There has been a 65% increase in children recorded as home educated in the UK over six years. Parents give reasons including bullying, illness, their lifestyle, dissatisfaction or disagreements with local schools, special needs, and religion. Here at Galaxy Learning we have also seen the numbers increase for homeschooling set up requests. Why the increase?
The law in the UK is that there is no legal obligation for parents to send their children to school, although they have to provide a “suitable education” at home.
So is this a free pass to a ruined education?
Of course it depends on the input of the parent. The attention can mean faster progress and more time for doing the things they actually enjoy.
One of our students in year 9 is an avid tennis player and is being homeschooled. He wakes up early goes to play tennis and starts his homeschooling day.
Another two students had to take time out of school for illness and again, the homeschooling situation worked well and in one of the cases she has reintegrated back into school and is on target for a gamut of A and A* GCSEs.
One mum whose child suffered academically for most of her academic life (she is now about to take her GCSEs) wished more than anything that she could afford to have had her child homeschooled rather than all the wasted hours in class.
So obviously there are advantages but is homeschooling for the marginalised with special purposes or will it ever become something we see ‘enmasse’?
Let’s take a look at the UK: here is the break down of the homeschooling trends by London borough:
Homeschooling is clearly on the rise. For us at Galaxy Learning it has been a learning curve and we are moving towards being able to fully set up homeschooling situations whatever the requirements.
I have a friend who is also an OfSTED inspector, her comment the other day on this was along the lines of “these homeschool situations are breeding grounds for who knows what and no-one will be able to see”. She’s right! Who will these homeschooling setups be accountable to?
For the most part, most parents want the best for the children and with the right support (if any needed) they will do a great job if they decide to go that route. For most parents it is too costly so in the meantime until the right provisions are in place, we need to continue to work to improve our schools, literacy levels need to come up from “one in six children living with poor literacy” (http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/about) and in the meantime
Why not work towards having pockets of homeschooling networks across the country?
Many sizes don’t fit all… what do you think and how should we prepare?