[Note: This evidence has been redacted by the Committee. Text in square brackets has been inserted where text has been redacted.]

Written evidence submitted by [member of the public]

Covid impact on home educated children: home educated children in my view were less impacted by the epidemic than children at school. I have home educate child and 2 children are at school. With my experience in home education I was perfectly able to support my 2 children who are normally at school during the time of the lock down. However, the resources provided by schools were not suitable especially for young children. My home educated child is very advanced and eager to learn and this has not changed during covid. One resource, however, the national oak academy, which emerged as a response to the epidemic, I think is really fantastic.


Home education register: I understand the duty of  care the government and councils have children are safe and receive an age appropriate education.  To have a home education register to ensure children are safe, I think it perfectly reasonable, however to ask someone to judge if a child received age appropriate education according to the national curriculum and the Key stage a child should be at, defeats the purpose of home education. Many parents opt this path, because they don’t believe in the way children are taught at school. So this would need to be managed very carefully, I think.


Support for home educated children: I think in particular children with a SEN statement, the parents should receive additional support to teach these children, by having access to resources, potentially experts and if possible also some financial incentives. This might have to be linked to certain achievements and parents could always opt out of the incentives, but having it on offer, could have the potential to really benefit many home educating families. It would not be easy for the government to pay home educating families without following the children’s learning at least to some extend. The government could possibly offer it as an option to home educating families if they can provide evidence of the learning of their children? Or allow home educating families to access home education resources (might need to be vetted) for their children up to a certain amount per year, if they provide evidence of payment and attendance.

Exams for home educated children: Currently home educated children often have to sit GCSEs/ A-levels as a private candidate and families have to pay for the fees and it is not always easy to find an exam centre. In addition the fees are a lot larger than fees in schools, where parents don’t have to pay anything at all. This seems very unfair and I think the government should facilitate exams for home educated children and allow them to sit them free of charge or reimburse them for the fees.


Benefits of home education: Home education really allows children to dive deeply into topics and to truly absorb what they learn and also practice it. I have the benefit of speaking fluently multiple languages and hence my daughter is now aged [age] already  at a GCSE level in at least one language and probably 1 year away in another. Home education allows children to apply theory in practice and learn more by having more opportunities to do field trips. I don’t support children only learning what they love and are interested in, I think it is important to learn broadly, also about things we don’t like. However, in home education children can really immerse themselves into topics that they love and develop their skills way beyond what is possible in a school setting.

January 2021