Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Survey on home education

The National Centre for Social Research is conducting a survey about home education. This is what they are doing;

About this study

This study aims to examine the reasons behind the decision to choose home education. The study has been commissioned by Red Balloon Learner Centres, a registered charity.

Potential policy impact

This study hopes to provide information on the reasons behind people's decisions to choose home education to people working in the education and educational policy sectors.


We have sent a short paper self-completion questionnaire to the parents and guardians of pupils named on the Elective Home Education registers in 23 local authorities. These have been sent via local authorities, and so we at NatCen do not know the names or details of anyone selected to take part in the study.

Elizabeth Clery, Christopher Ferguson

Inevitably, some home educating parents are furious about this, because they have been approached via their local authority. One might have supposed that it would be a good chance for parents to explain why they are home educating. At least one parent is angry at the mention of a register. What's wrong with these people? One gets the impression that if one asked the time, some of these types would round on one angrily and ask what you mean by that.


  1. There is no other easy way of contacting significant numbers of home educators for such purposes. However, anyone using this method alone needs to be aware that there will be a potential bias in their results because they haven't pulled in a fully representative set of subjects.

    A sense of humour is an important tool when dealing with local authorities and is sometimes a better response than anger.

  2. Goodness, Simon, can it really be true? You wrote a blog post without claiming to be 'frankly baffled' by home educators!

  3. 'Anonymous said...
    Goodness, Simon, can it really be true? You wrote a blog post without claiming to be 'frankly baffled' by home educators!'

    Yes, I'm turning into one of those stock figures like the peppery old man from Tunbridge Wells who writes to the papers, saying; 'Dear Sir, I would like to protest in the strongest possible terms...'

    So it is that one imperceptibly changes from being a real human being to becoming a stereotype.

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