Elective Home Education (EHE) is of equal legal status to school education, it is a reasonable and legal choice to make and it is not a safeguarding risk. Notwithstanding, the Education Minister Jeremy Miles, has made clear his view that the best place for every child is in school. Many parents do not agree with that statement.
The Minister is forming policy and guidance for EHE and Education Otherwise believes that any policy should be based on accurate data. To that end, a survey was taken of home educating families in Wales to ascertain the reasons why parents choose to EHE their children.
· 44.30% of parents referred to negative reasons relating to schools as their main initial reason for home educating their children. These parents frequently referred to safeguarding concerns related to school.
· This included General dissatisfaction with the school system (22.59%), the school curriculum not relevant or suitable (8.99%), the school being unable to meet the child’s special needs (7.24%) and bullying at school (5.48%)
· The most commonly cited reason for initially choosing to home educate a child, was that home education provides a better education than school, at 23.68, rising to 29.91% citing this as their current reason to EHE.
· Health needs, including the child’s mental health were cited by 16.01% of parents as their primary initial reason for home educating the child.
· Parents who EHE would consider school in 9.05% of cases, mainly if the child expressed a wish to attend school.
· Parents will continue to choose EHE at higher rates, if schools do not become safer, more accessible to all children and excellent sources of a World class education. Welsh schools cannot make that claim now or in the foreseeable future.
· There are many children in Welsh schools who are deeply unhappy, being failed by the system, or both. School simply is not the best place for every child.
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