Graham Badman’s scandalous, biased, immoral and utterly vile report on Home Education contains a submission from The Church of England. By selectively omitting parts of the entire submission, Graham Badman has engaged in what is called ‘a lie of omission’:
Lying by omission
One lies by omission by omitting an important fact, deliberately leaving another person with a misconception. Lying by omission includes failures to correct pre-existing misconceptions. If a husband asks his wife if she’s at a bar, the wife may tell her husband she is at a store, which is true, but lie by omitting the fact that she also visited a bar.
Lies of Omission:
To lie by omission is to remain silent and thereby withhold from someone else a vital piece (or pieces) of information. The silence is deceptive in that it gives a false impression to the person from whom the information was withheld. It subverts the truth; it is a way to manipulate someone into altering their behavior to suit the desire of the person who intentionally withheld the vital information; and, most importantly, it’s a gross violation of another person’s right of self-determination.
It is one thing to give your opinion, and say that you believe that Home Education is not beneficial, or that Home Educated children are not safe, or more likely to suffer abuse (even if that is statistically not the case as this analysis of comparative abuse stats demonstrates), but it is quite another to deceptively misuse the authority of the voice The Church of England by selectively quoting from their submission, which comes to a conclusion that is the polar opposite of the conclusion you want to manipulate everyone reading the report to come to; that the laws governing Home Education need to be changed. Had this been a scientific paper, Graham Badman would now stand convicted of academic fraud, and his paper would be thrown out by peer reviewers, and his reputation permanently tarnished:
Well done those HEors who pursued this line; if they end up working for the investigative team on Private Eye, I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised. You can bet they will go in search of the truth like dog after a bone and won’t be fobbed off with phoney stats, headlines and soundbites.
Reading Graham Badman’s report, you would have thought that the Church of England were fully in favour of clamping down heavily on home educators. Badman achieves this effect by quoting highly selectively from the C of E submission.
…the Education Division of the Church of England states its concern:
“that children and young people not in formal education are missing the benefits and challenges of learning in community with their peers. Children who do not go to school may not experience the social and cultural diversity encountered there; they will not learn how to deal with the rough and tumble of everyday life; they may never meet people with different faith and value systems. All such encounters, even the difficult or painful ones are enriching. We are concerned not only with the five Every Child Matters outcomes, but also with the spiritual well-being of all children and young people.
Spiritual well-being arises not only from being cared for in a loving family and/or faith community, but also in encounters with people of different opinions and backgrounds; in learning to listen to a variety of opinions; to encounter diversity and the riches and life-enhancement it can bring. Spiritual well-being depends on living and taking a full part in community life. Children and young people in schools learn about and from the five major religions. This may be a difficult part of the curriculum for home educators to provide, yet it is vital for the Government’s community cohesion agenda that all children learn in a balanced way about the variety of religious values and practices, and to be encouraged to question their own beliefs and practices.”
Badman however somehow failed to mention that the Church of England actually concluded their consultation submission with the following:
“We have seen no evidence to show that the majority of home educated children do not achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes, and are therefore not convinced of the need to change the current system of monitoring the standard of home education. Where there are particular concerns about the children who are home-educating, this should be a matter for Children’s services.”
Home educators have subsequently received reassurances from the Church to the effect that the C of E does indeed stand by the conclusion above.
“We stand by our position as laid out in our original submission and hope that those with an interest in this subject will read our full position rather than relying on selected extracts. We understand that there are a range of deeply-held views on this subject and are grateful for your appreciation that the CofE’s position was more nuanced that was perhaps suggested in the Badman report.”
The statement from the Church’s representative is a diplomatic way of saying that Graham Badman’s report misrepresented the Church of England’s position on Home Education.
Graham Badman has demonstrated a totally appalling lack of integrity. What a completely disgusting and insulting piece of trash. This report should not be the basis of new legislation; in fact it should be the basis of an investigation into the low standards of the people who generate reports like this, and that investigation should produce new rules and minimum standards that should apply to the writing of these reports so that they are at a minimum, peer reviewed in the same way that scientific papers are peer reviewed. If this was the standard, phrases like ‘I believe’ would invalidate a report like Graham Badman’s because personal belief is not a basis for scientific understanding of fact.
Every day, thanks to the hard work of Home Educators, this report is becoming more and more discredited. Soon it will be seen for what it really is; a worthless smear piece with no rigor, no peer review, chock full of hearsay, glaring omissions and baseless opinions.