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Hello ladies,

Just looking for any help or advice you can give me for my friend. She has had a visit from an Education officer and wasn’t very happy. She wants to respond but needs some help. The officer seemed very intent on insisting that her children (5 + 7) should be doing a lot of academic work. He was comparing them to targets for children their age at school. He was telling her they should be doing very specific things such as the eldest should be doing decimals and joint up writing. He told her they should be doing reading, writing and maths everyday. He asked the children lots of questions to test them. My friend likes John Holt and she doesn’t believe in making them do academic work that they’re not interested in. Particularly the oldest is more practical than academic and one of her reasons for home edding was to tailor the education to the children.

He has given her recommendations and while their education is considered adequate now he has suggested that when he sees her again in a year if the recommendations haven’t been followed then the children’s education might not be considered adequate. She wants to stick to her beliefs but doesn’t want to have problems with the officer. Any advice?

Charlotte x

Home-Edding, BFing, Co-sleeping, Carrying & Cloth-nappying Gentle Mama to Lovely Leo (Apr 07) and Beautiful Ella (Mar 12)

It is such a shame that each LEA has it’s own “guidelines” (none of which are dictated by the law!)  and this can result in a child’s education being deemed inadequate, whereas in a different area it would be considered adequate.

I would suggest to your friend to compile an educational philosophy and present it to him on his nest visit, stating their core home ed values and methodology of education.  No where does it state that children HAVE to be doing x, y or z, and the national curriculum/guidelines are for use in schools, at home thankfully until now (although according to my LEA they are trying to put forward a motion to change this) we have many choices.  It does seem that some LEA’s want to take the *law* into their own hands and make up rules as they go along, but they don’t have any legal bind.  I would also suggest joining Education Otherwise.

Muslim mum of four, home educating, environmental hypocrite (but doing my best) hodge podging through this life…..


Where does your friend live? She could do with some help/advicefrom someone local. Often in areas where there have been problems with the LA there is someone who has taken on the role of helper/advisor. There are a couple of people I could direct her to on Facebook who would be great with this. PM me id she would like me to pass on the details. But off Facebook I struggle to know where to advise. It may be worth contacting Education Otherwise or, if in Scotland I believe there is a very good support network - I could find out the details if you need me to.

Got to dash. I hope someone else has some ideas.

Sarah x

And just to add that at age 7 children will NOT be doing decimals at school and it is unlikely they will be joining up their writing too. That’s not to say that some 7 year olds aren’t ready, but in the grand scheme of things ie: national curriculum, age 7 is year 2.  I think her EO needs to read his/her national curriculum before they start spouting it incorrectly if that’s their bible.

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