Should home-educated children enjoy access to a free education? Just because they no longer attend their local state school, should this mean they have forsaken all rights to low-cost or free educational resources? We at Oxford Home Schooling do not think so.
With the arrival of the new government, there has been renewed talk that parents (amongst others) will be empowered to set up their own schools and be in receipt of state funding.Â Plenty of parents and businesses would be interested in trying.Â But it is easy to underestimate just how difficult it would be for a goverment to introduce such a scheme. It takes years, decadesÂ even, to build an effective school, even with the most dedicated professionals involved.Â A good school is not going to appear overnight and the government is not going to fund thousands of small, ill-conceived schools on the off-chance that some of them will come good in the end.
At best, it may be possible to draw on existing specialised provision within the private sector and bring that into the mainstream. That could certainly be to the advantage of the home education sector because almost all the support organisations, like Oxford Home Schooling, are in the private sector. Such organisations could offer hugely improved facilities if they had additional funds to work with. This might include much more extensive contact with personal tutors, a broader choice of reources, much better use of “expensive” online facilities, and so on. This would help to put home-educated children on a level playing field with their peers in mainstream schools without compromising their much cherished independence.
But we will not be holding our breath. The days of an Oxford Home School nurtured and funded by the state are still a long way off!