HED0024

Written evidence submitted by a member of the public

 

Evidence Submitted for the Parliamentary Review into Home Education.

 

As both a former Deputy Head Teacher in a thriving inner city Infant School and as a parent I welcome the opportunity to add evidence into this review.

 

In [date] my [age] year old daughter stopped attending mainstream school due to [personal information]. At the time of this I was working as a Deputy Head with responsibility for assessment and curriculum. In addition I had worked for [number] years as part of the BCC moderation team. I have training and experience of working with CP, Prevent, FGM, EAL and PP.

 

As my daughter’s [personal information]. All of this has taken over [number] years. It took months for a [personal information] to see my daughter. It took nearly a year for a [personal information] to step across the front door of our house. I consider this to be the failing of the system and not the individual hard working people we had met.

 

I turned to the Home School community in order to establish some connection with peers for my daughter. We were welcomed. The environment of lower demand, outdoor learning, adult support and child lead learning certainly helped my daughter.

 

Broadly we encountered three groups of Home Schooled children.

Those who’s parents are fundamentally opposed to the school system and who’s children have never been to school.

Those children who were anxious attending school and now choose to Home School, this group includes a number of children with SEN who parents felt that needs could not be met at school. Many of these parents would welcome the opportunity to engage with mainstream flexi schooling.

Parents such as myself, who have no wish to un-school their children in the long term but are seeking support, peer engagement, education and self confidence building opportunities for their children in light long waiting times for [personal information]. I am not the only professional woman who has had to give up my career in order to support our children. I have met many others, SENCO’s, translators, office workers. I question why it should have to be this way.

 

I believe mainstream education could learn much from the Home School community in terms of children’s emotional wellbeing and emotional regulation.

I do however also strongly believe that there should be tighter checks and regulations on the provision and wellbeing of Home Schooled children and do not believe that the right to refuse a visit from the LEA should be optional. As a professional I have seen to many children vanish into the home school world even where CP concerns have already been present. With the increase of home schooled children due to Covid 19 this number will only increase.

 

I would further welcome a LEA role for a link home school professional for parents who do wish their children to return to formal education. A place where they can seek guidance and support and realize they are not alone.

 

October 2020