Updated: Aug 5
Our Company Manager, Leticia, explores this crucial educational topic.
In the UK, every child aged 16 and under has to go to school — by law. Right?
Actually, the law states that every child aged between 5 and 16 has a right to an education, and must receive a suitable full-time education. It’s so important to the government that children get a full time education that parents could be ordered to take parenting classes, pay a fine of up to £2,500 or even spend a few months in jail for not formally educating their child!
However, getting an education doesn’t necessarily mean going to school, so why is going to school almost the automatic route? Most people send their children to school because it seems like the obvious, often cheaper and perhaps easiest option to go for. According to my research, less than 1% of UK students are home-schooled, so this goes to show that mainstream school (of which there are many kinds) is the “done” thing.
The number of students being home-schooled, however, has been on a steady incline for a few years now. A BBC report based on research done in mid-2018 tells us that home-schooling in the UK has increased by 40% over the past 3 years — this is a massive jump. To help us start to understand why there has been an increase in the popularity of home-schooling, we should consider why people opt for home-schooling in the first place.
For families on a very busy schedule, home-schooling may be the only viable way to ensure that parents keep on the right side of the law. Many child celebrities and athletes such as Harry Potter actress Emma Watson, tennis stars Serena & Venus Williams and global pop star Justin Bieber have had to be home-schooled because they need to travel a lot for work so aren’t in one place for long enough to attend school full time. There are instances where a parent's job requires them to move from city to city frequently. It's understandable that home-schooling might seem like the better option for their child because it would mean avoiding the hassle of changing schools too often.
There are parents who prefer to be more directly involved in their child's education, handpicking the components of their child's course. Of course countless schools exist which offer parents a tangible opportunity to contribute to the way their child's education is conducted, so some may argue that home-schooling for this reason alone isn't entirely necessary for guaranteeing a tailored education.
Like independent schools, parents who home-school their children are not required to follow the National Curriculum. There are nonetheless tight regulations surrounding it, and the county council have the authority to make an inquiry into any home-schooled child's education to ensure that it is of a suitable standard. The question arises: how can one ascertain that the quality of their child's home-school education doesn't suffer? The council recommends as a part of the initial decision-making process to speak to someone with a personal experience with home-schooling. Other parents can offer invaluable advice about what worked for them.
Costs will inevitably need to be factored in for parents who decide to withdraw their child from mainstream education. Weighing this up, some may find that home-schooling turns out to be more cost-effective than going for private schooling. Councils advice that successful home-school education can be achieved on any budget. Parents need no formal qualifications whatsoever to home-school their child, so as long as their child receives what the council deems to be a suitable education, they can conduct their child's education alone if they wished to.
Even for parents who would prefer not to follow it, the National Curriculum is a good place to look because it gives a picture of what children in each age group are expected to be able to achieve. Another thing parents might consider is seeking the counsel of professional educational advisors. These experts can offer advice on how to structure the child's education, deciding on which courses to enrol their children in, including but not limited to deciding between GCSE or IGCSE; A Level or International Baccalaureate; Edexcel or AQA. They can advise on which subjects to cover, factoring in the child's aspirations and interests. Parents can also consider the option of taking on a tutor or group of tutors responsible for the child's course.
Blog Post Crafted by Leticia
Leticia runs our Admin Team, supporting tutors, clients and applicants. She loves singing and will almost always be seen making a beeline for the microphone at any karaoke night!
Leticia manages the staff on our Admin Team, liaising with tutors, clients and applicants. She is also responsible for processing the ID, Qualifications, DBS Check and References for all our newly joining tutors.