Monday, 8 March 2010

Yorkshire Evening Post, Tha Needs Playing Pop Wi'.

Now I'm a Yorkshire Lass, from good Yorkshire stock. Yorkshire folk are renowned for being plain speaking people, so Yorkshire Evening Post, I'll keep it simple, and tell it like it is.

This article you've written, it's a pile of rubbish. You've been duped. You are being used to propagate anti home education propaganda at a politically sensitive time.

I'm rather ashamed, I really did expect better of a Yorkshire publication; I had this romantic notion that Yorkshire folks were a bit more canny than this.

You can view the figures that gave rise to your article here[opens PDF].

I don't have anything to say about those figures, others can and have done a better job than I, such as one commenter on the YEP article who said:

"FOIs show Leeds to have 140 home educated children, 6 with no education, 5 not suitable, 14 not co-operating, 20 not yet assessed and 34 not "full-time" which is a bit of a red herring as in the official guidance it states EHE is assumed to be full time.... I can't find any way of making 6+5 = 25% of 140....can you? I can't even get it by adding in the 14 not co-operating!"

What I will say though is that I wouldn't trust Leeds as far as I could throw them. They are not a great LA, I know people who have had problems with them. I also know that they don't like EHE parents being informed about the law, they went as far as to admit this in a consultation document a few years ago. The particular quote I was thinking of is:

"Like other LEAs, we have no idea how many parents in total are educating their children at home. We do know of 150 in Leeds. We are successful in arranging home visits with 98% of these parents largely because they see us as being helpful but also partly because a number of them are not aware that they need not agree to meet us!"

This may be irrelevant to this issue, but I do think it is important that people realise that LAs behave badly where home education is concerned. If LAs truly believe that they have HE'd children who are not receiving an education suitable to their age, apptitude, ability and any SEN, then they should be issuing SAOs. Are they doing that? I think not. If you take Plymouth LA they say that 100% of their EHE children are NOT receiving a suitable and full time education! Really? I find that a staggering *fact* quite frankly, and I'm more inclined to think that it has more to do with issues that the LA has with the idea of EHE in general, than the failings of EHE parents in the area.

What you might like to do, YEP, is have a look at this expose of the figures and then you might like to have a read of my previous blog post and think about how you have just fallen into the trap laid by government. You will see that the TES did exactly the same thing as you have, which goes to show the shoddy standard of journalism today. Shame we no longer use newspapers as chip wrappers, as it least then your article would have a use. As it stands it is neither use nor ornament.


  1. The Home Education Database:

    The government has databases to keep track of us, so here at last is one for us to keep track of them!

  2. It's almost surprising how the apparently old, debunked stuff seems to get churned up now and then, which is why it needs to be repeatedly debunked!

    The link on 'consultation document' needs an 'http://', BTW.

  3. Ah thanks for that, have corrected :)

  4. have you sent this to them? It is disgusting failure to actually think or report and makes me very glad I am no longer wasting money on buying papers.

  5. I've tweeted it to them, and am currently awaiting email to enable me to comment on the article.

  6. It is such a shame when readers have to do their work for them.

    Great post Tech


  7. Do you know the link to the article gives a "sorry article not available" ?