Kate Brett, Newport:

I would like to respond regarding MP Bob Seely’s comments about children being home educated

His comments have caused some discussion within the home education network, both locally and nationally. 

Many of us home educating families have met with Mr Seely in the past and have discussed home education, at length, explained what happens and why, how it all works, the reasons for home education, and shared the facts, but his views remain the same.

His concerns are with these parents who ‘choose‘ to isolate their children. A suggestion not based on fact. 

The more realistic observation is that yes - SOME home educated children ARE isolated. Their mental health is rock bottom, they are not thriving - this is because those children deserve and wish to be within a suitable school placement.

These parents are not ‘electively’ home educating their children. But their parents have been left with no choice, as school was not suitable for their child. 

Home educated children really fall in two categories.

1. Those who are opting out of the system, who facilitate education to suit their child’s individual needs and interests.

2. Those who ideally don’t want to home educate, but feel they have absolutely no choice - for a plethora of reasons.

Both of these categories of parents care deeply about their children and want to ensure they are doing the best they can. None have intentions to isolate or cause harm. 

I think if Mr Seely wants to make his broad statements about “a minority of children [who] are not being taught and are drifting into depression, isolation or worse” he really needs to look at the deeper causes and reasons for this, and focus on those families' needs.

Instead of those who are opting for an environment where their children thrive outside of the school system.