Written evidence submitted by Mr James Doggrell

Submission on home education:

Under the education act the responsibility is with parents to chose:

“The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education... either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.”

This is because of the very important principle that schools teach ‘in loco parentis’ which means in the room of the parents.  This is the cornerstone of our educational principal.  It is a principal that is gradually being eroded but needs to be re-established and re-emphasised in the country.

My wife and I have considered home education but chose to have our three children attend school.  As the day-to-day provision is administered by others, I’m grateful for the checks and safe-guards of inspections put in place in schools.  They give me confidence in the provisions provided by the State but they don’t abrogate my responsibility for the education of my child.  I’m happy with them being there.

However, I’d consider any compulsion to register me as a parent providing education directly as gross interference in my delivery of education to my child.  The State should not interfere in family life in this way.  There is no need to interfere in parenting in this way.

Already, while I understand that some parents take children out of schools ‘just for a holiday’ and why it is schools are having to address this, I think this is eroding the ‘in loco parentis’ foundation unnecessarily for what is a relatively small population of parents abusing this.  We need to get back to the emphasis on parents and families owning and supporting actively education.  The recent lock down and enforced home education increase will I hope increase and encourage more connection to our children’s work.  We should not be looking to put administrative or intrusive observation of those efforts as we are not a authoritarian or police state.  Parents need to be trusted to fulfil their duties.  Local councils and government already have the tools needed to deal with issues of abuse or neglect and these should be used when needed.

Kind regards,

James Doggrell

MA MEng (Cantab) ACA

October 2020