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January 2011



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First Published Saturday, 4 April 2009

Child's Play Painting

Hope you’re all doing well. There is much to report on the education front, this 4th day of April, 2009. Despite global struggles, economic and otherwise, let us not forget to focus on the positives of life and living. There is a lot to be said for strong, stable leadership. If you find yourself at the helm, in charge of delivering a learning programme to others, be it home education or in a more formal setting, does your programme excite and inspire those reliant on you or is it time for an inspiration boost? Some of the most inspirational teachers I knew have moved on, but their message lives on. Nine tenths of education is encouragement. Respect the student, be consistent in approach, set the tone to “calm and controlled” ensuring you present as “safe and dependable”. When you are tested by your students, prove to them that you will be just that. “Those who trust us, educate us.” George Eliot

Children collaborate on story writing

Rise in Demand for Home Education

It has been widely noted that many families currently sending children to private schools are finding private education too expensive following the twin effects of rising school fees and the credit crunch. These causes have been exacerbated by pressure from the Charity Commission on private schools to provide more bursaries in order to show that they provide a public benefit. Public schools are building up resources to provide bursaries to families from more modest backgrounds, which in the case of Eton College must include some 95% of the population. St Paul’s School in London, for example, aims to raise £200 million in under thirty years for this purpose and Eton intends to raise even more. So far each school has raised some £25 million. Eton’s fees are currently £28,000 per year and the school hopes to increase bursaries so that at least 35-40% of pupils receive financial help. The net effect for fee-paying families is that fees are rising and this is contributing to families on the margin being less able to afford private education for their children.

This has led to a significant rise in inquiries to the www.home-education.org.uk website by families looking to home education as an alternative to sending children to state schools. If many of these families take up home education for prolonged periods this could result in a shift in the demographics of home-educating families, who have in the past been largely from lower income groups.

USA home education has been dominated by middle-class professional families, whereas in the UK this has not been the case. In the USA there has been a close relationship with the political right, partly as a result of the religious affiliations of many US home educators and also because the rightwing doctrine of personal responsibility inevitably attracts parents who want to take on the responsibility of their children’s education, particularly among those from higher income brackets. This was so pronounced during the campaign to re-elect Bush in 2004 that Senator Clinton made several veiled threats against home educators during her Democratic Party campaign in 2007-8. In contrast, in the UK home educators have not been linked to any particular party, though New Labour has not been seen as supportive over the last ten years, largely as a result of its reaction to child welfare crises.

If numbers continue to rise at the current rate in the UK, particularly if increasing percentages of home educators are higher income families, not only may there be attempts to politicise home education, but it is also possible that the Conservative Party might come to see home educators as target voters.

“People should be free to make for themselves the kinds of educational experience they want their children to have.” John Holt

Reach for the stars

Freedom for Children to Grow

The Home Education Campaign


It's Not Cool To Be Cruel

Kidscape Survey of School Bullying

Kidscape has undertaken a large-scale survey of children and families attending its anti-bullying support sessions.

Of the 1,200 families attending its ZAP assertiveness training sessions across the UK it found that:

50% of children had either attempted or contemplated suicide.

86% of families said the school had failed to act to stop the bullying.

84% of parents had been told that their child was “too sensitive”.

63% of parents had been labelled as “over protective”.

48% of children had truanted.

98% of families said that bullying had affected the whole family.

During the face-to-face survey one mother revealed that, “The first time I knew that my daughter had attempted suicide was when I read the questionnaire she completed to come on the ZAP course. She had tried three times, but each time was sick and vomited the pills up. I sobbed and felt so guilty for sending her to school to endure all that torment. I had no idea it was so bad because she didn’t tell me. Thank God she let me read her answers – it was her way of telling me without having to say the words. I took her to the GP and now I home educate her – no way would I let her go back to that hellhole.”

A father recounted, “We have been to the school six times and each time they tell us that there is no bullying in the school and no one has witnessed my daughter being bullied, so they cannot do anything. Witnesses? Of course bullies don’t pick on their victims in front of the teachers. My daughter is miserable and I feel like a failure as her dad.”

Kidscape director Claude Knights said: “The results are disturbing, although not surprising. We have been running ZAP sessions for nearly ten years and we are hearing the same stories over and over again. This research highlights the need to improve the way bullying is handled in schools so that every child can learn in a safe environment.”

Home Ed

Parents Express Outrage and Disgust at Latest Government Attack on Families

The AHED press release Wednesday 21st January 2009

Home educating parents in England are expressing outrage and disgust as the government launches a vicious attack against them with yet another consultation affecting their family choices.[1]

National home education group Action for Home Education [2] today complained to the DCSF about the consultation which includes accusations that home educators are potential child abusers. “This is not the first time we have had to defend ourselves against wild, unsubstantiated accusations made in an attempt to excuse further interventions into our family lives. We are already regularly questioned about our arrangements and it appears that the government now intend to put us all on permanent enquiry,” said Barbara Stark who is a home educating parent and chair of AHEd.

This consultation, the latest in an endless round of similar vexatious exercises, is part of a review of home education. However, “we are being asked to defend ourselves against unwarranted charges of child abuse and/or neglect and invited to partake in the construction of our own oppression by answering a question about what the government can do to ensure this abuse does not happen.”

Parents are telling AHEd that they are extremely fed up with the repeated and sustained attacks on them while the state-as-parent continues to fail the country’s children in breath-taking fashion. Many parents are home educating precisely because the authorites failed their children in school and are offended at the attempts of government to impose their much hyped desired outcomes on their children. “Children are entitled to have their own desired outcomes. We reject the right of the state to dictate or examine our desires,” said Barbara. AHEd stands by the right of parents to enable their children to aim for their own outcomes in their own way.

Every week we hear that the many and sometimes tragic failures of authorities to educate and protect the children with whose provision they are entrusted are due to lack of resources – so why misappropriate funds to an area of research backed success in order to persecute this minority group, labelling them as potential abusers?

AHEd supporter Clare Murton said, “If government can produce proper evidence of risk factors in home education, we are more than willing to examine that evidence and respond accordingly. However, whilst all that is put forward is rumour, slander and libel aimed at distracting the focus from their own despicable failures, we refuse to give credence to their leading questions.”

Our home educating parent blogs [3] “Your child can be bullied at school until they’re suicidal but dare to take them out and the government want to brand you a potential abuser. Your local authority can break the law, dragging their feet or flat out refusing to do anything about your child’s Special Education Needs but when you finally decide you’ve had enough and take them out of school, you’re a potential abuser. Stand up for your child when the state fails them and you need watching. Put your children before career and material possessions and there must be something wrong with you..”

Monika Dutta, another home educator, has very personal reasons for challenging their gross interference. She said about this consultation that it leaves her feeling moved to tears; “All I can think about is how family members were investigated by the government for not sending my mother to Hitler Youth meetings.”

Home educators do not know precisely what final solution the government has in mind for them but fear that, while expensive routine and abusing checking on the many thousands of home educators will be a red herring that will detract precious time and resources from genuine instances of need, members of our community will be required to tolerate increased state interventions aimed at controlling the choices of law abiding and loving families. Why else would government launch their third attempt at revising the law pertaining to education otherwise than at school in as many years, despite previous spectacular failures due to massive opposition and blatant legal inaccuracies?

This review is being seen as harassment and a threat by home educators who are tired of being ignored when it comes to their own views on what to do about home education, especially given the preference shown for the views of local authorities who routinely misunderstand education law and home education practice. Not only has the government ignored and tried to sideline us repeatedly, but now they try to silence and exclude us.

AHEd members are asking why only LA staff have been formally notified of this consultation? Home educators, the major stakeholders, discovered this consultation only through their own vigilance and networking while the time to respond to the consultation has been cut to only one third of the usual minimum time allowed under cover of the excuse of urgent overriding public interest requiring prompt action. AHEd has made a formal complaint demanding to know what overriding public interest justifies this action.

To add insult to injury we find that while we may all answer this 6 question consultation on what to do about home education, local authorities are being sent an additional questionnaire encouraging ultra vires practices and soliciting their detailed views about home education, containing 60 questions.

For information, contacts etc:

1 http:??www..dcsf.gov.uk/consultations/index.cfmaction=


2 http://ahed.pbwiki.com/About-AHEd

3 http://www.swsurrey-home-ed.co.uk/wordpress/

4 http://www.communitynewswire.press..net/article.jsp?id=5248914

Respect Poster

Education Otherwise Press Release Monday 19th January 2009

Education Otherwise (EO) has today expressed its dismay at the decision by DCSF to launch yet another investigation into home education and at statements contained in the press release announcing the review.[1]

Education Otherwise and home educating families have contributed to three major consultations on the guidance to local authorities since 2005. The latest guidance was issued in autumn 2007.[2]

Annette Taberner, member of EO’s Government Policy Group said “It has become clear to us that the Department and many local authorities have a very poor understanding of home education and the law which applies to it. No other community would be expected to suffer the prejudice and discrimination which our community has to endure. Our community will be infuriated by these latest statements.

“Many hours of time and public money has been expended in consultations. Ministers need to prioritise time to engage in meaningful discussions with our organisation which has thirty years of experience helping families who chose to exercise their right to educate their children at home.”

Statements on links between home education, forced marriage and child welfare made in select committee hearings and by the London Safeguarding Board have already been challenged by Education Otherwise. The charity requested sight of the alleged evidence upon which the statements were made but no evidence has been forthcoming.[3]

Education Otherwise continues to assert that the current legislation is adequate but poorly understood. Education Otherwise finds the implication from Government and local authorities that home educated children are at risk purely because they are home educated offensive.

Ann Newstead, spokesperson for the charity said, “The assumption that a child is safe and adequately educated if in the state system is simply not borne out by an increasing number of families in the UK.”

1 DCSF Press Release “Morgan: Action to Ensure Children’s Education & Welfare”


2 DCSF Elective Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities in England



3 Alleged link between HE and forced marriage www.freedomforchildrentogrow.org/hascr.htm

single parents

Changes to Single Parents Income Support –

Information Pack

The Department of Work and Pensions has produced an information pack with details about the recent changes to the benefit system. Despite extensive lobbying the government decided that home educators should not be exempt, though the government says that assessors will be sympathetic to parental needs. However, those with experience of similar assessments are dubious about such claims. The changes will be phased in over the next three years.

From 24 November 2008, if your youngest child is aged 12 or over, or will be 12 in the next year, your Income Support may stop during that year if you are only claiming it because you are a lone parent.

From 26 October 2009, if your youngest child is aged 10 or over, or will be 10 in the next year, your Income Support my stop during that year if you are only claiming it because you are a loan parent.

From 25 October 2010, if your youngest child is aged 7 or over, or will be 7 in the next year, your Income Support may stop during that year if you are only claiming it because you are a lone parent.

It is planned that the Job Centre will contact claimants eight weeks before Income Support is due to stop to notify them when the last payment is due. JCP will also invite people to a “voluntary” interview with an adviser, who will explain what people need to do to make a claim for another benefit if they have not found paid work. The interview will also be an opportunity to set up the paperwork for Child Tax Credit payments while still on Income Support.

If CTC is already in place, this will minimise any delay in payments when the new claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance begins, since you will only have to claim the personal allowance component of JSA.

News from Germany

Home educators living in Germany could be forgiven for thinking that they are living in the front line of a war being waged by their government against home education.

Two German stories are currently in the news. The first is about asylum. Two families have officially applied for asylum. One family has been offered political asylum in Canada due to Germany’s persecution of home-educating parents, and another has applied for asylum in the USA. If the US application is successful it seems likely that others will follow.

The US state department, which handles requests for asylum, has said they are aware of and are monitoring the situation in Germany.

Another story is the good news that criminal charges against the Brause family, which could have led to a two-year prison sentence and the loss of their children, have been dropped.

To have brought these charges to court successfully the state had to prove intentional psychological harm to the children. The criminal charge was that of intentional child neglect. Mr, and Mrs Brause are charged with willingly and knowingly preventing their children from going to school. Preventing the child from receiving a school education is considered harmful to the wellbeing of the children in Germany.

The family’s defenders brought in US and UK experts and international human rights monitors. The state subsequently dropped the case as even the court’s own appointed experts (a youth worker and psychologist) submitted reports to the court that the children were developing well and showed no signs of neglect.

The family still have to face civil cases regarding their refusal to send their children to school and are being defended by the “International Human Rights Group”, which appears from its website to work exclusively for the human rights of Christians.

Twins of Zurich

Civil Disobedience in Zurich

The Zurich canton in Switzerland has introduced new legislation that outlaws parents from home-educating their children unless they possess a valid teaching qualification.

This affects some fifty families and eight families have so far stated their unwillingness to comply with the law. A number of courses of action are being considered, among them a programme of civil disobedience.

The education authority has stated that they believe that children need more than their family, which makes some suspect that this is the first move in a strategy that will eventually outlaw home education altogether, despite the fact that the Swiss Constitution makes childrearing the responsibility of parents not the state.

Zurich is a large international trading centre and home to a number of large US companies like Google and IBM as well as a number of banks. It is hoped that approaches by these companies may put pressure on the Zurich authorities to overturn the legislation, since significant numbers of workers at Google home educate their children and may refuse to continue to live in Zurich if the current climate prevails.

The issue of home education is fast becoming critical in Switzerland, where some of the other German-speaking cantons have already moved against the freedom to home-educate. An added pressure is that if ten cantons adopt a law then it becomes law in all twenty-six cantons. This will cause tension with the French-speaking cantons where home education has always been legal.

Another issue is a new law that is being adopted throughout Switzerland that would mean that children as young as three would have to attend a form of state schooling, whereas to date the age for the start of compulsory education has been seven.

Brazilian children

Brazilian Court Takes Hard Line on Home Education

On December 23rd a Brazilian court in Minas Gerais was offered evidence that the home-educated children of Cleber and Bernadeth Nunes had passed a series of tests imposed by the court in Mathematics, Geography, Science, History, Portuguese, English, Arts and Physical Education; tests that teachers admitted they could not themselves pass. The three-judge panel, represented by Moreira Diniz, nevertheless ruled that “We cannot even allow the examination here of the quality of education that is being given at home, because homeschooling never can be substituted for regular instruction.”

The courts clearly hoped that the children would fail the tests, giving further justification of their denial of human rights to the family.

One of the three judges claimed in his written verdict that, “The quality of our [state] education is undeniable. If we compare ourselves, for example, average Brazilian citizens with average North American citizens, the conclusion is devastating. North Americans know little in comparison to Brazilians. Our schooling is, to the contrary, very good in comparison to other countries.”

Joao Senna dos Reis, an opinion columnist with the Diario do Aco newspaper, mocked the statement, noting that “a simple official verification that 70% of Brazilians don’t know how to read and interpret five lines of banal text represents a shocking confession of how our education system is going.”

A quick search of the internet suggests that Joao is right. While the current president of Brazil is following Tony Blair’s “education, education, education” theme, a number of websites suggest that Brazil’s education system is towards the bottom of the heap in their region, with only Haiti performing worse.


Sex Ed poster

Sex and Our Children

Following reports about the high rates of teenage sexual activity, the National Children’s Bureau have advised the government that all secondary schools should have a sexual health clinic on site to offer advice on sexually transmitted diseases. It appears that young people will not use GPs, fearing they will tell their parents. The report also calls for compulsory sex education. In a related report NICE were asked to prepare guidance on the compulsory education of sexual health issues in schools and colleges. The committee of practitioners involved in writing the report then went ahead and broadened their remit to include home educators. NICE proceeded to refuse either to remove home educators from the list of those who would be affected by the guidance or to include home educators in the forthcoming consultation (5th March to April 3rd 2009).

Home educators could be left with guidance regarding compulsory content to their education yet with no consultation, which would mean that LAs could attempt to enquire about what sexual health education is provided and perhaps even mandate the content of provision. NICE’s remit only includes professional bodies and cannot be applied to families. Furthermore there are government rules that consultations must include all stakeholders. By including home educators NICE have put themselves in the impossible situation of only consulting organisations, but pronouncing on what families must teach. This is unacceptable not only because NICE was only ever intended to be able to mandate what organisations and not individuals do, but also because it tramples the parental right to educate according to family philosophy enshrined in the Human Rights Act.

A number of home education groups and individuals have issued complaints about NICE and its inclusion of home educators in its guidelines alongside further complaints at their exclusion from the consultation process. Many home educators already include sexual health education as part of their children’s education, but half-baked attempts to make this compulsory by bodies with no remit to interfere will only cause a storm of protest from families.



Gun-Toting Texan Teachers

Harold Independent school district has approved a plan for teachers in their schools to carry guns in class. The school district, the Texas equivalent to an LA, has unanimously voted to allow teachers who want them to carry guns. The district superintendant is quoted as saying, “We have a lock-down situation [in our schools], we have cameras, but the question we had to answer is, ‘What if somebody gets in? What are we going to do?’ It’s just common sense.”

Old Schoolhouse

US Education District Tries to Entice Home Educators to Return to School

In what must go down as one of the most naive attempts ever to entice home educators back into school, Wayne Alexander, Superintendent of Hernando School Board (Florida), invited the parents of all seven hundred and sixty home-educated children living in their area to a meeting to which only thirty parents turned up.

The principle motivation for the meeting was money. If all seven hundred and sixty children re-registered at a school, the county would receive $3.34 million in extra funding.

One teacher, Mike Maynard, stood at the podium and made the monumental error of telling parents that their children would receive a better education in school, a statement that was received with open laughter around the hall. Parents then queued up at the podium to explain why they took their children out of school in the first place. The reasons included bullying, inflexibility of the State’s curriculum, inadequate educational standards and a lack of moral standards.

Several parents pointed out that there are a further two thousand children lost by the public school system to private schools and asked if the board intended to chase these children also. No reply is recorded. No parents signed up to re-register their children for a return to school.

It has been known for some time now that Florida’s education system has been in a downward spiral of falling achievement and rising behaviour problems in many of its schools. As parents of more able pupils, or perhaps those parents more engaged with their child’s education, opt for private education (using federal grants), home education or virtual schooling, or indeed any option other than state schools, the State is left to educate the most challenging young people, leading to teacher shortages and further falling standards. It is therefore not surprising that the management teams of county education boards have begun to work proactively to bring back some of the pupils they have lost. This latest attempt was crudely thought out and badly managed.

John Harvard Statue, Harvard University

Ivy League Universities Target British Students

American universities are using recruitment agencies to identify and attract top UK students to their institutions.

These tactics are backed up by massive endowments available to offer grants to British students. Harvard, Yale and Princeton between them have £42 billion in endowments.

Yale has a “needs-blind” application process that ensures that if an admissions tutor wants a particular student the lack of funds will not stand in the way; those who need help will get it. Students with an income of less than £34,000 will not have to pay anything and support continues to around £70,000 joint income.

At Harvard help is available for students whose parents earn up to £90,000. This makes top universities in the US a very good prospect indeed for more able students.

Manchester University

Director of Institute of Science – “Give Children Performance-Enhancing Drugs”

John Harris, Director of the institute of Science, Ethics and Innovation at Manchester University, says Doctors and Ministers should consider making performance-enhancing drugs, such as Ritalin (methylphenidate), used frequently as a treatment for ADHD, available without a prescription for non-medical use.

His idea is that drugs such as these improve children’s attention span and exam scores. He adds that although they carry the risk of side effects, these effects are proportional to the benefits they offer.

US scientists have similarly suggested that the use of “smart drugs” in exams should be seen as a benefit to society. Mr Harris adds that there is nothing wrong in principle with trying to improve one’s cognitive functions.

The outlook for young people, should this policy be adopted, is appalling. In a world of competitive examinations many young people seeking to follow a conventional career path may be forced to take such drugs to retain any hope of success.

The corollary to this of course is stunted growth, high blood pressure, toxic psychosis, psychotic episodes, drug dependence syndrome, weight loss and severe depression upon withdrawal, not to mention a world where drug enhancement is simply part of accepted life.

The Telegraph January 1st 2009.

Teacher Suspensions

Rise in Teacher Suspensions

The number of teachers suspended over claims of pupil mistreatment has nearly doubled, though overall figures are relatively low. (Of the 537 thousand teachers in the UK, only 0.01% are suspended each year.)

BBC Radio 5 obtained figures from 40% of local authorities throughout the UK. If one extrapolates from these figures for all authorities in the UK then close to 800 teachers could be suspended this year for pupil mistreatment, that’s four or five suspensions in each LA. Suspension periods vary from around a week to as long as four years in one case.

The most common reason given for suspension was child protection issues, including allegations of verbal abuse, unreasonable force against a pupil, indecent assault and downloading child pornography. Other reasons were misuse of drugs or alcohol, and gross misconduct. There also appears to be a wide variation in suspension rates around the UK. For example, Essex has suspended eighty teachers in the last five years whereas Camden had no suspensions over the same period.

Teaching unions are concerned about false allegations made against teachers by pupils or their parents, but weaken their case by suggesting that all unproven cases are false allegations.


Stardom for Home-Educated Singer-Songwriter

Tiger Rox, real name Sophy Wilcox, an eleven-year-old self-taught guitarist from Brighton, has signed a multimillion dollar recording and TV contract in the US.

Sophy started playing about four years ago when she was aged 7 and living in the Scottish highlands. Sophy was spotted at a charity gig in a local pub last September.

Her first album, Wild Bliss, is now due for release and she will perform on the Jay Leno show in the US. She is also to have her own show, called Tiger Rox.

A local fan and professional coach commented, “I saw this girl busking outside Brighton station. She is awesome! I stood with all the others watching for about an hour, could not believe my eyes, her songs are so deep and her voice gives you goose bumps and she’s always smiling, bless her. She deserves this, she is special, I’ve worked in the industry for years as a vocal coach and her pitch is perfect. A joy to watch. I was late for work because I could not stop watching her wondering what she would sing next. An amazing talent. Great to see her get recognition.”

In her blog she says that she has what is called “Endemic Memory”, which apparently means she remembers sequences of letters and numbers she sees forever. This helps with her guitar playing.


Family Fun

Family Fun & Education with the FSC

Looking for a holiday that will inspire and educate your whole family? Then look no further than Field Studies Council (FSC), an independent, environmental educational charity that offers family holiday courses to help families spend time together and learn more about the environment.

FSC Family courses are based at FSC centres throughout the UK which are set in stunning locations, ranging from the majestic Scottish Highlands to the beautiful South Devon Coast. Each centre not only helps people learn more about the environment but is also run in an environmentally sensitive manner, and many have Eco-Centre status.

There are four different types of FSC family holiday course: wildlife and discovery, active family (adventure activities), creative family (art and crafts) and courses for unaccompanied young people. All courses are filled with activities for all the family to enjoy, but they also draw upon our 65-year history of providing environmental eduction, so are carefully structured to stimulate enquiring minds of all ages in a fun and memorable way.

This summer, splash about in rock pools, search the skies for bats, go pond dipping, hunt for creepy crawlies whilst at the same time enjoying the spectacular Pembrokeshire coast on FSC Dale Fort’s Seashore Adventure (09-13 April, 21-25 August). FSC Rhyd-y-creuau in Snowdonia invites you to discover more about the fantastic variety of wild inhabitants that thrive in the Welsh Countryside, on Family Wildlife Discovery (11-17 April, 16-21 August).

Alternatively, get creative on FSC Juniper Hall’s Wild Arts and Crafts (22-24 May) weekend. Forays into the field provide the materials to make mobiles and sculptures. Families can have a go at painting, paper and kite making and poetry writing on this inspirational family course in the North Downs.

Get active on FSC Malham Tarn’s Wild Days in the Dales (21-28 August) where you will visit mountains, lakes, and caves in search of wildlife and thrills. Or spend a week in rural Perthshire Exploring the Highlands (30 Jul -07 Aug). Rafting, orienteering and climbing are just some of the adventurous activities you can have a go at whilst on this course at FSC Kindrogan.

Weekend family courses start at £100 per adult and £79 per child. This includes all meals, accomodation and transport during the course and above all the interesting and fun programme of activities making them excellent value for money. To find out more about or to order a Family Holiday Courses brochure visit the FSC website www.field-studies-council.org/family or contact FSC Head Office on 01743 852100.

The Field Study Council is an environmental education charity committed to helping people discover, explore, understand and be inspired by the natural world. Its network of centres provides day and residential courses for all ages from young children to retired adults from schools and communities throughout the UK. It also reaches many others through its publications and community-based programmes.

Summer camp fun

Do It 4 Real Summer Camps – For 10 to 19 Year-Olds


online library

Education Journal – Questia Online Library

The Questia library now contains over 67,000 books and 1,500,000 journal, magazine, and newspaper articles.


Education News

VIDEO Michelle Obama “Smart is cool”:


“Cyberbullying affects 1 in 10 teachers”:


“Science GCSE standards lowered”:


“Pupils should study Twitter”:


“Graduates need work experience”:


“Longer schooling cuts dementia”:


Autism & Education “Other education programmes”:


“Why can’t I go too? Louise Tickle on how disabled children are excluded from school trips”:


“Autistic student turns to comics to express herself”:


“12-Year-Old autistic Director debuts film at Beloit Film Festival”:


“Creaking special needs system faces overhaul”:


“School action urged on behaviour: Many SEN children failed by school system”:


“UK backbenchers threaten revolt over proposed fee hike”:


“Global battle for foreign students”:


“Razor gang hits $7bn university funding”:


“Students up as the economy shrivels”:


“Technology sets school miles apart”:


“Our children must have the opportunity to learn an instrument”:


The impact on students of budget cuts at universities “It’s an erosion of education”:


“Alarm over security of children’s database”:


USA “Obama urges US education reform”:


China “High-tech exam cheats jailed”:


South Africa “Laying the foundations of an inclusive society”:


Italy “Students give up wheels for their own two feet”:


“Strip-search case tests how far schools can go”:


“Kitchen chemistry for middle schoolers”:


“Brother and sister act – Summer camps”:


“Primary schools fighting to support children with diabetes”:


Video(19:24) “Sir Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity”:


South Koreans Spend Record Sum On Education

South Koreans spent nearly 30 billion dollars on education in 2008, more than in any previous year, despite the deepening economic downturn, official figures showed Sunday.

The increase, due largely to a rise in spending on private teaching including English-language learning, indicated South Koreans were reluctant to cut back on education despite a dramatic economic slowdown.

Household spending on education reached an all-time high of 39.8 trillion won (29.5 billion dollars) in 2008, up 7.7 percent from a year earlier, the Yonhap news agency said, citing Bank of Korea figures.

The global financial crisis has dampened consumer spending in South Korea and fuelled a rise in unemployment.

The country’s per-capita gross national income fell to 19,231 dollars last year from 21,695 dollars in 2007.

Source: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/18/20090329/tod-skoreans-spend-record-sum-on-educati-7f81b96.html

Oil Pastels


NAS Home Education Guidelines:


The Autism Software Database


TESconnect – Teaching Jobs, Resources & Community




Murderous Maths: Guide for Homeschoolers


Synthetic Phonics Software from SUMS Online


Internet Safety Resources
Childnet International, “work in partnership with others around the world to help make the Internet a great and safe place for children”. Widget have recently partnered with Childnet to recreate the “SMART” rules with symbol support.

They can be downloaded from their website:

Ideas for using the flashcards:

Incentive Plus

Listed below is a great range of our best-selling resources, which are ideal if your learners are on the Autism spectrum:


Wacky Web Tales

Stories geared for grades 3 and above (Updated monthly):


R-E-M the educational software and teaching resources specialist:


Education City – educational games, fun learning, whiteboard resources, SATs:


Life Support Productions – Offering three Sex Education/PSHE DVDs for people with learning disabilities/special needs:


Yellow Moon – Arts & Crafts, Educational Toys

Home Ed groups who sign up for this catalogue are entitled to discounts:


Baker Ross – 1000s of art & craft products, games & toys etc:


London Science Museum


British Science Association: Online resources:


Art Tutorial:


Ever Wonder How To? :


Discover Primary science –

Download activity sheets in Irish and English for primary science projects:


Educational Resources – Brain Awareness Week:


Primary Times – Events, Theatre, Places to Go, Things to Do with Families, Children and School:


light summer reading

Subscriptions to Home Education – The Journal of Home Education in the UK & Beyond

The Journal is published 3 times a year. We intend the journal to become the highest quality source of news and information available on the subject. A publication that can be kept and referred back to for years to come. It is possible to subscribe either by post or online at:


Cost – including postage:

UK £11.99 for 3 issues

£4.50 for 1 issue

The rest of the world £14.99 for 3 issues

£6.00 each


Support Listings

For a comprehensive listing of online support see:


Home Education UK
England and Wales support and legal info mailing lists


England, Wales & N. Ireland



Education Otherwise
Support charity covering all of the UK

PO Box 325, Kings Lynn, PE343XW
ph. 0845 478 6345

Support charity for Scotland
Schoolhouse association,
PO Box 18044 Glenrothes, Fife, KY 9AD
ph 01307 463120 (24/7 support line)

Learning Unlimited
A support network for continental Europe

Free Range Education

Choice in Education
Alternative education newsletter

PO Box 20284, London, NW1 3AA
ph. 0208 969 8935

Islamic Home Schooling Advisory Network
PO Box 30671, London, E1 OTG

Personalised Education Now
Promotes learner-managed learning

113 Arundel Drive, Bramcote,
Nottingham, NG9 3FQ
ph/Fax: 0115 925 7261

BLOGS with content relevant to home educators:



Independent Panel for Special Education Advice (IPSEA)

Enquire (SEN Helpline)

Disability Rights Commission
Promoting the rights of disabled persons

Disability Law Service
ph. 020 77919800

Family Law Association
help finding lawyers
0207 797 7837

Arch Ed
Action on the Rights of the child

Bullying Online



Kids Health Foundation


The Brook Charity (sexual health advice)


ph. 0800 0185 023 (9-5)

ph. 020 7950 7700 (24hr)

Drugscope Info & help on drug abuse


32-36 Loman Street

London SE1 0EE

ph. 0207928 1211


ph 0800 1111

ph 0808 800 2222

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