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.]


Reason for sending this submission.

It is usually left-wing governments that increasingly intrude into family and private lifeSo it comes as rather a surprise to see a Conservative government seeking to intrude further into family life.  Successive governments have undermined family life in various ways and this attempt to intrude into home education is yet one more instance. The Education Act gives parents the fundamental right to educate their children in keeping with their beliefs.  In this country the state education system is not a compulsory requirement for children, as it is in totalitarian run countries like China, North Korea, the former Soviet Union, etc.  This proposed intrusion into home education sounds very much like an attempt to introduce further control into family life by the state, much like happens in totalitarian countries.

I genuinely want to see less intrusion into family life by the state, not more.



  1. The duties of local authorities with regards to home education, including safeguarding and

assuring the quality of home education


Do local authorities already have sufficient powers to intervene if they honestly believe a child’s safety is at risk?  In which case why would local authorities require further powers.  This is nothing less than state intrusion.


If you don’t believe you have sufficient safeguarding powers, then demonstrate how and why.  Otherwise you have no basis for introducing more intrusive powers other than the desire to intrude increasingly into family life.


  1. Whether a statutory register of home-educated children is required


Why would you need this?  Home education has been in place for so many years and without concern.  You seem to forget that it is not the state’s responsibility to educate children.  It is the parents responsibility to educate their children.  Since that is the case, what possible argument can you advance for intruding into that fundamental right?


To introduce a mandatory register is to strongly imply that the state owns the children.  You do not own the children, children belong to their parents.  So why should parents need to register with the state to teach their own children?


  1. The benefits children gain from home education, and the potential disadvantages they may face.


Home education is of great benefit to children and I would welcome greater home education.

It serves to bond parents and children.

It allows parents to teach in the best way possible for their individual children. 

It makes education far more enjoyable. 

It makes education precisely that, an education rather than a state-imposed list of what must/must not be taught, often against parental wishes. 

It gives children far more time to explore and discuss things with their parents than children ever have at state schools with teachers

It enables specific tailoring of education for each child rather than the one size fits all approach current in state education.

It allows parents to vary the pace of education depending on the child’s ability to learn, compared with the state school-imposed regimen of having to learn at the pace set by the teachers/school.

It allows children to be educated without fear of harassment, intimidation or bullying, [personal information].

Home education encourages children to apply themselves to self-study, something that is invaluable at higher education and also in work situations.


  1. The role that inspection should play in future regulation of home education

There is no warrant for inspection and as said above, strongly implies that the state owns the children, which they do not.

It also strongly implies that the state thinks it knows better than parents how to educate children, which you don’t.

Why would you want to or need to inspect?  Don’t you trust parents?  If you do trust them then there is no need for inspection.  If you don’t trust parents then that says more about the state and its lack of trust in its citizens than it does about the parents.


  1. Whether the current regulatory framework is sufficient to ensure that the wellbeing and

academic achievement of home educated children is safeguarded, including where they

may attend unregistered schools, have been formally excluded from school, or have been

subject to ‘off-rolling’


Don’t you have sufficient powers to ensure safety of children thought to be at risk?  If you don’t have sufficient powers then shame on you for not having worded the current powers sufficiently to ensure that.  If you do have sufficient powers then why do you think you need to introduce more?  It sounds more like state intrusion into family life than any genuine desire to protect children from supposed unsafe environments.

Are you concerned with child abuse?  Then say so instead of using euphemisms and cloaking language.  The obvious next question is do you think home education and child abuse are linked?  If you do, then where is the evidence/proof?  If you don’t then again why would you require further state intrusion into family life?

Home-educated children are much less likely to need state intervention to protect them than children educated in school. Research in 2015 found home-educated children in England were two to three times less likely to be subject to a Child Protection Plan than children in school.

Home education also protects children from the alarming levels of sexual harassment and abuse that has been documented in schools.


  1. The quality and accessibility of support (including financial support) available for home

educators and their children, including those with special educational needs, disabilities,

mental health issues, or caring responsibilities, and those making the transition to further and

higher education.


If you want to offer support, financial or otherwise, to home-schoolers, then say so and make it voluntary.


October 2020