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.]

Submission on Home Education for the House of Commons Education Committee



I was home educated by my parents until I was eighteen, and I had an overwhelmingly positive experience, which I would like to share.

I can compare my home education, in which I completed the Advanced Certificate of ICCE, with the other education I have had since: biology A-Level at Liverpool UTC, Horticulture NVQ 2 at Sparsholt College, and Diploma in Horticulture at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; and the home education comes out very well indeed.

Looking back, I am very grateful to my parents for giving me an education in a family environment without certain pressures and difficulties that I encountered in corporate education. I am also grateful for an education system that was very clear in structure.


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

Whilst I was home educated, two people from the local authority paid separate visits, one to see that I was healthy and the other to see that I was being educated. I remember the visits being easy-going, and not intrusive, which was very good.

I think that parents have a greater vested interest and personal desire for their children to learn and excel than do the local authorities, so I do not think that local authorities need to set the quality of education.

I do not think local authorities need to link safeguarding duties to home education, and I think that parents who home educate can be treated the same as those who send their children to school.


Whether a Statutory Register of Home-Educated Children is Required

I do not think a register of home educated children is required. Those who home educate genuinely would not gain anything; those who pull their children out of school for the wrong reasons are already on local authorities’ registers for schools.


The benefits children gain from home education, and the potential disadvantages they may face

The benefits are huge and real to me. I was and am very close to my parents and my siblings because of my home based education. I had plenty of friends outside the home also, and home schooling links many families together.

Home education is a great refuge from bullying. I have heard of other children whose parents took them out of school and home educated them to avoid bullying, and I think this alone makes home education a vital option. For my own part, I am very grateful I never experienced bullying as a child, and I know this is because I was schooled with my family.

Home education is very adaptable, and can be modified in time, pace, and content to suit the child’s needs. The flexibility can help brighter children move quickly through the subjects they learn easily, whilst allowing slower children to take their time and not be frustrated.

Home education allowed my Christian parents to raise me with their beliefs and moral code of conduct, which I value hugely. The consistency of life in this regard was very constructive – I did not have conflicting messages between my education environment and my home environment.

A possible disadvantage is that parents could miss an important element of education, but I think that parents who undertake something as unusual as home education in good faith will soon establish all the needed components. For example, my parents took me to do a sport of my choice from an early age, so I did not lack for PE to complement my academic education.


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

The question seems to assume that inspection should be done, but it is not required by law. If local authorities do inspect, then I think it should be as my inspection was; a friendly and informal visit to see that the child is well and is learning. I don’t think parents should be required to educate in the same way or to the same standards as schools in the area, as parents are able to make their own decisions about the children’s education.


Final Word

I wish more people would consider home education. I think it should be encouraged and promoted, as it has proved to be a great way of life for many. I hope that the House of Commons Education Committee will consider ways in which it can protect the freedom of home education.


[member of the public]


November 2020