Written evidence submitted by a member of the public


Thank you for consulting the public on this.  As a teacher myself, who has been somewhat backed into a corner- having to Home Educate my daughter whose [personal information] meant that school became intolerable-I have come to see a great many benefits of Home Educating. I am also well-placed to tell you about the support which is lacking.


Benefits of Home Ed:  Most people vastly over-estimate the amount of learning which actually takes place in schools.  Classes of 30 mean that teachers are over-stretched and pupils gain very little teacher-time.  My children (I now home-ed two of them) get individualised attention, for most of the day and they are getting a rich ,diverse, appropriate education.  The flexibility to travel and explore is wonderfully enriching- we recently visited the Living History museum at [town] and SAW Victorian life in the flesh.  We visited a local Roman ruin at [town] which made so much more sense than pictures on a screen. We went to an ‘explosions’ show at the Science Museum and had a fully immersive experience which can never be offered in a primary school.  We can read books together which are never ones they’ve read before (this happens far too often in schools) and which are totally appropriate for their reading age (my [age] year old daughter can enjoy adult books like The Book Thief and no longer has to endure childish tomes more suited to a general audience).


[personal information]: There are so many children for whom school is a [personal information]. My daughter is an intelligent, compliant child who simply disappeared in her large class. No-one realised the [personal information] of school for her: the noisy classroom; disruptive pupils; endless distractions; unpredictable changes to the timetable; overwhelming smells of the lunch hall; [personal information] to change clothes; the scratchy uniforms…. She became a [personal information] until it all began again the next day.  She was simply [personal information] with any meaningful home life. We have seen the most dramatic change in her since she began home ed- having a calm, supportive environment in which to learn skills she can see are valuable and meaningful has transformed her into a confident young woman who can be a valued member of a local girls football team and who enjoys engaging with her family. She can now enjoy her life. 


Finances: This is my only complaint. It is expensive for one parent to give up work. It is VERY expensive to sit GCSEs and A-levels. Home-educators save the government £5/6k per child, per year, yet parents are forced to find an average of £200 per GCSE. I find this grossly unfair. Why should my daughter’s future be restricted by our finances? Does she not deserve a chance to meet her potential like everyone else?  An enriching Home Ed experience is easy to achieve but not easy to afford and I feel cheated by the government. I accept that school is not suitable for everyone. I do not accept that I should have to fit the bill for that.


Support: I find the level of checking and support at present to be perfectly acceptable. I think the freedom to educate your children as you wish to be a great benefit of UK society and something to be proud of.  Please don’t bring in draconian checking systems- they will add very little value. Instead, please spend the money on funding access to core GCSEs/qualifications so that our young people are not left behind.


November 2020