On the 16 November 2021, the High Court published its ruling in the case of Goodred v Portsmouth City Council. This action had been backed by crowd-funding from home educators in the hope that it would halt the ongoing narrative of suspicion which has artificially raised political desire to see total oversight of the parents by the state, in this instance specifically in England.
The recent emergence of comments made by Kate Dixon, the Director of Schools at the Department of Education, to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse on 13 August 2020, have confirmed that the Government’s ultimate objective goes well beyond a register to ultimately assessing the content of what parents are teaching their children. A concern which the recent judgement seems to undoubtedly confirm.
However, at the time of writing home educators are still trying to work out what the implications of this ruling are and I it is not my intention to discus those here. Instead this post is to make widely available helpful material to contribute to that process.
A week after the publication of the ruling two of the barristers involved in the case, Paul Greatorex & James Cornwell put on a free webinar entitled, New Home Education Decision of the High Court. I attended this event and found it helpful in understand a perspective on the ruling from outside home educating circles. Even though Greatorex represented Portsmouth City Council, the defendants in the case, and Cornwell the Secretary of State for Education who intervened in the claim, they were both more interested in the facts and implications of the case, than the rejoicing in the victory.
After the webinar attendees were emailed a PDF of the slides used along with a password protected link to the recording of it and instructions on how to download the file. However, we were no suggestion that this material should not be shared with others. I have therefore decided to post both on this blog in the belief that it is material which will prove helpful to others in seeking to understand the various aspects of this case and its outcome.
I have divided the recording into two parts for practical reasons, though the “question time” is less informative than the initial presentation. The PDF file containing the slides is available below the videos.