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In response to a press release from Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely on home education registration, the leader of the Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats Nick Stuart shares his views. Ed
The Isle of Wight is a stronghold of home educators so Government ideas on compulsory registration for the home schooled could have a substantial impact on families, schools and our island community.
As a teacher and professional Sports Coach I have worked with a large number of children in the state sector, the private sector and all ranges of home educated children.
Diverse reasons for home schooling
Reasons for home educating children are diverse; including children at threat of exclusion, religious belief, bullying, lifestyle concerns and worries over excessive exam focus.
Home schooling can work well and I’ve met many great children where parents put in enormous effort to support their child’s development.
Problems can arise
Problems arise however when parents don’t have the time, expertise or subject knowledge to provide a rounded education. Some home schooled children also have problems with socialising with their peer groups, or the wider society.
Children outside the school system lead to less money being given to local schools, and compulsory registration should provide better resources for local authorities. This support would help home school pupils, both directly and through support in state schools.
Registration a good first step
My view is registration for home education is a good first step. We then need reasonable oversight and support for home education, but it has to be both managed and resourced.
I have major concerns given the local Conservative track record of failure on education and hidden agendas, and the Conservative Government focus on cutting expenditure & turning schools into academies, but you can make up your own mind.