Nothing wastes a kid’s learning time more than being tested! And nothing wastes a home educating family’s time more than preparing for a visit from the Local Authority!
Monitoring of home schooling families has always been a contentious issue.
If the people who came from the LA were genuinely interested and pleasant, I don’t think anyone would really mind the odd visit for the safely and well being of children. We found it was quite nice to welcome someone into our home to talk about the kids’ learning since no one else we knew seemed to want to – it being far too radical and them not knowing what to say about it! After all, we couldn’t show nice, neat little test results and ticks in books which is all that matters to some people. So I was quite happy to talk about what the kids were doing and we had a pleasant afternoon with our LA. I was good at educational jargon. I had my arguments – I mean discussions – at the ready!
But we were the lucky ones.
I know that many home educators’ experiences of being visited by LAs are far from ours. Many are intimidated, bullied, made to feel inadequate usually by the ignorance and prejudice of the officers visiting. And that’s what Nikki’s gripe is – quite rightly. The intrusion is totally unacceptable.
I love this bit…’Shall we send inspectors into the homes of school-using families to check for abuse taking place in the evenings, weekends and school holidays? Of course not, because families are considered innocent until proven guilty – unless they home educate’.
We’ve probably all suffered discrimination at some point. But the discrimination from the LA is perhaps the worst of all – unlike the general public, they really do have no excuse for their ignorance. No family should put up with it.