Pete Darby nails the farce of the Badman report, which was incomplete and which used statistics based on poor methodology. We now know this because the author of that scandalous piece of bird cage liner has gone back for the information that he should have included in the first place, BEFORE submitting his report to the bird cage:
The bad penny, the pee into the wind, he just keeps coming back.
After he turned in his woefully prepared report into home education, for which, as far as we can understand, the conclusions were written first, we tried to challenge either him or the DCSF on it.
And we were told “Mr Badman does not work for the DCSF, he is independent, and has turned in the report, so it is nothing to do with him any more, and since it was independent, it can’t be wrong, so the DCSF can’t be challenged for putting forward a legislative program based on it.”
So we got a hearing arranged for the select committee on education. AHEd, working through freedom of information requests, got very robust figures where not only did Badman give none, but Baroness Morgan claimed that they “weren’t the basis of the report”.
I’m sorry, WHAT?
This “independent researcher”, who no longer has anything to do with the report, can get the DCSF to forward his request for “better figures” (and with a later deadline than other evidence) to every LA in the country?
Now, as far as I make it, that makes at least three different versions of the state of play that Badman and the DCSF have spun.
1) Badman is independent, the report is soundly based in empirical evidence.
2) Badman is independent, the report is based on soft evidence that we can’t find right now.
3) Badman is working for the DCSF, we’d like some evidence that we forgot to collect. Since the dog ate the last lot.
What really annoys me isn’t so much that it betrays a set agenda from the outset.
We knew that.
Nor that their evidential cupboards (along with their coffers) are bare and that the stats in the report are a triumph of auto-proctological accounting.
We knew that.
It’s that they thought no-one would notice. It’s possibly the most half-arsed, cloth-eared, pig-ignorant attempt at a cover-up that I’ve seen since my chocolate encrusted three-year-old son claimed the biscuit tin fell on him.
It makes the machinations of The Thick of It look like machine like competence.
More than anything, it shows the level of dismissive contempt that Badman, Balls and all their little wizards have for home educators, parliament and the population as a whole.
They’re trying to move the goalposts and think no-one will notice. I spurn them as I would spurn a rabid dog with dysentery.
And there you have it.
The fact of this matter is that hard working and careful people like Pete Darby and AHED have dug up the truth about this and shown the report to be completely lacking in rigor.
The next and naturally following question to ask is this; if this crucial aspect of the report was not done to a proper standard, what else in the report is lacking in rigor?. We already know that the summations to the report are being withheld on the most flimsy of excuses, and we can guess why; they are the smoking gun that will blow apart this report and its author PERMANENTLY.
It is completely unacceptable (quite apart from the principle of who should control the education of children) that this Soviet Style system of lawmaking and policy forming should continue. This report was clearly submitted with faulty information. If this were not the case, there would be no need for Badman to call for further statistics to bolster his case; the report should be able to stand on its own as a complete work of truth, which clearly it is not. There would also be no need to arbitrarily make secret the submissions he used to write it.
That this faulty report should be accepted unquestioned, and then used to make law is an outrage. That the submissions made to form its conclusions can be held secret is doubly outrageous; what this amounts to is the making of law using secret evidence. It is the polar opposite of transparency, and the sort of thing you find in totalitarian police states, not free countries.
The lives of over 100,000 people are going to be affected by what happens next. The futures of these families and of future families is on the line. That they believe they can push through legislation in this way makes any decent person sick to their stomach. If they REALLY believe that that they are working for the benefit of children (which clearly they are not), and are not simply circling the wagons so that they do not lose face, then they should have nothing to hide; they should release everything that was used as input into this scandalous report, to PROVE that it is not a work of bias, with a predetermined conclusion written in from the outset.
Renegade Parent points out that this is known as ‘Policy based evidence making’:
The term Policy based evidence making is a pejorative term which refers to the commissioning of research in order to support a policy which has already been decided upon. The name has been suggested as a corollary to evidence based policy making.
As the name suggests, policy based evidence making means working back from a predefined policy to produce underpinning evidence. Working from a conclusion to provide only supporting evidence is an approach which contradicts most interpretations of the scientific method; however, it should be distinguished from research into the effects of a policy where such research may provide either supporting or opposing evidence.
The term “policy based evidence making” was referred to in a report of the United Kingdom House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology into Scientific Advice, Risk and Evidence Based Policy Making issued in October 2006. The committee stated:
[Ministers] should certainly not seek selectively to pick pieces of evidence which support an already agreed policy, or even commission research in order to produce a justification for policy: so-called “policy-based evidence making” (see paragraphs 95–6). Where there is an absence of evidence, or even when the Government is knowingly contradicting the evidence—maybe for very good reason—this should be openly acknowledged.
Paragraph 89, House of Commons Science and Technology Committee: Scientific Advice, Risk and Evidence Based Policy Making
The term has also been applied outside the strictly scientific arena, for example in a position paper for the Arts and Humanities Research Council
This sneaky and shabby request for further information, I am sure, is just the tip of the iceberg. I have no doubt that there is an effort to dig up any dirt, no matter what it is to try and tarnish the practice of Home Education. Brain dead journalists are no doubt being briefed right now as part of a campaign of poisoning to put the nail in the coffin. Even on a good day we cannot expect journalists to behave like they have any common sense… such is life.
Whatever they come up with, no matter what evidence they show to this select committee, no matter what the newspapers say remember this:
- No single group or organization can represent HE as a practice.
- A single bad parent cannot discredit all parents.
- A single bad parent cannot discredit Home Education.
There are millions of Home Educators all over the world. If we take the line of the morons who try and assert that Home Education needs to be ‘abolished’ because some parents are bad, then this logic should be extended to ALL parents no matter how their children are educated. This would mean the abolition of parenting itself.
All schoolchildren spend their summer holidays, three months of them, with their parents ‘unsupervised’ (by the state). Is it REALLY the plan of this government that all of these children be subject to home inspection and ‘summer holiday plans’ to make sure they are ‘safeguarded’? It is utter nonsense of course, and Home Educated children are no different to children who go to school and are off on summer holiday in the care of their parents. They are safe by default.
Where are the calls for home inspections of all parents after we hear the horror stories of feral children assaulting other children? We do not hear them because these purely evil imbeciles are not interested in dealing with children who are not a threat to the status quo; violent, sexualized, children running wild and causing mayhem are encouraged because they give the state even more of a reason to increase the powers of the totalitarian apparatus.
Take special note that the author of this illiberal and nauseating report calls for children to be seen by strangers without the parents being present by the force of law, and that he is a member of the same organization calling for children as young as five to be taught about masturbation in schools. Given the fact that all the recent cases of child abuse by teachers and nursery workers were instances of ‘trusted people’ (CRB checked as ‘safe’) being let lose with children, and the above UN recommendations, this call for children to be seen alone is deeply suspicious and sinister in nature.
Finally, his report has nothing to do with education, and they knew that they could not attack Home Education using ‘lack of education’ as a pretext as it is well known that Home Educated children outperform state schooled children by every measure, even socialization.
This is an attack on people who are non conformist. It is a preemptive attack on a growing trend to reject state education. As I said before 100,000 home educated children constitutes an army that could and WOULD change the character of a country, and with more people opting for Home Education every month, there would in the end be two distinct groups of people in the UK, the highly educated and free thinking Home Educated class (combined with the tiny minority from the top private schools) and everyone else.
The number of people who run the UK today is far less than the number of Home Educated children in the country. They could easily swamp parliament and fill the civill service with their numbers. It would mean GAME OVER for the police state; and they simply CANNOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN.
Even if Home Education became the norm and Home Educated people entering public service resulted in the enshrining of Home Education as we have known it, this alone is too much of an insult and threat for the apparatus to bear; they want EVERYONE in the system WITHOUT EXCEPTION, so that there is no one left who does not believe with all their heart, the state’s perverted, sickening, utterly brainwashed and dystopian view of the world (Matthew Parris graciously provides us with a perfect example… my emphasis):
Let me, a lifelong Tory, spell it out.
I believe in the State.
I believe in a strong State.
I believe in the State’s core purpose: to regulate and arbitrate.
I believe in the State’s power to do good; to bring justice, security and order; to defend and protect its citizens; and to make their lives better.
I believe in the State’s duty to care for the needy; to ensure that the rich help the poor, and that the weak are helped by the strong.
And I believe finally in the State’s nobility as an idea; the inspiring power of the national ideal; the tremendous possibilities unleashed by collective action; and the love and duty owed by citizens to the State.
We will not have it you BASTARDS.