The 1996 Education Act states in Section 7: "The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable;
(A) to his age, ability, and aptitude, and (B) to any special educational needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise”.
Home Education is defined as, ‘an Education that is provided outside a ‘normal' school environment’. This type of education has undergone numerous debates, raising questions as to whether or not it is an effective educational program. Many people are equally divided between the pros and the cons, with people arguing that Home schooling offers many benefits for children and others arguing that it affects children’s social skills and education. Home education allows parents to educate their children at home if they choose to do so. Under English law, it is education that is compulsory, not schooling. As from 2004 the law doesn't require parents to register their child with any school, this allows parents to provide their children with any education that they see fit. So why do parents choose home schooling? There are many reasons this type of education attracts parents, for example religious reasons, bullying, unhappy with their local school, or they just feel they can provide a better education for their child at home. In many cases it is a combination of reasons which lead to the decision to educate at home. But what are the consequences of removing a child from mainstream schooling, and does it prepare them for 21st century life?
As we know adequate social interaction with other children of the same age group plays a major part in preparing them for 21st century life, boosting confidence, developing interpersonal skills and setting them up for adult life. With this in mind, many people have begun to question whether or not home-schooling affects a young person’s social skills? Opponents of home schooling argue that children need to be in an environment where they can grow and express themselves with children their own age, that without proper schooling children will find it harder to socialise making it difficult to cope with the complexities of life. Judith Gillespie, development manager of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, says,
“Part of the point of school is that children learn to cope with what the world will throw at them in a comparatively safe environment... They need to learn to deal with the ‘awkward squad’, because, at some time in their lives, they are bound to meet people like that”.
However, many people believe home-schooling gives their children more opportunities to be part of the real community and mix with many people of varying ages rather than being restricted to one age group, via local clubs, for instance scouts, cadets and drama groups, than those who attend mainstream schools.
However, to be able to join community clubs, money is needed and for low income groups and people...