Councils Seek New Powers to Check on Home Schooled Children

In this article in today's Guardian, Colin Diamond, the Executive Director for Education in Birmingham is quoted as saying, “We feel that any EHE (Elective Home Education) learning situation potentially puts a child in a very vulnerable position. We recognise that parents elect to educate their children at home for a very wide range of reasons, and in many cases they do a great job. But because the child is isolated, they are not visible to their peer group and professionals don’t keep an eye on them, we would like more powers to be able to make sure every child who is EHE is safe, well and learning well.” As a home educating parent, I object to his reasoning that because a child is being electively home educated, they are isolated and invisible. This is exactly the sort of uninformed and ignorant thinking which fuels suspicion and misunderstanding about home education.

On hearing our son was returning to school this September, a colleague of my husband's remarked, "Well, he's got to enter the real world sometime." How is entering the confines of the school building equated with the real world? How is not being confined to the school building equated with isolation? Home education does not mean sitting in our house alone all day every day. It means making the whole world our child's classroom. Home educated children have all sorts of opportunities to interact with their peer group and with other adults and professionals all through the week ... for example, in our family, at swimming, scouts, home ed sports and social clubs, swimming, church, youth group, music lessons, every time we visit the doctor, dentist, hairdresser, optician, on the community allotment, visiting friends, grandparents, neighbours, local shops .....

On 5th January 2015, The Guardian reported HERE that: "The Westminster education committee inquired into home education in 2012. It found no child protection issue. The chair, Graham Stuart MP, recently wrote that “the conflation of home education with a child safeguarding risk amounts to a serious stigma against parents” and that he had never seen either “any credible evidence that home education is a risk factor … nor … evidence that home education effectively hid abuse from the authorities”.

You can read today's article, including Mr Diamond's comments here: Councils Seek New Powers to Check on Home-Schooled Children