Being Wise as Serpents

Most bureaucrats are cautious people. They don’t want to innovate. They don’t want to take risks. They want to get their above market salaries, and they want to retire as early as possible. They are not ideologically driven. They are driven by the climate of bureaucracy, which is a climate of avoiding risk.[1]

Homeschooling families that choose not to register with the Department, really do need wisdom about how they go about this. Why? Because unguarded comments made to the wrong people, can easily bring them undone.

How could that be?

Let me give you an example. Mrs Homeschooler is home with her children on a work-day, and there is a knock on the door. The visitor identifies themselves as being from the Department of Education, and would like to know the names and dates of birth of your children at home. Perhaps they claim they are entitled to know.

What’s to be done? Mum’s surprised by this visit, and is unprepared for the conversation. The easiest thing to do is to immediately give the person the information they are seeking, but that (in my view) would be highly unwise.


This visitor has a strategy. Visit homes unannounced, and gather information about children, so the Department can get what it wants: important family data which could potentially be used against you in a court of law. Remember: Australia’s compulsory education laws are on the side of the bureaucrat.

Departments of Education don’t want unregistered families to continue in that state. They are problem families and they want to stop them, because a movement like this could get out of hand, and they could lose control. Maintaining control, means that each bureaucrat’s job and future is secure. Losing control means they could ultimately lose everything, especially if this movement ever gains political influence. So, they want to stop it in its tracks.

What would I do?

If someone comes to the front door and wants information about the children, I don’t care who they say they are or what identification they produce: I won’t spill any beans and tell them anything. I would say, “I don’t give information about my family to strangers.” They can write me a letter, and I’ll deal with that.

There’s something else I’d do. If the visitor claims to be from the Education Department, I’d ask one of my children to get the smart phone, and film the conversation. This conversation could be of relevance, later.

This would make them immediately frustrated, but you permit no further conversation, and require them to leave.

It’s like a game of chess. But this time the stakes are high, because the educational choices you are making for your children are being threatened by this visit. So, you have to outsmart your opposition by always being one step ahead, knowing what their strategy is.

Don’t fall for it.



[1] Gary North (, “The Jury System is Alive and Well: Bundy goes Free,” 13/1/2018.