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.]


I am writing in regards to the Home education Call for evidence, for ease, my reply is headed responding to each section of the points requested.


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



Across the country home educators are being hounded by EHE council staff that are already over stepping their remit, demanding things from families there is no legal basis for demanding, lying outright to parents, and threatening school attendance ordered (referred to s SAO from here on) without following the current guidelines. 

Social services have the job of addressing safeguarding issues, when we conflate , we do not increase protection of ‘unseen’ children, we give powers to unqualified, untrained, and ill equipped people and put powers into their hands that by the laws and freedoms of U.K citizens, they should not have.  Even the wording of this question shows prejudice and bias, “7.3 There is no proven correlation between home education and safeguarding risk. In some serious cases of neglect or abuse in recent years, the child concerned has been home educated but that has not usually been a causative factor and the child has normally been known anyway to the relevant local authority.”Elective Home Education Departmental Guidance for Local Authorities April 2019

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/.../Elective... . 

Time and time again it is proven that Home Education is NOT a safeguarding issue, yet some invisible forces within the government and media (and the bane of our existence Ann Longfield!) continue to perpetuate this myth. In recent research it showed home educators are 2.5x-3.5x more likely to receive referrals to social services yet 3.5-5.5x LESS likely for that referral to lead to a care plan being put into action. This shows clear and damning evidence that the public, education professionals (from the outgoing school) and council staff are prejudice against home education, the families and their reasons for home educating. If the government were to look into the research they would also find many many cases of social services acknowledging malicious referrals by professionals and councils . When you mix up who is in charge of what area of childhood ( parents, state and council workers) it is a recipe for disaster where parents and family’s and specifically the children, always come out worse, even when it is proven they are doing nothing wrong, and are loving parents and law abiding citizens. Never is an apology EVER given either.

There is a common myth that Home Educated children are not ‘seen’, it is simply not true. As stated above, in the cases where neglect or abuse has occurred, the child was already known to social services (and all but one were originally in school and then removed, there are already people and guidance for stopping these scenarios, it is simply that they are not followed) , it is the failing of the systems already in place that contributes to their terrible, sad, circumstances.

The 2012 report also recommended that EHE staff should not be taking on multiple roles such as attendance or truancy. I ask the question, why do the government keep doing these call for evidence and similar, yet not actually implementing their own advice, is it simply a case of, repeat, until you get the ‘result’ you wish?

I would also raise the issue that unless staff are trained in ALL valid forms of education, and are found to be unbiased in their viewpoint , they are likely (and it has happened already) to confuse certain learning styles as safe guarding issues, when they are not, leading to the needless suffering of families, which takes valuable time away from the children’s education in writing to professionals, learning the law, and attending court.

I would also raise the concern that LA staff are currently incapable of making an accurate assessment of safeguarding, as many seem unaware of the powers already available to them in law, spreading misinformation, that should a family chose not to engage that LAs are powerless to act on safeguarding concerns, again, this was highlighted in the last enquiry, yet there has been no action taken to ensure staff are properly trained with the appropriate knowledge they need and to a consistently high standard.


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


To create a mandatory register is to criminalise law abiding citizens. The only mandatory registers outside of birth and marriage are ones that are to regulate and ‘keep an eye on’ criminals. To prepose a register is to prepose all home educating parents are criminals, or are guilty of wrongdoing, this is highly inappropriate. A register does not safeguard vulnerable children, if it did, there would be no abuse of schooled children.

In addition, there is no mandatory register and checks of children under 5 , if one were to impose a register or checks on home educating family’s , to make sure there is no prejudice the government would need to mandate a register for all children under 5, and checks on ALL families in the school holidays, otherwise there is unlawful discrimination. 


  1.   3.The benefits children gain from home education, and the potential disadvantages they may face
  2.               My children have gained many benefits from being Home educated. These include but are not limited too -
  3. * An age appropriate education (I firmly belies the U.K has school starting age incorrect , as backed up by many other schooling methods seen in Scandinavian countries.
  4. *A child centered education, free of un-neccesary and mentally damaging testing at a young age.
  5. *The ability to follow a child’s strengths and passions
  6. *The ability to sit GCSE’s and Alevels at a time when they are ready (one of my children was getting 9’s on his gcse’s at [age], the other was able to delay some by a year and sit some at [age] instead as per his wishes)
  7. * Freedom from the limited and uncreative curriculum of schools.
  8. * The ability for families , especially siblings to spend more time together, forming healthy and deep family bonds, necessary for good mental health, happiness throughout life, and a childs’ right.
  9. * My one son is artistic and was able to spend much more time focused on his artistic career , this would of been impossible in school.
  10. * My other son is extremely intelligent, and gifted. This went unrecognised, and then unnurtured at school, despite multiple meetings where we tried to explain. He has since been able to acheive 8/9’s across the board on GCSE’s and be accepted onto an oxbridge stream, with plans to go to study biomedical science at Oxford.
  12. The only disadvantage my children have been effected by is how expensive everything is, so we have been unable to do more GCSE’s for example. We have to limit music and language tuition to one language and one music tutor each as we could not afford more.
  14. Another disadvantage was being unrepresented, and ignored by ofqual and the government in respects of the GCSE provision during the covid school closures. My sons suffered greatly at the hands of government and awarding bodies throughout this, as many families did. My eldest son unable to get any alevels at all because of it, he was effectively punished for being intelligent enough to self study and get himself through his exams without the need of a tutor or distance learning provider.
  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.

There is NO financial support for our children, for clubs, or exams, and it is abhorrent . However, I do not believe councils should be able to hold funds to ransom and expect families to submit to all of their own demands, many of which are currently unlawful, to enable us to access that funding.


  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’


In [county] where we live, we now have NO exam centres willing to accept external candidates. We did have three, until this summer. Since the mess of covid, and the damage it caused to both the business model (many centres are private schools, and as such businesses ) and the relationship with home educators (it was an impossible amount of work for them to do) , we have lost all of them. I am currently sat in a hotel room in southampton so my son could take two gcse’s he couldn’t take in the summer. It has cost me £400 for the two (english and maths) exams, around £100 in fuel, £100 in food for five days (I wont bring up the free school meals, and MP claiming expenses for their lunches here!), and £200 for the hotel for the duration. So I have paid roughly £1000 when you include printing past exam papers, buying the student books, and paying for mock exams to be marked , JUST for english and maths, something that should be a fundamental childhood right in our country !


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

It would be impossible to measure , or inspect home education as you do a schooled education. My children are autonomously educated. Until they started GCSE’s they did no ‘lessons’ as a teacher would recognise them, no workbooks, or worksheets, yet I have a son who was accepted to his first place university, and another as I say who has achieved (or on course for) 6 gcse’s at 8/9 . If a ‘teacher’ had asked to speak to him, his [personal information] would of made it impossible. If a teacher has asked to see his ‘work’ he could of shown them anything they would recognise. He is one of many Home educated children who have lived and developed in such a way. If inspection were to be bought in, this method of education could be essentially ‘illegal’ .

In addition OFSTED is their to regulate schools and report back to parents to make sure their children are receiving an effective education, ofsted cannot assess a parent to see if that education is adequate, to relate back to the same parents, it is nonsensical.


  1.   The impact COVID-19 has had on home educated children, and what additional measures might need to be taken in order to mitigate any negative impacts.’

Can I recommend that the following attached evidence of 100 home educating families who were effected by Covid during exam season this year is actually read by someone, given the time it took everyone to compile it, it is illuminating , and includes evidence from children as well as parents.


November 2020