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.]


I am a Home educating Mum of 3 [ages]. We started in [date]. This is an eye witness account so say.

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

It is already within the jurisdiction of the Local Authority to step in where it has been established that a child is at risk of abuse or not receiving adequate education.  As it stands, the current approach strikes an inappropriate balance between child protection and family privacy. Giving additional responsibility to an overstretched LA is to create a situation where being under pressure to avoid criticism, they will unduly interfere in the lives of law abiding citizen.

The home is the best environment for a child to learn. It is the safest environment for children to thrive. The parent by intuition understands a child better – his/her weaknesses and strengths are put into consideration in the care and education provided.


Whether a statutory register of home-educated children is required

  There is absolutely no need for a statutory register of home-educated children. The Education Select Committee ought to continue to trust parent not only to care but also in the education of their children. There are has been many failings of state provision whereas; Elective Home Education is predominantly successful.  Maintaining a register is not a proven tool to maintain child welfare as it has been seen in many tragic instances of failure of social services. It will only –at its best be an avenue to waste the already scarce resources of the state or at worst- a Nazistic tool to persecute the innocent.

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

The benefit of home education is enormous. The ability to tailor it to the need and aptitude of the child is a huge benefit not to mention the room to go at the child’s pace. This then mean the child is not to be drag on with the rest of the class in area(s) where he/she struggles neither will he/she be held back in areas they are gifted: Education can be effectively individualised at home.

Home education is does have the potential to encourage self-directed learning which is a good preparation for higher education. In my experience, the home is a safe and nurturing environment especially in cases the where the child has experienced bullying in main stream school.

I am yet to see a disadvantage in any form and I have been at it for [time].



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

There is absolutely no need for inspection in home education.  It will be an intrusion into the home and a worrying sign of State interference into family life.  Councils already have sufficient powers to address inadequate home education.


Whether the current regulatory framework is sufficient to ensure that the wellbeing and academic achievement of home educated children is safeguarded, including where they may attend unregistered schools, have been formally excluded from school, or have been subject to ‘off-rolling’

It appears the Education Select Committee is unclear as to the meaning of Elective Home Education. The Education Act of 1944 spelt this out.

Elective home education is being unfairly linked with unregistered or illegal schools, with exclusion, and with off-rolling. These are separate matters, and dealing with them properly means focusing on them and not elective home education.

The achievement levels of home educated children far surpass that of their school going counterpart. As far wellbeing goes, Research 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.

The current regulatory frame work is more than adequate.

The quality and accessibility of support (including financial support) available for home educators and their children, including those with special educational needs, disabilities, mental health issues, or caring responsibilities, and those making the transition to further and higher education.

Any support should be entirely voluntary, available on request from parents. There must be no implication that not requesting support, or declining to follow advice offered, is a cause for concern. Home educators often report being treated with unwarranted suspicion by local authorities, rather than being supported.



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.

Our children’s education has not been interrupted by COVID-19 because we are all within the same household.  Neither are we at loss as to what to teach the children and how to do it because this is what we have always done. This has demonstrated that family institutions are more robust in the face of disruption compared to state institutions



-The LA does not require additional powers with regards to home educated children.

-There is no need to maintain a statutory register of home educated children. They are already registered at GPs and healthy visitors so, they are not missing persons.

-Elective Home educators have fare well without state support and will continue to do so. Help could be provided to parents with SEN children and towards exams centres. Access to this MUST remain at the parent’s discretion without the vilifying of those who don’t.

-Home Educated children do not pose safeguarding risk as do their schooling counterpart. Since it isn’t broken, it requires no fixing.

- The dignity of the family should be upheld without undue interference from the state.

-  As part from the general effect on the whole population, Home educated children are able to better cope with the pandemic. Their education and mental health have not been negatively affected.

November 2020