We are a group of families in Wales who are passionate about the rights of parents to decide how our children are educated.
We advocate for parental primacy in education, and to preserve the freedom of families to make choices about the best interests of our children.
We know from experience that family-centred learning has a huge amount of positives. Our own children benefit from personalised learning opportunities devised alongside those people who know them best and love them the most – their parents.
We see them flourishing as they work at their own pace, follow their own interests and take their place in the community of which they are a part. Family relationships thrive in such a setting, and those with special needs can be educated in the most appropriate way.
Despite the negative press afforded to home education in recent years, personalised learning is proving beneficial for many children, and freedom for parents to determine with their children the most suitable educational path must be protected in Wales.
We advocate for politicians to recognise that alternative forms of education which are equal in the eyes of the law, and therefore have equal standing, should be respected alongside the more familiar schooling varieties, rather than being discriminated against simply because they are “different.”
If Wales wishes to become a truly pluralistic and diverse society, it is vital that this diversity also extends to the sphere of education.
The conflation of education and welfare in recent years has proved extremely unhelpful, and in this regard it is crucial to affirm that home education in and of itself is not a safeguarding issue.
Along with many other home-educating parents, we consider registration and monitoring to be totally inappropriate to family-based learning, as this undermines the primacy of parents- and their children- in education, as upheld by Human Rights legislation. (See below)
We regard the educational aspects of our endeavours with our children as an extension of our parenting role, and consider the concept of registration and monitoring both incomprehensible and offensive. Such proposals cast an unmerited shadow of suspicion over families simply for making an alternative and equally legitimate educational choice. Indeed, the introduction of a register stands in danger of destroying much of what makes home education the great thing that it is. You cannot regulate relational learning – that would be like trying to regulate life itself.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 26.3 “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Article 14.2 “States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.”
Article 18.1 “States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.”
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Article 18.4 “The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.”
The European Convention on Human Rights
Article 8 “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
“There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”
Article 12 “Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right.”
Article 2 Protocol 1 “No person shall be denied the right to education. In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of the parents to ensure such education and teaching is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.”