Letter published in the Observer
Sonia Sodha in her article “Is the state sometimes wiser than parents?” (6 Nov 2016) goes too far. She proposes banning home education and suggests; “Some may be getting an adequate education – we just don’t know”. The reality is we do know because there has been plenty of research showing that such education is largely very effective. Her stance is mirrored by that of the state in wishing to ignore inconvenient evidence.
Let’s take another example. The Government’s own research has shown that every year at least 10,000 children get worse results at GCSE just because they are summer born. These young people are also less likely to go to university and more likely to be bullied in school. It is a sensible parent that recognises the problem and takes alternative action to undermine the discrimination practised within secondary schools.
As to bullying, we know that at the very least over a quarter of children are bullied sometime in their life in school. It can be a sensible parent that decides on an alternative to school instead of sending their child in each day to be beaten up. Indeed research on children that have had traumatic experiences, such as bullying, is that they are three times more likely to suffer psychotic episodes in adulthood.
The evidence is clear that parents may need to take matters into their own hands because the state ignores the evidence.