19 December 2006

Further comments on gifted children

(copy of a letter)

Dear H

I have sent you a draft of some comments [see previous post] on one of these appalling articles about plans for the oppression and persecution of gifted children, which is obviously quite bad enough as it is, having being getting worse all the time since the 1940s and 50s when it was already bad enough, in its early stages, to destroy my life and the lives of my parents.

As usual, one has to start by rejecting fictional rationalisations and it is made very difficult to get to the real issues. A thing that would be a real help to victims would be to repeal the powers of supervision and interference of local education ‘authorities’, which appear to have come in, in their present form, in the 1945 Education Act, and which give them ‘rights’ to inspect private as well as state schools.

I can never get anyone to tell me how these ‘rights’ are defined, but so far as I can gather, if a parent exercised the right - which he still has - to ‘educate’ his child at home, the local ‘authority’ could still write reports about him, visit his child at home (?), remove child for interrogation(?), etc.

And would it be possible for the child to enter itself for the taking of an exam without the permission of its parents or the local ‘authority’? This is the sort of freedom that would be of real help (and not ‘help’) to the precocious.

I have not written to the Editor of the Sunday Times offering to write a riposte to the article by Sian Griffiths, because I know from past experience that I would not even receive a reply.