HED0781

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.]

Call for Evidence Response

[member of the public]

 

  1. Introduction

My name is [member of the public] and I am a mother to four children aged [ages]. It is my youngest daughter who has been learning at home since [date]. I have been a secondary school teacher for nearly twenty years and continue to teach part-time in a secondary state school.

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

My daughter has thrived since not being in school. For two years she had become unhappy and reluctant to attend school due to what she felt was constant pressure, testing and a way of learning that was not engaging for her. She was reluctant to read books and was worried about her handwriting. Since leaving school she is reading voluntarily, excited about learning and writing passionately about subjects she cares about. More importantly she is happy and emotionally and mentally healthier. Her curiosity about the world and her place in it has been sparked by the sense of freedom that learning from home and in her own way has given her.

My daughter is very artistic and creative, and it has been heartening to see how much of her learning is more engrained and instinctive through this individualised and autonomous approach.

Currently home educated children are discriminated against because of resources and access to field trips. I suggest that home educating families should be resourced to provide the same quality experiences for their children. I also am concerned about the future in terms of exams. This year home educated children suffered as a result of the lockdown and not being able to sit exams. I believe home educated children should have the same opportunities to access exams as children in schools.
 

  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.

    As a teacher in school I see hundreds of students congregating and the positive impact this has on their mental and emotional health. This is not going to be the case for home educated children. I understand this is expected to some extent when parents choose to home educate their children. However normally groups would have been able to learn together. Home educated families should have had been able to gather in groups in September when all children were able to attend school. Whilst most children in the UK were able to meet and mix with their peers, home educated children were not. Considering the thousands of home educators in this country it would have been helpful to have had the same opportunities to meet along with the same protocols as schools.

     
  2. Summary

    Education is a public good that can come in all forms. My daughter, along with thousands of others, is flourishing through learning at home.

    We would like more funding and more recognition in policy decisions such as Covid19 rulings.

November 2020