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Shouldn't we get funding for Home Education?!! Anyone up for a campaign?

(63 Posts)
mummybiz Wed 13-Jul-11 11:06:22

What's everyones opinion on the fact that we don't send our children to school or we take out children out of school so the LEA saves a minimum of £3000 per year and far more at secondary level but we get no help at all with funding ? If money was available would the fact that getting funding from an LEA or direct from government mean contact with the "authorities" or providing proof that the money had been spent on the childs education put you off applying if it was available?
There was talk of giving parents a voucher which they could take to any school which represented the LEA spending for that pupil and parents would be free to top up if they wanted private ed etc. This has been put to oneside due to cuts but we are still saving the government thousands and yet paying taxes etc which fund education.
I think we should campaign for some of the money which would have been spent on our children if they were in school to be given either direct to parents or to a central elective home education body formed by home ed parents to distribute to families - I'll start a campaign if anyone is interested?

piprabbit Wed 13-Jul-11 11:11:50

Wouldn't the government expect some kind of say about how the money would be spent? Possibly in terms of inspecting and dictating education content, at the very least in terms of proving that it was spent on the child's education.

I'm not sure how that would be balanced against a desire for less governmental control over he choices.

mummybiz Wed 13-Jul-11 11:42:46

I think there probably would be strings attached BUT I think there is a need for a new Elective Home education parents group - (not Education Otherwise who I have found frankly useless -still haven't received my membership pack and the forums are dead as a doornail) This group should be for parents who could be described as moderate in their opinion of role LEA's and government - who want the freedom of home education but are prepared to work in partnership with the LEA and could come to a negotiated agreement as to what "hoops" they would jump through in order to access some funding. I realise that for some parents communicating with the LEA is seen as dancing with the devil but not everyone has the same "stay away from the LEA" philosophy that comes across in most home education forums. If anyone is of the mindset that they have a working relationship with their LEA I'd be interested to hear from you - there are also lots of opportunities for accessing resources from businesses but this all will only appeal to parents who are prepared to let others into their home education world. I respect everyones choice in the way they home educate I guess I'm trying to find a very defined group with a similar outlook to me .

julienoshoes Wed 13-Jul-11 12:34:57

Forgive me being so abrupt but absolutely not!

We have just fought off a Governement who tried to come on with, we'll give support to LAs to help home edders all you would have to do is...........

Well I saw much of the detail and spoke to some of the Civil Servants at the Dept of Education. What they see as reasonable is absolutely abborent to me and the vast majority of home educators I know.

'He who pays the piper, calls the tune'
With funding would come demands (quite reasonable if you are spending tax players money) they would want to see 'standards' and 'curriculum' etc etc.

it didn't work for my children when they were in school and I am not about to allow you or any body else take away my freedom to home educate in the way I choose away from me, or from my children to home educate their children in the freedom we have enjoyed.
and don't try telling me that it would be one rule for one home educator and another for those of us who don't want to touch any funding coming with strings.
That is not how Governement and LAs work.

I'll fight you tooth and nail against this.

and if you think other home educators en masse would agree with you, then you definately haven't had anything to do with that community in the last fight.

EO may have gone quiet on this (and remember EO was only ever a bunch of volunteer parents who already have a lot on their plate) but it really wouldn't take much to awaken that dragon again.

I'll say again, just in case you didn't get my strength of feeling over this


SDeuchars Wed 13-Jul-11 12:37:49

not Education Otherwise who I have found frankly useless -still haven't received my membership pack and the forums are dead as a doornail

EO has been going through some serious problems with staffing over the last few weeks. If you email me at (or phone 08445 867541), I'll see if we can sort out what has happened with your membership pack.

Malcontentinthemiddle Wed 13-Jul-11 12:39:23

No way.
if you want your kids to get LEA money, send them to school.

Penthesileia Wed 13-Jul-11 12:44:19

Not a good idea, really. The voucher system was always going to be controversial, since, logically, it would mean giving vouchers to all parents, even those who independently educate, and can you imagine the uproar if LEA/government money was given to families choosing to send their children to fee-paying schools?

By your argument, if home-edders deserve funding, so do those who educate independently.

julienoshoes Wed 13-Jul-11 12:46:20

send them to state school you mean Malcontentinthemiddle.

Parents who want to escape the state school system have a choice to home educate or put them into the public school system-parents of children in public school don't get any money even though keeping out of the state system also means "LEA saves a minimum of £3000 per year"

Malcontentinthemiddle Wed 13-Jul-11 12:50:09

Yes, I meant state school, obviously.

Parents are free to opt out of the system either way and that is their choice - but if you're not taking what's on offer I'll be blowed if I can see why you should get a cash alternative!

RetroHousewife Wed 13-Jul-11 12:50:22

Well yeah, you can get the 3K for home ed when I get it for private ed.

RetroHousewife Wed 13-Jul-11 12:51:37

And can you just imagine how many unscrupulous people who place no value on education as it is, would take their kids out of school to get that money in cash?

Tinuviel Wed 13-Jul-11 13:00:14

I don't think we should necessarily get money but I do think that exams should be available free of charge and exam centres far more easily accessible. That would be far more easy to organise and more realistic.

julienoshoes Wed 13-Jul-11 13:14:21

Don't think anyone would argue about that Tinuviel, as long as there are no strings attached, and I know some home educators continue to press for that.

Mehetabel Wed 13-Jul-11 13:22:05

This has been raised so many times over the years, and the usual concensus of the discussion is that the risk isn't worth it. If we accept funding from the government for our home ed they would inevitably want to have the right to say how we do it as well. Heck - they are trying their best to do that anyway without any funding!

I was a childminder and saw how they brought in inspections, paperwork, tick boxes and targets for the under 5's, no way do I want my home ed to follow the same route, I used to spend so long filling in daily diaries and attainment charts that there was little time to do activities with the kids!

Yes, in an ideal world we should be funded for what we do, but this isn't an ideal world, and in this country we would be insane to give the government any hold over us at all.

pennyclarke Wed 13-Jul-11 13:31:09

Mummybiz said "I'll start a campaign if anyone is interested?"

I say "No thanks."

Please do not presume to campaign on my behalf. As someone else said, if you want LA money to fund your family's education - send them to school. I wouldn't want to be obliged to jump through the hoops dictated by someone else - that would completely negate my choice to HE.

mummybiz Wed 13-Jul-11 15:15:46

Well - as expected that was what you call "lighting a touch paper" - as is the case on too many home education forums people don't read posts properly and immediately go on the defensive:
" Please do not presume to campaign on my behalf " If you had read the post properly I was seeking out people who aren't afraid of the LEA's and don't believe that Home education has to be a closed shop where home educators live in their own little bubble which they are forever afraid that someone will come along and burst. It is possible to make a choice to home educate as I have, without having to view LEAs and Schools and EHE officers as the enemy. You obviously don't share my views so of course I wouldn't dream of campaigning on your behalf.
It is quite rude and patronising to assume that because of my suggestion I know nothing about the Badman Report and it's implications for HE. I have read the Badman report and I understand the fears that HE parents have - however new forms of Education are being developed and I know there are home ed parents including a new breed of prospective home ed parents who are happy to collaborate with other home educators in a more formal way and dare I say it in partnership with LEAs and businesses. Just as schools are changing Home Education can also evolve with online teaching etc. There is a group putting forward a proposal for funding as an online free school which would be used by home educators - if they suceed will they also become the enemy? The purists want to keep home education the way it is now with isolated families doing their own thing and disparate home education groups who struggle on whilst falling out amongst themselves and immediately attacking anyone who suggests any different ideas.
I don't dare to think that en masse Home educators will take my viewpoint but is that because they feel intimidated by established home educators into disparaging anything to do with the establishment? Is it any wonder people view home educators with suspicion when they are for the most part so defensive?
Why should there only be one form of education upon which the government spends money is the bottom line - I've known a family who couldn't get on with school and eventually got funding for a practical course like car mechanics at an earlier age than normal - that child now runs his own business - he did his academic work at home - because he was government funded does that mean he was not " home educated" and his parents should be frowned upon for having anything to do with the LEA?
Mumsnet is reknowned as a forum for healthy debate - I was simply opening a discussion so I look forward to hearing what you think without getting personal

AMumInScotland Wed 13-Jul-11 15:53:13

I was not in the slightest bit afraid of the LEA when I HEd and would have been happy to have their involvement - though as I was HEing in a very school-like way that's not because I'm braver than anyone else, just more conventional. Oh and because we didn't pull DS out of school because he'd had problems that the LEA had failed to deal with.

But I don't think funding would be a good idea, except for exam fees as has already been mentioned.

The reasons have already been mentioned as above too -

1. people who take their children out of state school (or never start them there) don't get the funding to pay for their choice of alternative education, if that happens to be an independent school - why should my choice to HE be seen as more valid than theirs?

2. if the money was given direct to families, there would be a risk that some unscrupulous people would withdraw their children from school and pocket the cash

3. if the money was given to an organisation, what organisation would that be, and how would they decide how to allocate the money?

4. anyone who gets govenment funding is expected to show that it has been used in accordance with some set of rules - who would get to decide if those rules were fair? Even if central government could be persuaded to pick a reasonable set of rules (which is questionable), LEAs would undoubtedly "interpret" those in their own ways to enforce compliance to their own view of how we ought to educate.

mummybiz Wed 13-Jul-11 16:04:55



mummybiz Wed 13-Jul-11 16:12:11

re above message - I think my 5 year old is joining in !!

AMumInScotland Wed 13-Jul-11 16:17:53

Ah, I wondered where the keyboard mashing fitted with the discussion grin

mummybiz Wed 13-Jul-11 16:18:07

Just to clarify - I'm quite happy to fund the home education of my children myself but I think home education should be a viable alternative for parents who can't afford independant schools and who aren't happy with the schools in their area - there is also the case of SEn children who are forced into mainstream schools because there is no funded alternative - or they are told they have to go to a special school which is wasn't the parents want. Home education would suit many of these children but because not every parent can afford to home educate should there not be help there for them?

julienoshoes Wed 13-Jul-11 16:19:42

Why would you assume we are afraid of LAs? I know at least two of the people who have replied here have long negotiated with LAs. These are people with a great deal of experience of doing so.

Personally I'm not afraid of LAs either, I've spent a lot of time talking to some very reasonable home education liason officers, from a very wide variety of areas.

I have also spent a hell of lot of time fighting unscrupulous LAs who try to take advantage of the Law as it stands, telling lies to home educators about what is actually required.
These people do not want to work in partnership unless the home education is delivered as they want it to be.

If a child is registered with a school-be it on line or in real life, then s/he is a not home educated, s/he is a pupil in school.

There is a school in Staffs that is working with home educators, children can go full time, part time flexi schooled or home educated children can use it as a learning hub. at present that doesn't seem to threaten home educators because the funding is different. But asking for funding for straight home education IS threatening my choices in life, as it runs the risk of being imposed on us all, by people who simply don't understand how home education works.

Have you read Graham Stuart MP's (Chair of the Education Select Committee) speech in the House of Commons?
in Hansard, at column 1216.
Who do these people think they are?

julienoshoes Wed 13-Jul-11 16:28:04

I have three children who all have SEN.
I still don't want funding -even though home educating them has meant giving up my career and managing on a really tight small budget.
I drive an old banger now, i buy things from car boots, charity shops, Ebay etc, we've gone to home ed camps as holidays and as a family done without so very much.
I'm not a rareity, I know of one home ed family that can 'afford to home educate' out of the hundreds of families I know in real life.
None of us want funding, (it is a subject that gets talked about often) as with funding comes strings.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 13-Jul-11 16:32:30

This isn't how state provided services - be that healthcare, education, the police - operate. And nor should it be.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 13-Jul-11 16:34:49

Gah! By which I mean, you wouldn't get a rebate or funding if you paid to have your baby in a private hospital. Or if you dealt with the local vandals yourself rather than calling the police.

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