home education – let parents alone!

It is now some years since our two daughters finished their home education, and we had few problems.  However, we  know that some home educating in other parts of the country had great problems with their LEAs (local education authorities) many of whom did not understand the laws on compulsory education and often thought that it was impossible to educate without a timetable!

We chose to home educate based partly on our own experiences of school and partly by meeting the children of other home educating families and being amazed at their maturity and balance compared to other children of their age.  While we made an explicit decision, others are forced into home education, sometimes through learning difficulties or dyslexia, sometimes through school phobia.

One woman I knew eventually decide to home educate her son when he was 14.  At 10 he became school phobic due to a teacher, who was notorious for making his children unhappy; for four years she cooperated with the local authority as they tried to get him back into school, including being sent into short periods of residential care.  It was only when it was clear that he was going to get to 16 with no GCSEs and no future that she reluctantly took him out of the school system and he eventually obtained several exams studying at home with her help.

My wife and I were fortunate in our dealings with authorities as we were obviously well educated, could write fluently and persuasively, and knew the law and our own rights inside out (and were helped enormously by the support group Education Otherwise).  However, not all home educating parents have our advantages, and the difficulties and costs of home education are exacerbated by sometimes intimidating demands from education welfare officers or LEAs.

My impression was that, during the period of our daughters’ education, things improved and LEAs better understood home education.  However, I recently heard (due to a petition on the Downing Street web site) that, I guess as part of the interminable re-hashing of all sectors of education, things are being made more difficult again by repeated reviews of the legal status of home education.

There are numerous examples of public figures from artists to US presidents1 who have been home educated and all the home educated children that I have known, although having all the pressures and problems of any child growing up, are in their various ways successfully following their chosen paths.  When so many aspects of our education system are under threat, I wonder why on earth government feels the need to meddle with things that have and continue to work well.

The petition:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to to remind his government that parents must remain responsible in law for ensuring the welfare and education of their children and that the state should not seek to appropriate these responsibilities.

  1. another support group home-education.org.uk have  a list of famous home-educated people[back]

5 thoughts on “home education – let parents alone!

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  2. All of the evidence shows that children who are home-educated achieve far more, on any measure you care to choose , academic, social etc, than their average counterpart in mainstream education. This is despite the fact that many home-ed children have already been failed by or deemed failures by the mainstream education system! And the fact that they and their parents come from all walks of life, all socio-economic groups and home educate for an incredibly wide range of reasons.

    Why does the govt want to meddle with something that demonstrably works better than their own ‘house’. If they can’t educate or keep safe the children in their schools all day every day then how can they claim the right to step in where no problem has been identified at all?

  3. To whom it may concern,

    I Francello McCoy was a parent that was fighting for school choice here in Missouri, because the school district in my area lost their accreditation.

    The local newspaper read my story and interviewed my two daughters. Once the article was released the next day we received a call from a private school expressing their interest of allowing my daughters to enroll in their school.

    During my daughter first year she did well academically and played basketball. Please review, pull up the footage on youtube.com type in: “The great Netta.”

    The school wrote me a letter about 3 weeks ago and said that they are withdrawing my daughter Fernetta out of the school because of academic and conduct.

    In March of 2008, Fernetta had a head concussion that caused her to sit out a whole year from playing basketball. Her dreams went down the drain because of a foul accident of playing at a basketball tournament in Branson Missouri with her league outside the district of four years of dedication.

    My daughter Fernetta became depress and had to orally take medication to sleep. She’s had to take physical therapy, an MRI cat scan, and weekly doctors visits due to her injuries.

    Since then we have had to seek assistance from doctors and counselor, which all have helped Fernetta regain her coordination back, which appears to me to be too late according to Lutheran North administrators.

    It is of my opinion that we need the school support in helping us to revitalize our daughter Fernetta’s hope to be restored in completing her education in an effort to fulfill her career goals.

    We believe everyone deserves a second chance, hopefully Fernetta can.

    I requested a meeting after receiving the bad news to met with the Principle of the school. In my opinion the meeting did not go to well, because the principle already made up in his mind that he was not going to accept her back in school .

    My daughter wrote a letter and read it, which touch the principle heart. The principle said he will give the information to the Board and review it and give me call.

    I waited three weeks for a decision only to have them reconsider to let her come back for the second semester, contingent on her obtaining a 3.0 GPA.

    In the mean time we have enrolled her in a Tech school that is the only available school in my district or the non-accredited school.

    I would like to rely on your wisdom and or advice as of what is my next step to advocate for my daughter education? I am writing a letter to request a meeting with the Board to obtain a copy of their minutes from the meeting of there final decision pertaining to my daughter.

    Please contact me via phone at or feel free to send me an email frncllmccoy@yahoo.com.

    In closing, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to listen from a parent who is crying out for someone to listen.

    Respectfully yours,
    Mrs. McCoy

  4. Pingback: Alan’s blog » Qualification vs unlimited education

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