Memorandum submitted by Simon Webb



Ÿ I am a home educating parent who has educated his daughter since birth

Ÿ For some years I have thought that more oversight is needed for home education

Ÿ Graham Badman's review was very fair and open minded

Ÿ The recommendations of the Badman review are sensible and balanced



1. As a home educating parent myself, I have long had doubts about the standard of education being provided by many parents who have withdrawn their children from school. I was accordingly pleased when the DCSF decided to commission Graham Badman to conduct a review of elective home education.

2. My daughter, who has never attended school, and I both gave evidence to the review. We found Graham Badman to be reasonable, courteous and very open minded and fair in his approach to the question of home education.

3. My worries about home education centre largely around the practice of autonomous education, in which children decide for themselves what they should learn. This is the most popular educational technique adopted by those who withdraw their children from school. I believe this to be an extremely inefficient method of education.

4. Graham Badman collected information from many home educators, as well as statutory bodies and voluntary organisations. At the end of this, he was far from convinced that autonomous education is the best way of educating children.

5. As a home educator I agree fully with the Recommendations of the Badman Review, particularly with regard to LEAs having new powers to monitor and inspect families who do not send their children to school. Without such regular inspections it seems very likely to me, based upon my own experience, that many children would not receive a suitable education at home. My daughter, who is now fifteen and has never been to school, agrees with me on this subject. We would both be happy to appear in person before the Select Committee to give evidence.

July 2009