January 2009. The DSCF announces a splendid new support package for home educators. £400 a year per child for parents to spend on exams, ballet lessons, the educational financial outgoings of our choice. Craft materials, broadband internet, you name it.
Obviously, the government needs to know how the taxpayers' money is being spent, so in return, HEers subscribing to the scheme agree to go through an annual process of licensing and monitoring. It's all completely voluntary. Witness the undignified scramble, with lone voices - Techla, Grit, Lisa, Carlotta, Firebird, Maire - drowned out in the glad cries of home educators being given some of the money they feel entitled to. Maybe 85 or 90% of HEers sign up.
January 2010, the government announces that ALL HEers are now required to register and be monitored. In return they will get their money. Grit, Maire, Carlotta and co look a bit, well, _paranoid_ as they start trying to protest against the loss of civil liberties. Autonomous HE is stamped out within 2 years.
I just don't understand why, of all the minority groups in the country, Ed chose the ONE LOT who were least likely to respond in the time honoured way to the tactics of a bully. Smear us, cast aspersions, lie to the other kids and teachers about our activities and motivations - why was this ever going to be the winning strategy?
We are the parents for whom zero tolerance DOES mean zero tolerance - our children have freedom of association, we do not expect them to submit to bullies, to stand up to bullies, to engage with bullies. We expect our children to treat bullies with the contempt they deserve, and not to have anything to do with them if they don't want to. Why would Ed think we would be cowed by him? What kind of an example would that have set for our children?
I am, in an odd way, delighted that we have been dealing with Ed this last year rather than with a Dan level Go player.