Written evidence submitted by Mrs A Hilton




Responding to the Select Committee Call for Evidence EHE


I have recently begun homeschooling, having known since my formative years that this was the path I intended for my children. I was home educated until the age of eleven, and loved the experience. Being taught at home gave me a security which was not equalled in any of my subsequent learning environments. Academically, socially, spiritually, physically, and psychologically, my welfare was in the safest hands; my parents', who knew me more precisely than any classroom teacher.


This has prompted me to begin the same process with my daughters and son. I am at the very beginning, with one pre-schooler and a Year One pupil. Currently I teach them mathematics, reading, creative writing, phonics, handwriting, spelling, geography, science, art, and history. We take part in a home educators' sports group, and intend to begin private swimming and piano lessons in the next year. We meet with other homeschooling families as circumstances permit. We are involved with our local church, of which my husband is the minister. The days revolve around my children and their specific needs.


In my experience, children flourish best when surrounded by a small network of like-minded, loving people of all ages, including children, parents, and other responsible adults. Magnifying the social scene by including other staff and pupils is no guarantee of success, and in many ways negates it by introducing the possibility of bullying and unhealthy role models at a young age.


It is my firm persuasion that the responsibility for a child's education lies with his or her parents. They may choose to delegate this to a private tutor or a school, but fundamentally, they are accountable for their child's educational pathway. I believe passionately, therefore, that unfettered home education has an essential place in our society. To require home educators to register with the state is a fundamental transgression of a parents' right to educate their child without interference. The next logical step, regular inspections, is a further imposition. Once the local authorities gain the right to judge whether or not a parent is capable of educating their child, the door is opened to discriminate against parents who, for reasons of conscience, cannot teach mainstream ideas regarding gender and sexuality, religious pluralism, or abortion, to name but a few.


I therefore beseech the authorities to allow home education to remain as it is: the peaceful preserve of the minority, and a testament to a parent's inviolable authority over their child and his or her education.


January 2021