Sunday, 13 December 2009

Home education less lethal than expected

Following Thursday's headline in the Guardian which was 'Swine flu pandemic less lethal than expected', I'd like to travel forward in time to view the next big headline that will catch our attention.

'Home education less lethal than expected

Reporter: Polly Dolly, Everypaper

Expert examiners yesterday confirmed that the fears of DCSF staff and ex-government Minister, Ed Balls, were groundless.

A re-examination of local authority statistics by independent professionals from Statistics International has found that, rather than being more likely to hurt their children, home educating parents are indeed much less likely to be guilty of child abuse.

Betty Wetty of the DCSF says, "We made a few assumptions about statistics that were perhaps incorrect, but fifteen months after we insisted on a new monitoring system, we discovered that the local authorities' facts were not as robust or rigorous as we were assured."

The situation for home educators is summed up by Diana Sminer, a home educator with three children and seven years experience. "We have wasted several years effort trying to point out that they are squandering public funds on a non-problem. We have advised ministers and the media who ran with prejudiced reports from a so-called expert who was no expert on home education. Our children have lost confidence in the political system, except for a handful of individuals who helped us, and have been terrified of being forced into failing schools by local authority Stasi-like representatives. And we don't even get an apology."

The Society of United Home Educators (SUME) is considering legal action. "We believe that government should be held responsible for mistakes of this nature," said Julian Bloomingdale, Vice President of SUME. "They cannot be allowed to ride rough-shod over home educators in this manner and escape consequences."

The DCSF made no further comment'.


  1. For home educators, students and researchers: I have put one of the most comprehensive link lists for hundreds of thousands of statistical sources and indicators (economics, demographics, health etc.) on my blog: Statistics Reference List. And what I find most fascinating is how data can be visualised nowadays with the graphical computing power of modern PCs, as in many of the dozens of examples in these Data Visualisation References. If you miss anything that I might be able to find for you or if you yourself want to share a resource, please leave a comment.