Written evidence submitted by Mr Philip Venables


Dear Sirs / Mesdames





I write further to the request of your committee to receive submissions appertaining to the provision of Home Education.


We have home educated our children for part of their journey through the education system. They are now aged 23,21,19 and 14.


My main concern in respect of the continuance of home education in this country is that the principle of parental responsibility is maintained. For so many the provision of state education is an appropriate thing. A substantial number of parents, though, would want to take an alternative route in guaranteeing that their children get a full-orbed education. One of those ways is through home education.


I want to argue that it is the parents and not the state that should be the key determinators of the child's education going forward. This is as it has been established in law historically.


I would further want to counsel against the establishment of a compulsory register for home education. This would inappropriately shift the balance towards the state being the controllers of the education of the children. The authorities could become responsible for determining who is fit and who is not fit to home educate.


Regrettably there are cases where home education has become a cover for parental neglect and abuse of children. The present legal framework provides sufficient provision to deal with such situations. 


Thank you for your work in seeking to guarantee wholesome education for the children of our nation.



Yours faithfully


Philip Venables


October 2020