Home Educating children with Special Needs

I home educated my two boys. Only for a few months whilst waiting for school places in the area we had moved to.

In some ways it was great; we had some fun and made progress. But it was hard work and teaching my youngest son – who was impulsive and easily distracted – had an adverse impact on our relationship. I find it so much easier being patient and understanding with other people’s children!

I was an experienced teacher. I knew about ADHD and Dyspraxia and had some strategies to help us both. All the same, I was glad when school places were found and I could go back to my role as mum.

So many parents of children with SEND are forced into being home educators. The number of children with an SEN Statement or EHC Plan being home schooled has risen by 57% since

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2013. In principle this is “Elective Home Education” – but parents are not making this choice because they want to teach their own children, but because they know that their child’s needs are not being met at school. Sometimes the school leans on parents to home educate to avoid a permanent exclusion.

These figures are an underestimate of the numbers of children with SEN who are out of school. The number of pupils with special needs waiting for a school place has more than doubled in the last year. There are many more with SEND but without an EHC Plan for whom home education is seen as the only option to exclusion and placement in a PRU. The increase in SEND pupils who have been permanently excluded without another school to attend has increased six times over in two years.

Many more children are on “reduced timetables”, spending only a small part of the day in school. There is no statutory basis for reduced timetables but in practice they often run into months or years of illegal part-time education.

Parents should not be forced to become teachers of their children. Some choose to, and do a fantastic job. But when a child has SEND they need to learn to socialise and this is unlikely to be easy at home, with local children all at school. Children with SEND need particularly highly skilled teachers who understand the child and their needs, know the curriculum and how to differentiate it. They need assessment and advice from a range of education and health professionals.

Most parents are not teachers, nor should they be. We need more special school and specialist provision places. Most importantly we need
to extend excellent SEND provision to all mainstream schools so that every child gets the education they deserve.

By | 2017-12-04T10:11:58+00:00 December 4th, 2017|Home Education, Special Educational Needs|0 Comments

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