HED0823

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.]

 

  1. Although I have never ‘home schooled’ myself, I have three daughters who at different times and for varying lengths of time and reasons have chosen to home school the [number of] children they have between them.  All [daughters] have sought diligently to give their children the appropriate education for their age and abilities.  One of the grandchildren is now at University and another doing his GCSE’s with online tuition.  I have never noticed any disadvantage to the children arising from this choice.

 

  1. I think that the current approach and involvement of local authorities is balanced and non-intrusive, in that it allows parents to exercise their rightful responsibility to ensure their children get a good education in whatever way they think appropriate, while also enabling the authorities to intervene when they perceive any children to be at risk, and allowing them to concentrate their resources on these children.

 

  1. Therefore I believe that a mandatory register would tip the balance and result in too much state interference in family life.

 

  1. As I have hinted above, home education gives the opportunity for each child to be taught in a way appropriate to his or her age and abilities.  Children learn at very different paces and often need an approach suited to their individual needs. Also their own interests can be used as a tool to help in this.  [personal information].  Our older grandchildren being home educated are developing the self-directed study so useful for higher education.

 

  1. Because of these different approaches to a child’s education in the home environment, inspections of a similar nature to those conducted in schools would be impractical, as well as being another source of inappropriate state interference.

 

  1. It seems that the choice of parents to home school is here being unfairly associated with some sort of child abuse or other irregularity.  Many choose to do it in order to protect their children from abuse such as bullying or sexual harassment at school!

 

  1. I am all for support being available for children being educated at home, but again on a voluntary basis, e.g. offering financial assistance when it comes to exam fees and making sure there are opportunities to join exam centres.

 

  1. I am not pitting home education against state education, as some of my grandchildren are currently attending state schools very happily, but I am just requesting that parental decisions to home school would be respected and supported, and not automatically viewed with suspicion and seen as in need of greater regulation.

 

November 2020