Written evidence submitted by Mrs Sarah Close


I have three young children (three and under) and am intending to home educate them. This was my intention long before COVID-19. I am concerned at the proposed increase in regulation for home education and I would like to make the following points:


Local Authorities do not have duties regarding home education, as education is the responsibility of parents. Any interference from Local Authorities is unwarranted. Local Authorities already have safeguarding powers which need not be extended.


A register of home educated children is not required, again because education is the responsibility of parents. Children are already registered in many different ways, beginning with a birth certificate. There does not need to be any further registration, because there does not need to be any interference or monitoring of home educated children.


Children benefit from home education in many ways. For many children a better quality of education is available, a safer environment, and an education more in line with their worldview and philosophy. There are many opportunities for new and unique experiences and socialisation with other children, so aside from the financial burden, there are no drawbacks to home education.


Having previously worked in a school, I know that children that are permanently excluded and ‘off-rolled’ due to behavioural reasons, are always involved with other agencies already, which check that they are in fact receiving an education. This is no justification for the rest of the home education community to be subjected to increased control or regulation.


There need not necessarily be any additional financial support for parents who home educate, as long as a tax break is provided so they do not need to contribute to a system that they do not use. Parents are currently punished financially, paying twice for their children’s education.


There should be no inspection in the regulation of home education. Such intrusions are a gross violation of parental rights. Children do not belong to the state. Part of the reason for choosing home education is to give children an education that is different from the one on offer in local schools - which in many cases is not high quality. It utterly defeats the point to attempt to get all home education to meet a set standard. We are home educating because we want our children to reach a different and better standard, which is solely the decision of parents and not the state.


The impact of COVID-19 has been to close venues and groups that might have been attended. Hopefully these would reopen and continue in the future. One benefit has been a large increase in the amount of online resources, as well as an increased online presence of the home education community.


October 2020