Written evidence submitted by [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.]


Home Education Inquiry


Call for Evidence Response from [name]


  1. Introduction:

My name is [name], I am a mother to two children [ages]. My eldest attended school for [time period] before we deregistered him in [date]. I received a formal degree education and worked in children’s social services before becoming a mother myself. I also qualified as an early years professional childminder when my eldest was young and have had links with our local home education community since [date]. I believe that home education acts as a public good and that home settings should not be subject to formal inspection.


  1. Response to the benefits children gain from home education, and the potential disadvantages they may face:


My children are able to follow their own interests and learn about subjects that interest them in their own time. This creates a love of learning and means that the knowledge stays with them. I was taught to a degree level. I learned how to pass exams in a robotic fashion from the age of 11 and I was good at it. But, because there was no joy and autonomy in my education, no memory of the information I had learned stayed with me beyond leaving the exam halls.

When my children are learning at home they receive dedicated 1-2-1 attention that caters to their strengths. When my eldest attended school their teachers did not have the time or resources to give them more than half an hour 1-2-1 time per week. Their physical education teachers did not notice their natural talents which was starting to affect their confidence and love of sports. Other parents would often express how shocked this made them, but we were sadly resigned to the fact. Systemic racism and misogyny were also a clear factor in daily life within the curriculum and behaviours in the playground and classroom.

Home education allows time to focus on the subjects they love. We provide swim lessons which the school we went to had no provisions for. We enjoy different sports multiple times a week with experts in their fields. We study animation and gaming which they would not do in a classroom at their age. These passions have gone on to develop their reading, writing and arithmetic skills to a high level without ever having to sit in front of a whiteboard or textbook.

Finally, the matter that made me take the leap and deregister my eldest was [personal information] The child’s autonomy is restricted and challenged in many bigger and more destructive ways within schools too. Our children are constantly judged and monitored for their potential to be capitalised, which makes them sad learners.

My children's brains are constantly stimulated through joy. They are autonomous learners. They wake when they are rested, eat when they are hungry, wear clothes they are comfortable in, use the toilet when they need to go, go outside and play when they wish, read books that interest them, play sports and art just for fun, discover what truly makes them happy and not just a commodity. Home education allows them this; to be happy and free. 


  1. the role that inspection should play in future regulation of home education:


As a former professional early years childminder I worked closely with the local authority and Ofsted. Despite a clear understanding of the need to safeguard vulnerable children from my previous line of work, I always found our visits to be intrusive and the evidence presented to be problematic. Much like social media, the visits would only see a staged snapshot of a brief moment in time and I always took issue with the observations of the so called professionals. I saw bad childminding settings praised and concerns overlooked and good ones wrongly criticised. In the end I disliked them so much that I stopped that line of work altogether.

Therefore, I can not see any benefit of having early years educators involved in home education settings. I think they go against the whole ethos of the self directed learning movement and would cause nothing but problems. There is no set theory either with home education. There are too many approaches to enable anyway to create a universal criteria to measure everyone against in a fair manner. Plus, unlike childminding, I have no intention of walking away from my role as the main facilitator in my children's education.


  1. the impact COVID-19 has had on home educated children, and what additional measures might need to be taken in order to mitigate any negative impacts:

The main impact on us has been isolation. All our education groups and access to friendship circles was taken away from us. We have switched to more online methods of learning and socialisation which has had an impact on our physical and mental health as a family.

November 2020