Written evidence submitted by Mr Sam Hussaini


Submission to Education Committee call for evidence on home education

  1. On the subject of “whether a statutory register of home-educated children is required”, my submission is that no register is required. There is no evidence that home-educated children require to be identified by the state. For example, there is no evidence that home-educated children tend to be inadequately educated. Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 imposes on parents a duty to secure for their children a suitable education. Parents should be free to discharge that duty without interference from the state.
  2. On the subject of “the benefits children gain from home education, and the potential disadvantages they may face”, I make no substantive submissions, but I object to the apparent premise of this question. It can only be inferred that the Committee wishes to weigh benefits against disadvantages of home education. But it can have no legitimate purpose for doing so. It has always been the case that parents have been free to choose how their children are educated. It should not be for the state to interfere with that choice, by seeking to make a determination about how the benefits of a particular choice weigh against the disadvantages.
  3. On the subject of “the role that inspection should play in future regulation of home education, my submission is that inspection should play no role. Inspection would place a burden on parents and children that would be disproportionate to parents’ right to choose how to educate their children. At best, it would impose upon home-educating families a burden on demonstrate to inspectors the quality of children’s education; a burden that it never place on families in which children attend school. That burden is likely to be especially acute for families that follow an autonomous learning style that does not map neatly on to mainstream expectation that are moulded by narrow curricula and frequent testing that is the hallmark of modern schooling.

Sam Hussaini

6 November 2020

November 2020