Shimon Shaw, Carisbrooke:

I refer to Mr Seely's recent opinion piece in the County Press about education, in which he referred to the rate of home education and to home educated children on the Island "drifting into depression, isolation or worse."

I should say that we electively home educate our children and moved to the Island precisely because there is a thriving home education community. 

The number of families home educating here means that there are more opportunities than in many other places in the country.

I do not recognise Mr Seely's implied assertion that home educated children are isolated or depressed. 

Perhaps he doesn't either in reality, as he brings precisely no evidence for this.

No doubt, some home educated children are isolated and depressed, but why does he think that this is caused by their educational setting?

Is school such a panacea that all children are happily skipping along with narry a care in the world? What is the basis for this?

Many children in home education are there because of difficulties in mainstream education, whether bullying or the inability of some schools to cope with children that don't quite fit the mould.  (Not the fault of individual teachers, I hasten to add. I have a mother and sister who have been teachers and I understand quite how hard a job teachers do, in what is sometimes a thankless job.)

In my experience, those children are often far happier in a more flexible setting, with caring parents who are able to provide opportunities both socially and educationally. 

For many of those children it is a chance to repair some of the damage done to their self esteem and confidence by being a square peg in the round hole of the very stretched education system.

Perhaps Mr Seely might have a better idea of what was going on if he engaged more. 

A group of over 50 home educators from the Island recently visited Parliament for an education visit. 

Neither Mr Seely nor anyone from his office was able to take the time to meet the children. 

If he had done so, he would have seen engaged and happy children accessing some amazing opportunities. 

Perhaps it is Mr Seely that needs to educate himself.