Written evidence submitted by [a member of the public]

[Note: This evidence has been redacted by the Committee. Text in square brackets has been inserted where text has been redacted.]

Response to call for evidence regarding elective home education.


I am responding as a home educator of [years] and parent of [years]. I also have children in school so see both sides of the picture. My husband and I are both university graduates and work or have worked for the [organisation] for the past [years]. 2 of our children are [personal information]. I am also an [role] on 4 home education groups online.


I believe the Home Educating community would welcome Local Authorities properly following the law with regards to Home Education- there are several who vastly overstep their remit. Because of these cases Home Educators are wary of involvement. We are not replicating school at home and so expectations of school style learning are not appropriate.

Home Education is not a safeguarding matter. Parents do not need monitoring and regulating in their own homes. For many, home education is a way of life, not a stand-alone event.

If the Government is serious in wanting to support Home Educators then I would suggest they firstly listen to us properly, accept that the current school system is only suitable for certain children, and then support those who facilitate their children's learning at home. Look at the statistics about how well home educated children are doing. Many are at University/FE College/ in employment. There are plenty of statistics out there now regarding exam results and successes. It is the outcome of an educational system that proves its suitability.

One major way in which the Government could help is in ensuring that every area has accessible exam centres that take external candidates. Parents should not have to travel miles and miles to find a place they can use. By failing to do this, Home Educators are being discriminated against, despite the fact that their choices are perfectly legal.

In seeking to try and regulate something that is currently a freedom, many benefits of home education will be lost- it is the very freedom we have to learn as suits us best that leads to successful outcomes for so many children, both academically and socially. For very many parents there is no suitable alternative outside of home education.


The Covid pandemic has vastly cut down the social activities side of home education, but many educational activities are up and running again. Home educators generally socialise a lot more than schooled children so obviously there has been an impact. But the huge upsurge in those deregistering shows that despite the current restrictions, learning at home is giving better outcomes to children in many areas – academically, in terms of mental and physical health, and in the range of life experiences open to them.

Unless Home Education, and what it means to us is understood properly, no enquiry will be balanced. This means involving us every step of the way and not presuming that Home Education is simply school at home. It is so much more.


October 2020