Thursday, 30 April 2009

Having another go at the social workers

Sorry. I cannot let this go. I'm like a baby with her blanket, chewing away at the edges of a well-worn article of bedwear.

This is a quote from that of which I speak:
"Rights to inspect children and assess lessons sought by social workers concerned about safety and standards

Social workers are calling on local authorities to increase the monitoring of home-educated children as a government review into the safety and welfare of the controversial practice gets underway.
The National Association of Social Workers in Education (NASWE) has warned that the current lack of scrutiny denies many children an effective education and often leads to them suffering harm."
If it won't make you ill, here is the article

Well, OK. Come and assess us. My family I mean. Assess us. Please. And I'll show you a good time. I'll show you a home full of loving, caring, good fun... A home of constant change; a home which encourages learning and knowing and enjoying learning and knowing.

For one thing, we're 'doing' Shakespeare at the moment. MacBeth or "Shush, the Scottish play, please." We dip in and out of MacBeth's dark moments, and talk about King James I of England who liked witches and Scotland. A good spin-doctor of his time, William S. gave the monarch what he wanted, and had Banquo polish up as white as the driven snow as befitted one of James I's illustrious ancestors. That leads us into geography. Where do those witches hang out then? What is a witch and why were women, usually poor and at the fringe of society, persecuted? (Much like home educators are now). Was it fair? What were the laws? What happened to witches? How many died? How did one get accused of being a witch? Then, it is genealogy. Who was Banquo really? How many generations between James I and his ancestor Banquo? Can we read that bit again?

I'm getting tired typing now, and that's but a pinch of what goes on in a few minutes in our house. I can quite see why educational social workers want to find out how to really give an education, how to really do it effectively so that children gobble it down and feel happy in the gobbling. Social workers need to comprehend it themselves, poor pets, because they've never learned that they shouldn't stop people from going to the bathroom. They shouldn't demand and coerce and push and test and shove and MAKE anyone do anything.

In support of my point, I found this on another blog:

"Understanding the duality of love and freedom is even more important when dealing with children than with adults, for a lack of either love or freedom in childhood echoes throughout the child's later life, in turn causing at least some damage to the next generation. High levels of both love and freedom are needed for a healthy world. Freeing children from coercive schooling is absolutely critical if we are to seriously improve the world.
Coercion works against the creation of a healthy world because coercion is an affront to both love and freedom. This makes it impossible for coercive government generally to ever be a healthy approach to running society."


Freeing children from coercive schooling is absolutely critical if we are to seriously improve the world. I like it so much I've typed it twice and emboldened it twice too. We, dear social workers of education, cannot go on this way. We cannot treat children like flotsam and jetsam in our society, drowning in the waves from our adult coercive power. We have to nourish them with love and lots of interesting things to learn. Things they want to learn. Not things we want them to learn.

Another point jumps out at me. Controversial practice. Home education. Indulge in a controversial practice, moi? Not on your collective nelly. Well, I suppose it is if you compare it to the barren, illiterate mess that is the National Curriculum which leaves children starved of anything substantial to chow down on. Yes, OK, I'm controversial because I respect my kids enough to let them choose to learn what they want to learn. And do you know what? They do learn. Fast, and well and effectively. And they love it. They chomp through everything. They're as curious as month old babies. They rage for facts and scope the research. They ask neat and endless questions. They purloin my books and plumb the depths of tv and videos and CDs and DVDs, and other people's opinions. Y even snacks on newspapers.

Yes, you can understand why social workers are concerned that the current lack of scrutiny denies many children an effective education... It's all those poor kids stuffed into one overflowing classroom, and a harassed adult stuck in the middle trying desperately to lion tame the bored, left-behind, out-in-front morass of youngsters who are coerced by powerful adults into remaining in a probably unsafe building (too baking hot in the summer, freezing in the winter, and possibly permeated with asbestos from its ancient beginnings) for far too long during the day.

Naturally, who could get an education like that?

Who could even stay remotely safe like that? Chewing gum, from some classmate's mouth, sticky with his or her saliva, plastered into your newly-washed hair; head pounding from the noise like several airplanes taking off at once; deafened by the kid next to you bellowing nasty words at the teacher, your comfort and self-hood is blatantly desecrated. Educational social workers are only too right to be concerned.

They have a huge job in front of them.

Oh, they meant us home educators, didn't they?

In that case, here's my answer to your moaning:

NASWE has nothing to do with it. People who call for regulation of Home Education are talking through their ears. Home education is not funded by government, supported in any way by government or, increasingly, even tolerated by government. This is perhaps because home educators generally do a great job of educating and looking after their youngsters - much better than that of the state schools who are failing many children miserably and who are adept at reducing any child's innate interest in learning to nothing.

If anyone has concerns about any child, they should contact Social Services (this relates to home educated children AND schooled children. There should be no difference made between places where a child is educated). Home educators well know that the majority of home-based children are better socialised, happier, healthier and much more interesting (because they have informed opinions) than the poor downtrodden school pupil who isn't even allowed the basic right to go to the toilet without permission.

As to the 'review,' there have been a number of consultations on home education resulting in guidance for LAs (who are often ignorant of law and ignorant of home-based education). The new review is merely an excuse to squander more tax-payers' money on a group of people who know nothing about home-based education - there isn't a home educator amongst them.
It is a disgrace sadly not untypical of the arrogant stance of this government.


  1. We just had a SW again - referred by Connexions cos they were peeved we had not availed ourselves of their "expertise". No welfare issues whatsoever. Just petty minded lets refer her cos she won't do our biding. I despair tbh. Luckily the SW wasn't daft. Saga on blog.

  2. The National Association of Social Workers in Education doesn't represent REAL social workers at all. Their 500 (yes, that's right just 500) members are EWOs and 'education social workers' (which sounds like just another way of saying EWO). "The "association acts as the voice for those working to promote school attendance and social inclusion in education across the UK." Which tells you up front just what they think about HE!