Written evidence submitted by Mrs Rebecca Graham


Please could the committee discuss the implications of requiring evidence from DLP and tutors for home educators? It is incorrect when implied that all will be fine for home educators, it all worked out. Hundreds of students were unable to get the grades they so desperately needed, my son included who was applying for university. The first thing they said when he said he couldn’t get grades “Why? The government / Ofqual made it that EVERYONE would get grades.” 

By suggesting home educated students many of whom work without tutors and or distance learning providers were not effected by this, or could just swap to a new centre was misleading. My younger son doing GCSE’s did swap, the centre he swapped to was the only one I could find willing to accept evidence and they BANNED evidence from anything but distance learning providers and their own registered tutors. I had to pay for a second set of exams with them, BEFORE receiving a refund from my sons original centre, they were roughly £100 more expensive for two exams. Luckily my son didn’t have too, but MANY students had to sit online zoom exams, costing roughly an additional £100 for each exam, that would of made this process an extra £300 for this year, DOUBLE what we originally paid, so you see, Ms Collier’s reply was certainly misleading, and not indicative of the true extent of the issues. In addition my son STILL does not know whether his evidence will be accepted by his exam board, so he has the additional mental health effects that schooled children do not have, of still not even knowing he will get a grade, let alone if it will be the one he wants (which all children have to deal with the stress of). My son wants to be entered into the oxbridge stream when he reenters the state education system for A-levels next year, without these grades he will be unable to do this, which will drastically reduce his chances of his chosen path to attend Oxford university to study Chemistry.


In addition, moving forward, if you make it a necessity for this evidence to be provided, home educated students will be unable to provide this without going to a distance learning provider, upping the cost of a singe GCSEs subject by in the range of £100-£1000 for each subject, you will quite simply be creating an exam poverty that makes it impossible for these students to proceed upon their chosen career paths in life. This MUST be discussed openly, not brushing of the subject as Ms Collier did , leading the committee to believe this was only a problem for a select few, this was a wide spread problem effecting HUNDREDS of home educated students this year, and Ms Collier is using the lack of availability of evidence on these candidates to push a rhetoric that is simply not true, hurtful, diminishing, and potentially life altering for home educated students moving forward.


Please do not allow the travesty of unfairness to be repeated next year. Regularly the media and government discusses our ‘unseen’ ‘unheard’ children, yet when we shout from the roof tops, you simply do not listen, and continue to say they are unheard, they are unheard because someone in a position of a power, refuses to give their voice a platform !


Mrs Rebecca C Graham


June 2020