Stop abusing home education

11th November 2011 at 00:00

Having just been awarded a PhD for research on the discovery of elective home education (EHE), I can unequivocally report that your cover story "Out of school, out of sight" (4 November) is rubbish. Not only does the article rehearse old and dismissed arguments, but it also provides no new ones. It does not even offer an accurate and balanced portrayal of the Khyra Ishaq case as it relates to EHE, nor about the Badman review and the subsequent cross-party enquiry that found it had substantial failings. The article attempts to cover the complexity of the issue, but ends in a state of ideological bias against EHE as a valid educational choice.

You failed to consult academic or EHE organisational voices. Why? There are plenty of scholars and home educators who see things very differently from the article's single narrative of doom.

It is true that EHE is an issue, but it is one that highlights the failings of schooling and social services. Furthermore, it brings into relief the shortcomings of government bodies that operate without proper care or respect for practitioners and educational research. Educationally, EHE is one of the most innovative and exciting growing movements of the current time.

Alas, even the miserable black and white pictures are misleading and full of prejudice. Think on it TES, and think again.

Dr Helen E Lees, Research fellow, School of Education, Stirling University.

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