Like many home educators, I settled myself down this evening to watch channel 4 dispatches about invisible children. And I am sure like many home educators across the country I sat in utter frustration and shouting at the tv. And then I am sure that I am not alone in emailing my thoughts directly to channel 4s feedback on their website.
So now I will share that feedback with you all. I am sure there are extra points that I haven’t written down, please feel free to send them your own emails and complaints.
To who it may concern at channel 4
Re: dispatches. 4/2/2019
As a home educating parent I watched your program with interest, alongside my home educated teenagers.
So many points I wanted to raise! We were all left feeling so frustrated at how home education was portrayed.
Firstly, regarding home educated children being “invisible”. Home educated children are often seen by health professionals, events organisers, shop staff, family members, neighbours etc. They arent invisible.
Concerns raised by the commissioner about children being off rolled and invisible are nonsense. All children who have been enrolled in mainstream school are known to local education authorities, they aren’t invisible. Instead of demonizing parents who find themselves in that situation, ask why is there no help available for those who ask for it?
If schools are not able to support children with SEN adequately due to funding, then why does that funding continue to be slashed? If the children’s commissioner is concerned about home educated children being safe she should be ensuring that schools are safe places for our children to be first.
51% are known to social services? Then again, they aren’t invisible are they?
Khyra Ishaq was not invisible. Her school raised concerns when she was caught stealing food. Then she was removed from school. Neighbours reported concerns when Khyra and her sister were spotted raiding neighbourhood bins. The failing was not in home education, those girls were failed by welfare services who did have the rights and powers to access and who failed to do so.
Dylan Seabridge was not invisible. Your show even showed that concerns were raised and reported by a head teacher. Again welfare departments who do have the powers to investigate welfare concerns failed to do so!
Illegal schools are a matter in themselves, they are not home education and are not supported by home educating parents.
Instead of supporting a witch hunt against home educating parents could channel 4 investigate why over 60,000 families across the country believe that school is not the best or safest place for their children?
Could you investigate why schools are under so much pressure to perform well in league tables that they offroll students who aren’t expected to perform well in standardized tests?
Could you ask why newspapers publish lists of the “worst schools” without explanation of the effect that supporting SEND students well and fairly has on these league table results.
Rather than stirring up questions about the safety of those children who are electively home educated, could you investigate how safe school was for the 226 school children who lost their lives to suicide in 2017 alone!?
Could you not have spoken to any of the huge number of pro home education or even previously home educated adults as part of your investigation? Rather than raising the question of “how will they get jobs?” meet any of the huge number of home educated young adults who have secured college and university places! Were you not able to discuss home education with university admissions? Because home educated young people can and do access university! Did you not want to portray a balanced and realistic view in your “documentary”?
Our country has a registration system, we register our children at birth!
Our country has a safeguarding system. With professionals who have the power to access our homes and our children as and when concerns are raised.
Our country has a procedure in place for investigating and monitoring home education and ensuring that if home education is not sufficient a return to formal education is enforced. Why was none of this covered or explained?
I would love to see a balanced representation, with the very real and positive results of home education. In a country where schools are failing so many, at a time when so many teachers are leaving the profession to home educate their own children due to a lack of faith in the education system.
Formally home educated / forcibly offrolled.
Home educating mum.
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