Response to Bernard Trafford from Roland Meighan

Roland Meighan, one of our CPE-PEN trustees and directors responds to Bernard Trafford’s Guardian letter.

Dr Roland Meighan

 D.Soc.Sc., Ph.D., B.Sc.(Soc)., L.C.P., Cert.Ed., and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, formerly Special Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham

31st March 2009

Dear Editor,

Bernard Trafford’s excellent piece about home-based education reminds me of his reaction to seeing that his daughters regained their enthusiasm for learning once they came out of school.  It was that he wanted similar enthusiasm in the pupils at his school and so he set about making some significant changes in the regime to make it more learner-friendly and learner-responsive. He had considerable success.

I rather envied his family’s home-based education since my son became a ‘home-education truant’ explaining to me that although school was a complete wreck, he was able to find just enough treasure in it to keep him going. My role was to research and report on home-based education and to appear in court from time to time to support families and to expose the paucity of thinking and ignorant behaviour of some of the local inspectors and headteachers.

Bernard’s experience demonstrates that we could have a much more flexible learning system offering personalised learning programmes with flexischooling, properly supported home-based education available, and schools on offer that were invitational and not based on compulsion – in Illich’s terms, schools that were convivial institutions not coercive ones.

Yours sincerely,

Roland Meighan

Director of Educational Heretics Press and Trustee of the Centre for Personalised Education

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