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 a parent who has been Home Educating my child for the past [number of] years. We as a family feel this was the best decision for our child as he struggled in nursery not enjoying the whole experience. [personal information]. He enjoys learning at home, he has learnt skills that a 12 year old would be learning. He enjoys being challenged and enjoys playing with his pets. In school he would still be learning how to read. He is [age] and can now fluently read a Roald Dahl book, or any literature given to him. Something which a 12 year old would be struggling with.


A parent will only Home Educate their child when they know that this route is the absolute best route for their child in regards to both mental and physical development.


Beside this, it is a parents responsibility to educate their child whether they carry this out themselves or send them to school. Where the later route is undertaken then the teacher is teaching the child on behalf of the parents and not the state.


Local authorities already have sufficient powers to ensure a child receives an adequate education.


The current approach strikes an

appropriate balance between family privacy and child protection – local authorities have substantial powers to intervene when they have good reason to believe there is a problem.


Authorities are already financially overstretched giving them even more responsibility for safeguarding

Home Educated children would make

authorities increasingly risk-averse. In order to protect themselves from criticism, they would be under pressure to interfere in the lives of law-abiding families, distracting them from the children most at risk and using their resources where they are really needed.


Having a mandatory register would give the state unwarranted power over parents.


It is a parent's responsibility to educate their child. Not have to ask permission from the state to be able carry out their God given duty. Parents are responsible for every other aspect of their child's life yet when it comes to Home Education the state wants them to get permission???


There is no evidence that a mandatory

register is necessary or would be effective.

Parents who are of concern are unlikely to

register anyway. Which defeats the purpose the state claims they need one.


A mandatory register would be a worrying sign of increasing state interference

in family life. Mandatory registration may be the first step towards even more intrusive regulation and monitoring.


The administration of a mandatory register

would be a waste of local authorities’ already limited resources making it a waste of funds which could be used elsewhere.


There are many benefits children get from Home Education which have well been documented in studies.


Home Education can be tailored to

individual children’s interests, helping to create an enjoyable and stimulating environment. So a child can thrive.


Parents have flexibility to vary their pace, allowing them to speed up for gifted

children or slow down for those who struggle in certain areas. Where a child struggles, that area can then be tackled in a different manner. The child has a one to one with the parents attention rather than a few moments in a class of 30 students.


For some Home Education is chosen because it is a safe and nurturing

environment for children who have experienced bullying.


Home Education can encourage

self-directed study that leaves children well-equipped for higher education. Not just that, Home Education teaches children life skills equipping the child for life outside in the world.


There is no evidence that inspection

is necessary, and there is no mandate for it.


Councils already have sufficient powers to

address inadequate Home Education.


Home Education inspection is inappropriate. One method of teaching varies from another as Home Educating is based on the individual child's needs. This diversity of approaches is a strength of Home Education, making inspections impractical.


There is no evidence that suggests the lack of inspection puts children at risk.


Inspections would be an intrusion into

the home and a worrying sign of increased

state interference in family life. How can someone who does not even know you or your child's unique needs be able to tell you what that child needs???


Elective Home Education (EHE) is often

unhelpfully confused with other issues.


EHE is being unfairly linked with unregistered or illegal schools, with exclusion, and with off-rolling.

These are ALL separate matters, and dealing with them properly means focusing on them and not EHE.


My concerns are that Home Education

gets wrongly associated with child abuse. Child abuse is a separate issue which authorities already have wide powers to deal with. In fact many parents home educate to protect their children from the abuse of bullying at school.


Home Educated children are much

less likely to need state intervention to protect them than children educated in schools.


A study conducted 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, despite being twice as likely to be referred to social services.


Home Education protects children from

the alarming levels of sexual harassment, abuse, drug use, bullying that has been documented in schools.


There is no evidence of a problem with

the current regulatory framework.


Any support should be voluntary and available when requested by the parent. Parents shouldn't be made to feel that not requesting support or declining to follow advice is a cause for concern.


Parents may decide to remove their children from state schools for many reasons, for example, their child has special needs which are not being properly addressed. Support for these parents and children would come from making existing provisions better.


Home Educators often report being

treated with unwarranted suspicion by local authorities, rather than being supported. One local authority was reprimanded by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman for visiting a family based on unsubstantiated claims and not even explaining the reasons.


Provision of financial assistance for

exam fees or help with exam centres are areas in which home educators could be supported. As there is very little if any help available at all.


Finally, Home Educated children turn out to be more balanced, better skilled and more social than many others their ages. Home Educating is a valuable asset for producing intelligent minds. Any interference would disrupt the delicate balance of educating and producing healthy, happy balanced young people.


November 2020