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.]


Experience of Home Education


I am a [year group] student who was home educated up until I started attending college in [year group]. However, I also attended a local nursery school and one full term in a reception class. While I do not remember much from this time, I do remember that school felt [personal information]. I do not believe it provided the support I needed. I was glad when I was given the option to be home educated.


I believe home education is a fantastic way to be educated. I had time to read when I wanted to and could visit the library as often as I liked. I went to museums and galleries, which taught me about the world without it being simplified. I could make up stories, draw, and play with my friends without worrying about falling behind on busywork from a school.


I was able to meet friends through a few local home education groups. There are many home educations groups in the UK. However, most people choose a few groups and make friends within them. The group I took part in arranged workshops and many educational visits. These included trips abroad to places such as Germany. I also had the opportunity to complete my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award through one of these groups.



6th Form


I moved onto 6th form with good GCSEs. I am now studying subjects including computer science and art. I was not able to take these subjects at GSCE level. This is because both are difficult to take as an exam for a private candidate. However, I had [personal information] that I gained from experiences I would not have had time for if I had attended school. My 6th form accepted me on the strength of the work I could show them at my interview. My home education had allowed me to spend more time working on my passions. I am a now [personal information]



Safeguarding and Monitoring


Throughout my life I have been part of a local community. I have a GP and GP practice nurses I can see. I know my local librarians. I see a dentist and optician each year. I know my neighbours. I belong to home education groups. Home educated children have access to the same services as any other child. We are at no greater risk. In fact, because we are out in the community during school time, we are more visible. Until they know us shop assistants and new neighbours will often ask, ‘No school today?’. Because we are an ‘anomaly’ we are more visible to librarians, leisure centre staff, and NHS practitioners.


I am so glad that I never had to be inspected by a local Authority Officer. It would have [personal information] What could their judgement be based on? They did not know me or how I worked best.


My home education curriculum was very flexible and allowed me to focus on what interested me week to week. This did not negatively affect my grades when I adjusted to 6th form timetables



Responsibility and the law


My parents had the responsibility for my education until I was 16 and they allowed me to learn at my own pace and with enjoyment. I know from my own experience, and that of my siblings, that this method of education worked for us. We focused on what was important to our health, happiness, and future. For everyone in my family this has meant good results at both 6th form and university.


I think the Local authority and Government would be wasting public money if they insist on annual monitoring of families who are clearly competent and doing well. It would be far better to have a system where home educators can ask for help if they need it. It seems obvious to me that health visitors would already know of any concerns regarding problem families. I believe that once a family starts home educating, no further action is needed. Unless, of course, the family asks for help or concerns are reported to the local authority. This is currently the law, and in my opinion, it makes sense.


November 2020