there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that a single home educated
child in the region has been 'radicalised'.
Seriously? How would you find that out from a Freedom of Information Request?
The two people mentioned here today are of course not the only people patrolling the internet to find articles about home education on which to comment; although they are certainly among the most industrious. The fact is that about two dozen people, at least half of whom either live abroad or are not home educating their children in this country, are responsible for over 90% of the comments one sees about the dangers of registration and monitoring. They are part of a very small sub-set in the home educating community who are desperately anxious that local authorities and the general public should see them as being the dominant trend in British home education.