Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Broad and Balanced, the Badge of School Inferiority

So today was the Not Back To School Picnic in front of the Senedd building in Cardiff. A lovely, friendly, peaceful, successful day.
Oh, apart from this bloke at the end.

"One teaching union told us they support more checks"?
If the quote was, "One beef farmers' union told us they support plans to monitor vegetarians and refuse permission to be vegetarian if children are not fulfilling the criteria of the union," would it be any different?

I have to take issue with his assertion that "there's a lot of evidence that suggests that quite a few [home educated children] don't [get a broad and balanced education]." The first obvious thing is that he clearly has no such evidence as none exists. It was one of those times I wished for a Liar Liar moment, whereby when he meant to say the lie above, what he actually said was, "I've never even met a home educator so I don't know squat," or, "I'm not a parent, so I have no idea of the realities of what a parent will provide for their child, out of love, that completely eclipses anything the government might offer that same child." Or something along those lines. But actually my main quibble with it is this -

I don't want my children to have a broad and balanced education. 

Nope. Not even the law thinks children should have a broad and balanced education, but rather one individually suited to each child. Schools, who can never hope to give every single child an education individually tailored to their ability and aptitude, instead offer the bland same-for-everyone-Oliver gruel that is a broad and balanced curriculum. It's a badge of inferiority. I, however, can offer my children an education specifically tailored to each of them, fulfilling their curiosities and enabling them to learn in the real world from the very things that interest them. If they develop an interest in Anglo Saxons, they can find out about their culture, their lifestyles, play the games they played, see their treasure, cook their food; not just for half an hour on a Tuesday morning, when they might not even be interested, but whenever their curiosity is piqued, right through until it is sated. If they are passionate about photography, they can hone that skill whenever and wherever they like. If they're a natural at tennis, they can concentrate on that. So I throw the accusation back at you, Mr Teaching Union. There is a lot of evidence (existing in reality in this case, not just in your mind) that an awful lot of schoolchildren don't get an education suited to their age, aptitude, ability and any special needs they may have. You know, in line with the law. And so I support home education as a free-from-state-interference option for every parent, just as it is now.

You can keep your broad and balanced, Mr Teaching Union. We have education tailored to the individual child. So ner ;)


  1. love the 'so ner' bit, well love it all actually :) well said :)

    1. Haha thanks :p There was an accompanying gesture but it didn't translate well to text ;)

  2. Putting the cart before the horse...the teaching union in question (ATL) was searching my website the day AFTER the interview looking for home education research...