HED0830

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.]

Introduction

I am a home educating parent and ex-teacher.  I would like to submit a short account of my experience of home education as evidence.  I would like to firstly say that I have planned to home educate my child since before he was born, and he is not yet of compulsory school age [personal information].  I have no doubt that home education is the right choice for my child and that it will enable him to grow as a whole person, aware of and confident in his abilities and able to follow his passions and interests to their fullest conclusion, receiving an education which is fully tailored to him.  My only anxiety when it comes to my choice to home educate, is around interactions with the local authority, which seems very wrong. I’m very connected to the home educating community both locally via meeting and groups, and nationally via courses and via social media, and sadly I am aware on the whole, local authorities do not have a mutually trusting and respectful relationship with the home educating community; this is the single most important area where change is required in my opinion. 

I will make a few additional comments in relation to the specific points requested

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

Whether a statutory register of home-educated children is required;

If LA’s have a need to know how many children within their area are being home educated, I have no argument with this.  The need for a register does not necessitate a need for monitoring.

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

I see no legitimate role for inspection in Home Education.

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.

Home educated children, appear to have been largely ignored in plans around education during the pandemic, most notably in the lack of provision for those who were unable to sit exams.  There also needs to be further understanding of the different activities which contribute to a full education for some children, which include unstructured group activities, which are currently restricted whilst school-educated children continue to mix with peers in school.

November 2020