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.]



[member of the public]

Parent and Home Educator



I have recently started educating my [age] son at home.

He has been diagnosed as [personal information]. Despite him being diagnosed before he started high school in [date] and the school being notified well in advance, a EHCP had not even been started before the country went into lockdown in March 2020.

My son's experience of high school was [personal information] were often not picked up until months after the event, which was a point of great worry for me.

Due to the lack of support following my son’s diagnosis from both the school and health services I was thoroughly unconvinced that my son’s mental and educational needs could be met by him attending school.



The opportunity presented to parents to “test the water” regarding home education during lockdown was a blessing for us, my children were happier and more relaxed and I am sure many other families felt the same. It was my son who asked if it was possible to carry on learning from home when the lockdown finished, so I looked into it and spent the summer holidays finding learning resources and educating myself on how the exam procedure works for children who are not in the school system. I am confident that this is the best environment for my son to learn. I am planning on him sitting maths GCSE and english IGCSE and will allow him to choose other exams in subjects that interest him.

I have received an email from my local Attendance and Placement Officer requesting a report and evidence of my son's work. I understand that I didn’t have to supply evidence but also that it is the duty of the local authority to ensure all children are getting a full time education so I filled out the sample report that was attached and sent extra evidence of our work plans. I know that many home educators resent the local authorities requests for proof of education. I myself do not share this view as I understand that home education could be used as an excuse by some to isolate, abuse or neglect children.


I would like to see more guidance from the local authority for home educators, especially links to resources and local educational opportunities as well as information on exam centers and schools that take external candidates.

I would like to see a framework to financially support low income families who choose to educate their children at home, especially when it comes to financing exams as these can be very expensive.

I believe in order to safeguard children there should be a register of home educated children, I do not think that this register should be used to test children in the way SATs do. Home education takes on many forms and is free to adapt to the needs of individual children, something that is desirable in a school setting but not practical or attainable. This aspect of home education is precious and many parents who educate their children at home feel that possible rules and regulations threaten the freedom that home education presents, and is why many may resist the idea of a register for home ed children.


October 2020