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Big Lie

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 7 months ago

The Big Lie 



Incidence and examples of the Big Lie about childhood learning and state schooling in the UK.




"The phrase 'Big Lie' refers to a propaganda technique defined by Adolf Hitler"


#Big Lie.


Compulsory School Age


Quite simply, school is not compulsory. So why do officials discussing education refer almost entirely to schooling and to compulsory school age? It is not true that school is education or that school is compulsory. Is there some reason why they do not tell the truth, but prefer instead to perpetuate the big lie?


A home educator wrote on this subject to the DfES recently (date) saying, "this term has misled and continues to mislead the majority of parents and children in this country into believing that attendance at a school is a legal requirement. Apart from being unjust, this has had a tragic effect on untold numbers of children who have been

harmed by their school experience, whilst they and their parents were unaware that there was an alternative."


To which they feebly reply, "to change the wording of an Act of Parliament would require an amendment to that statute... ... It is our view that ... any such change is not needed and as such would not warrant the time and public money involved in doing so."


Shame about the bullycide and the poor education many children receive in these not really compulsory school "compulsory school" years. But as Churchill said, "Schools have not necessarily much to do with education....they are mainly institutions of control, where basic habits must be inculcated in the young. Education is quite different and has little place in school."


Maybe the big lie is more important than the truth if you are shaping the workforce of the future including their basic habits for a lifetime? Maybe school is more important than education ... to someone?


For the real history of compulsory education see this video.


The best place for a child to learn is in school


The Guardian reports:


A DfES spokesman said: "Standards have never been higher and with record funding in our schools we believe the best place to educate a child is actually in school."


(AHEd, naturally, complained.)


Mark Vallily of the DfES public communications unit replied, "I must confirm that the Government believes that, for most children, school is the right place in which to receive education."




David Cameron, leader of the opposition says, "The education system in England is failing our children."


Sir Al Aynsley-Green, the children's commissioner for England has said it is shameful that the country is failing to provide adequately for children with autism.


Children's charity, Barnardo's study shows that the education system is failing to help children in care to break out of a "cycle of disadvantage."


Ofsted reports schools failing 3.3m children with over half of secondary schools in England failing to provided children with a good standard of education.


Or, might this poem touch you?


A child not in school is a child not learning


In 1999 David Blunket first told the newlabour conference that "Conference, a child not in lessons is a child not learning" to back up truancy measures designed to ensure the attendance of children in schools. Meanwhile children not in schools because they are educated otherwise than at schools, and not in lessons because they learn otherwise than by traditional lessons have been the subjects of this report in 2002 showing the excellent results of education not involving schools and not necessarily involving lessons in the traditional sense.



(therefore Education=School!)


Some alternative views:


"I don’t think we’ll get rid of schools any time soon, certainly not in my lifetime, but if we’re going to change what’s rapidly becoming a disaster of ignorance, we need to realize that the school institution "schools" very well, though it does not "educate"; that’s inherent in the design of the thing. It’s not the fault of bad teachers or too little money spent. It’s just impossible for education and schooling ever to be the same thing." John Taylor Gatto


"Schools have not necessarily much to do with education....they are mainly institutions of control, where basic habits must be inculcated in the young. Education is quite different and has little place in school." Winston Churchill


"School is a twelve-year jail sentence where bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned." John Taylor Gatto


"There is, on the whole, nothing on earth intended for innocent people so horrible as a school." and "The idea is to have the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge

in pursuit of the child." George Bernard Shaw


"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." and "Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything one learned in school." Albert Einstein


"We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought." and "Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education." Bertrand Russell


"By preventing a free market in education, a handful of social engineers - backed by the industries that profit from compulsory schooling: teacher colleges, textbook publishers, materials suppliers, et al. - has ensured that most of our children will not have an education, even though they may be thoroughly schooled." John Taylor Gatto


"The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.-- H.L.Mencken (early 20th century American radical newspaper editor.)


Home Education is a truancy scam


BBC supports the big lie about children and schooling by reporting that in some cases home education is really just an excuse to avoid prosecution for truancy and repeating baseless claims that up to 35,000 home educated children do not even receive a basic education from their parents. (These parents are not being prosecuted by their LA as they would be were this scandalous claim true.)


The real scam is that parents are almost never given full and proper information in order to make an informed decision about how to provide for their child's educational needs in accordance with the law. And for that we can thank our public servants in the LAs and schools. If some families are being dumped by their schools, this is one more example of the control and misuse of information by the authorities, to the disadvantage of those who need it.


Clare writes.

"It is claimed that some local authorities are trying to cut their truancy rates by urging parents of persistent truants to say they will home educate. Who can blame them with the ever increasing pressure to meet targets, satisfy tables and prevent prosecution for failing to protect a "Climbie" or "Spry"?


Education Otherwise are quoted as saying the practice gives home educators a bad name.


I would argue that the practice only gives schools and LEAs a bad name and highlights the fact that as well as being a truly efficacious method of learning, home education provides an essential safety net for the thousands of children failed or damaged by the school system.


If my child was truanting I would thank the LEA that had the nerve to let me in on the secret that school is not actually compulsory (despite the myth perpetuated by legal terminology) and that even though my child had lost her love for learning there is a real chance that it may be rediscovered if I stop frog-marching her to school.


Even where an unprepared parent is coerced into deregistration from school by the head teacher or the LEA, the chances of the child receiving an education suitable for them must be greatly increased. A child whose parent responds to their desperate reaction to schooling by removing them from the school has, in my opinion, a much greater likelihood of improving their educational lot. It is sheer madness and arrogance born out of hurt professional pride to oppose such a strategy when the alternatives are failing spectacularly.


Home education is not a cop out. It is not a way of avoiding compulsory education. Home education is governed by a strict law requiring the parent to ensure their child receives an education suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special needs. A parent failing to do this, unlike a similarly failing school, can be prosecuted and the child forced to attend - wait for it – school!


Why do the DfES and journalists fail to ask, given the high truancy rates and the schools’ consistent failure to prevent or remedy this, what better alternative government is offering these children. They have created a system that alienates children in their thousands. Children are voting with their feet against the appalling day-prison model that masquerades as meaningful education. And what is the most imaginative answer they can suggest? More of the same – enforced with truancy sweeps, parent imprisonment and raising of the school leaving age.


It is not difficult for those of us familiar with education otherwise than at a school, to see that these folk are well and truly schooled."


The working classes

(can't educate their own children)


Further to the media encouraging people to believe that the peasants are revolting; a view commonly attached is that working class parents cannot educate their own children anyway. See the views of "LA inspectors" (one retired and one free-lance home ed inspector and well known anti home ed campaigner,) quoted in the same article as above.


However, Paula Rothermel's research indicates that:


  • Socio-economic class is not an indicator of achievement levels: whilst the home-educated children outscored their school counterparts, those from lower socio-economic groups outperformed their middle class peers. Figures indicate that at least 14% of the parents in the home-education sample were employed in manual and unskilled occupations.


  • In this study, parental level of education did not limit the children's attainment. At least 38% of parents in this study had been educated at comprehensive schools and at least 21% had no post-school qualifications. Whilst 47.5% of parents had attended university, at least 27.7% of parents in the study had not.


  • Common to all families involved was their flexible approach to education and the high level of parental attention received by the children. Children benefited from the freedom to develop their skills at their own speed. Thus, parental input and commitment, regardless of their socio-economic group and level of education, may be the most important factor in children's development and progress.


Even Tony Mooney, who tours the media giving his anti home-ed views says,


".............With my first pupils, I allowed myself the luxury of believing it was the quality of my teaching that was bringing about the improved results. However, this notion was quickly dismissed after the parents of my two first pupils asked me to help their sons with the statistics module of their A-level maths syllabus. I let them know that my knowledge of statistics was rudimentary, but the lads were doing so badly I could not abandon them. It took hours of my time to learn the material I was to teach but eventually, after a few weeks, the boys gained confidence to such an extent that they were leading me a merry dance in the subject. They both gained A grades in their statistics papers, not because of the quality of their teacher but because for one session a week they had the chance to speak to an adult who was conversant with their problems."


School is necessary for socialisation


Of course people are socialised without schooling. School is an institution and is not the only place where children mix. Is the aim of 'socialisation' social ease or social conformity?



Children wouldn't learn without compulsory school


Sometimes home educated children report that schooled children respond by commenting something like, "Can you read then?" "You won't learn anything," or "What's eleven plus twelve then?" The lesson they have learned is that you cannot learn if you are not taught, in a school, by a teacher. This is a shame because it limits and underestimates the child.


End Education Compulsion Now!


School prepares you for real life


What part of 'real life' is like school? Wouldn't it be better to be allowed to continue to live in the real world into which one is born, than to be removed from it to an institution for the preparation of the young to enter 'real life?'


School is a safety net

(to protect the welfare of children)


Schools 'failing to protect children from paedophiles.'


Schools employing paedophiles

Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 11:42 am on Jul 29, 2007

Re: The origins of the title.

I sketched out the origins of the title but due to the limitations of these comment boxes I put it here...


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