On 6th January 2010, in a snowy London, threatened by further floatynice and extra cloudshitey, a group of some people met. The home educator kind of people were there, having paid a good portion of their weekly grocery money to travel to the Houses of Parliament to listen to a cyberman called Diana Johnson.
The people who often spend their time in the houses were there because they wanted to meet a cyberman in person and hurl sense and reason at her.
The home educator type of people took notes:
Gifties from cybermen to horrible - er - home educators:
"LA forums for HE families
Plans to extend flexi-schooling
Use of school libraries to be made available
Support to families with children with SEN."
It's what the cyberman came out with at first. Nothing wrong with that. I'd love to listen or watch a parade of pathetic school lovers droning on or typing reams about what school can do for my girls. Indeedy, yes. I remember what it's already done for my girls. And I am still picking up bits. So I don't think I'd be teddibly welcome on their forums...
Flexi-schooling could work if you're working with anything less than an indoctrination regime like school, but I wouldn't want to force my children to attend toilet between 13:00 and 13:15 to have them 'fit it with the rules at skools.' They can go potty whenever they like here, thank you so much.
We've got a superb library at home. We don't have to trek up to thankfully receive one or more of the snow-laden, carefully-chosen bunch of germ-ridden, scribbled-all-over volumes (that's books, cybermen). We can pass around George Orwell's 1984 between us and be sure to remain foreign microbe-free. Oh, but you can borrow some of our nattier books, school librarian, every so often, especially those tomes on the Balls' Banned List.
As far as I understand it, schools promise all kinds of miraculous things to students with SEN, then spend a great deal of money denying those kinds of things because they fund loads of lovely cuddly experts to tell the parents that their children just aren't SEN at all, and it's ALL YOUR FAULT, parents besides which your kid has school phobia because he won't go because he's being beaten up in the microbe-ridden toilets by kids from feral-land and the trick-cyclist says that ain't normal that he don't want no skool.
The cyberman would like to preface all of her remarks with the comment that home education is a well-established and important part of the education system.
Cybermen aren't too intelligent, then, are they? Home education is not a well-established and important part of the education system. IT IS NOT A PART OF THE EDUCATION (OR SCHOOL) SYSTEM AT ALL. That is the whole point.
It is not administered by bureaucrats (or cyberpeople)
It is not funded by government
It is not the responsibility of any government to give a home educated child an education.
It is the responsibility of parents to give their children an education.
Parents are not responsible to bureaucrats.
Bureaucrats should be responsible to parents (as the parents are those lowly things called payers of taxes).
To digress, I asked E. today if, at some point in the future, she did not think her education was suitable or reasonable or she thought she wasn't educated just who would she sue?
She answered: "Myself."
How's that for autonomy? Stick that in your cybernetic bureaucratic pipe and smoke it, cybermen. Yee ha!
She is autonomous. Truly. She does not seek to unload the failing of what she is giving herself onto another institution or bureaucratic group or anyone else. She is autonomous. Autonomous - being aware of and responsible for oneself. Autonomy. Something that is rapidly being drained out of our population of citizens. Or, as I prefer to call them, people.
Back to the snow-encrusted Houses of Parliament now mightily infested with cybermen.
"The government is committed to continue home education as a choice."
No, it isn't because to pursue this course will see the end of home education. It will be
DELETED. At the hands of bureaucrats and cybermen. It will be deleted because there will be a) failures to register so the child gets handed back to cell-block school, b) many failures of the cybermen in local authorities to see that an education IS taking place, c) trumped up charges so that cybermen can do what they wish to do which is to DELETE home education.
HE families oppose cybermen therefore we are a "'quasi-guilty category in need of special investigation.' The statistics don’t bear this out. They have become an 'object of a particularly intrusive regime'.”
We are objects. We are not people to cybermen. Cybermen do not care about people. They demand conformity. They demand schoolership. We are to be DELETED.
Cyberman: "We need to explore more issues about home education, such as autonomous education, explaining autonomous education and what an efficient education is. Referring to the statistics around EHE there are some safeguarding concerns. But to stress again, for her it is about education, she is concerned about supporting families."
We need to annhiliate autonomous education. We mustn't have the populace being able to think and question and say no to banks ruling us, and politicians ruling us and anyone darn one ruling us. Autonomous people question. Autonomous people think. Autonomous people need no stupid Peter Polliwog to make their life complete. (Peter Polliwog: sold at all good stores for an amount you could cruise the world with but that your child MUST HAVE THIS CHRISTMAS or birthday or day when the poor child has to play quietly in the corner because you are busy compiling a bent report on home education).
Explore the 'issues' then. Take the academic route and explore the good things in home education and revolutionise schools with them. Make children responsible for their own learning and see the world shimmer and sizzle with possibility. Watch our nation increase in health, wealth and prosperity. Witness the burgeoning and growth of superbly inventive, creative and clever people doing what they are GOOD at and getting better because they want to do what they are doing.
Stop strangling the British people.
"Safeguarding is taking over the issue of home education, in contrast to what the minister has discussed."
No, ducks, it isn't. Safeguarding is not an issue. The statistics say it is not. The fact is that government cannot safeguard any child anywhere. Community safeguards, parents safeguard, concerned individuals safeguard, people safeguard. Cybermen kill.
Cyberman: "We want monitoring to be in the spirit of co-operation not some kind of examination that parents must pass."
Silly cyberman, every monitoring episode is an examination. When someone monitors me, they tell me I am not trusted, that I am not trustworthy and I can be stopped from doing whatever is monitored. I can lose in the game between local authority cybermen and home educators. Only it's not me who will lose, it is my child who will lose her freedom to learn.
Cyberman Diana: "Wants to make sure that Local Authority (LA) officials have the training and understanding of the issues."
Local Authorities have been trained by home educators for years now regularly and tediously. Home educators are expert educators and tell silly little schooled people how to go on; that is, if they are not in awe of the total power that silly local authorities have over ordinary folks. Yet local authorities blithered about not understanding their role, not being able to access the child... etc. ad nauseam and ad tedium. They are untrainable, unlike the average worm that is cut in half and each half learns a different lesson. Also, training local authorities is not in the government remit. They want local authorities to DELETE home education.
"It really is about developing positive relationships."
Really? Double-take, I mean REALLY? Well, I decided to develop a positive relationship with my new neighbour by publishing salacious rumours about her in the local free paper and telling everyone I knew that she was selling her slaggy chav body down on the local pier as the ships came in. Then I rang the SS to tell them that her live-in boyfriend was abusing the girl child and sending the boy brat out to earn rent in anyway possible. Then I flung a barrage of snowballs with icy cores at the dirty trollop as she tried to avoid me by hiding behind her sofa when I barged into her house, and dragged her children off to care.
Is that how you develop a positive relationship? You must be one strange and sorry little cyberman, Diana.
You need psychology imprints, cybermen. Of course, sorry, you don't need psychology when you intend to delete people.
Diana, cyberman: (this is the gist of some commentary). "Lovely, lovely trainy-trainy local authority roboties. Understandy home educationers. Home schoolers. LAs, choochy, choochy-coo, kissy, kissy home schoolingers. Kissy."
Sensible MP: "I don’t share your optimism about local officials. This will take away the essence of home education. If you talk to parents you will hear a different story from that of LAs. Parents have often withdrawn their children for very good reasons."
People never start their children in schools for good reasons, too. They don't want their children to become cybermen or to be deleted.
Diana, cyberman: "We don’t know how many children are being home educated. Part of the reason why Badman and the Select Committee want a registration scheme (yes, she said this) is to find out the numbers so we can plan for resourcing."
Well, a logical person might say about now that, naturally, mechanical people like and enjoy numbers. Mechanical things like finding out the weights and measures, and examining stuff to find lots of juicy numbers.Find out the numbers so we can plan for resourcing? Exactly how does that work then? Do we know how many people will be born next year, or even this year? Can we plan for resourcing (is that even a word? Maybe a cyber-word?) Do you go around spying on couples who have sex to estimate how many babies will be born? Does that help? Isn't any plan an estimate? If I decide to raffle off my dog (no way!), I might print one hundred tickets but what if I'm off by a thousand or so? Then I have to print off some more. Or rethink. Or keep my dog (phew!)
What I believe the old cyber-Balls' babe is saying is that they know they will punish and exile home educating children into school, therefore they have to know how many school places to open up. BUT what if we have an influx of Chinese or French or Polish pregnant women or every currently pregnant woman has two sets of twins in the next five years? We just have to get on with it and put aside a reasonable amount of money. Which is what most intelligent planners do. Or they just deny the needs that pregnant women with several sets of twins have, and tell them that there is no funding, bitches, and to get on with it.
It's like the floatynice that has fallen in the last two weeks. No one really predicted it. Therefore no one has prepared for it. But we all survivin', ain't we?
Then, in the meeting, there was a bit of too-ing and fro-ing. A lot of savvy MPs said good things. Cyberman Johnson said nothing other than delete the home educators. Delete. Delete. Repeat. Delete them. With a few 'exterminate them' phrases for variety.
"We need numbers, but we need to monitor. We will get the numbers, but we need to monitor to make sure children are receiving education."
WE NEED TO MONITOR TO DELETE.
WE NEED NUMBERS BUT WE NEED TO MONITOR.
TO MONITOR IS TO DELETE.
WE WILL MONITOR. WE WILL DELETE.
Rational argument faced with irrationality all the way.
You cannot argue with daleks. You cannot convince cybermen.
Daleks get their butts kicked routinely.
And you know what happens to cybermen? They disappear. They rust and die. They are not adaptable. They are not people. They are enemies of the people. They go.
By the way, don't you think Diana Johnson looks tired...?
This blog entry was inspired by Dr. Who, and the notes of the APPG meeting starring quite a few intelligent and concerned MPs, dedicated and loving home educating parents and one cyberman.
The APPG reference:
The floatynice and cloudshitey references come from here: http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/business/media-demand-new-word-for-
Peter Polliwog was a child's plaything mentioned in Miracle on 34th Street, the remake with sweet, uncyborgy Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle.