Written evidence submitted by Ms Ozma Mohammad



Education Committee 

House of Commons 



1st November 2020 



Dear Sirs 


I write to provide evidence for supporting home education. 


It is clear from the members of the Facebook pages of home educators that many parents feel intimidated by the local authority's involvement. In our personal experience, we also felt that the Education Officer had an intimidating and almost threatening approach. We were called at 8am in the morning with a warning saying that a home visit will be made before lunch time. Despite the fact that the school lied that they had no communication from us, the Education Officer should have approached matters professionally and without judgement. Parents are within their rights to teach children at home. The manner in which local authority treats home educators has to change. The government needs to show they support home educators, emotionally and financially. 


A statutory register would be beneficial for monitoring purposes, but state should not go beyond this. Requesting parents to provide detailed plans and progress reports should not be mandatory. A simpler online process that helps track the child's progress, allowing parents the option of including further details, would be preferable. The word 'inspection' should be prohibited as it threatens the core of home education, instead support meetings should be organised for parents. In fact, regular group support meetings can be set up with the support of home education volunteers and local council. 


Of course, child safety and welfare are important to all of us and unfortunately, some families do not provide the right setting for the children. It is therefore important for the state to intervene where there is evidence that the child will be better at school. There should be a central register which allows authorities to monitor children at risk and where necessary, seeking confirmation from GPs as to the wellbeing of the child, with a follow up visit by a member of the home education support team. 


I do feel children that are home educated fair better than their peers academically and are well rounded overall. However, schools play a pivotal role in providing a balanced education. Some parents have resorted to home education due to the COVID situation; others have found it difficult to cope with stress, bullying and mental health issues. More needs to be done in terms of supporting children that do not fall into the mainstream category. 


In terms of parents that have decided to home educate due to COVID, interim support should be provided by their existing school, especially access to online resources, parents should not be penalised for non-attendance or compelled to deregister their children. We are dealing with a pandemic after all. 


Kind Regards 


Ms Mohammad


November 2020