Yes, it's time for education and home-schooling again. A lot of people are getting excited once more, mostly the usual busy-bodies and desperate Labour MP's, and this has been causing comment around the blogosphere. The Devil and His Ecclesiastical (or Orological) Eminence have have had their say, and if you follow the comment threads you'll find others who are very bothered, too. Today Leg Iron picks up on what is, on the face of it, another extraordinary advance into what should be private and personal territory.
I've been putting a few ideas together with the intention of writing a great long post on the subject that nobody would bother to read, especially when you have Extreme Shepherding to entertain you. Instead of which, I've decided to divide it into a series of short posts on different aspects of the matter, and which will build into a longer post (in the hope that some of you will read a few bits, at least). I don't claim to be an authority, and what I often in this first section are not supposed to be my credentials, the purpose is to explain my interest and my perspective. Everything else I say on the subject needs to be read with this in mind.
I have been a teacher for over twenty years; most of my work has always involved teaching, in various forms and settings, to children of all ages, to adult professionals, in private schools and specialist academies. I have for many years taught teachers, too, preparing them for the government exams which allow them to take up places in the state schools, as a result of which I have written books about the Spanish education system and education law. (Yes, my life really is that exciting.) None of which makes me an expert on anything, but it does give me a continued interest in the matter of education and a variety of perspectives from which to form an opinion.
I am also a human being, a political animal in the Aristotelian sense, a libertarian of the 'bugger off and leave me alone' kind, with a severe dislike of being told what to do, a professional who has no need of charity and is in good health, and an ex-reader of the Telegraph who is frequently irritated to discover that the Guardian is a better newspaper. I also have no children of my own, so the ones I introduce in the debate are hypothetical.