The day before yesterday, on May 24th, a new company was incorporated and registered at Companies House. It is called Periplus Home Education and the website may be found here:
Now it is true that the founder of this enterprise, John Edwards, has the misfortune to look and sound like a used car salesman, but this should not prejudice us against him. He was until last year the head of a failing school, details about which may be found here:
A number of local authorities have received this communication, touting for business for this company, which is essentially a virtual school:
A national internet based “Free School” for home educated students
Periplus Home Education* is currently seeking expressions of interest to demonstrate the viability and sustainability of an application for the first state funded ‘school’ for home educated students. Using the new government legislation, they are currently engaged in consultation with government ministers and potential partners with respect to opening an Internet based, nationally available “Free School” for secondary age children, which, if successful, would open in September 2012. A critical and urgent step however, is an indication of the likely demand for such a school.
Home education allows great flexibility and removes the need to follow a prescribed curriculum and these freedoms are important. Whilst the model currently being developed to meet the required parameters for a state funded school cannot provide unlimited flexibility, there would be vastly more than in a normal school.
If the proposal is accepted (and this is not guaranteed) it would allow your child to continue receiving their education at home, albeit with a likely increased structure and some regulation. It would provide access to GCSE and other examinations and most importantly, it would be fully funded by the government and therefore completely free to you. It would provide access to the very best live teaching over the internet by highly qualified professional teachers in small classes with access to the best education resources on the market. At the same time, you would maintain a certain degree of autonomy over your child’s education and preserve many of the advantages that home education can bring.
Whilst the target size of the 11-16 school is 300-400 students, given that there are some 20-80,000 home educators in the UK, this is possibly an underestimate of the number that may be interested, but the proposals can be scaled on the basis of the number who reply. The admission criteria to such a school will be based on parents having shown a commitment to home education over time. It is intended that the school would demonstrate that home education can be very successful.
Although the proposals are well advanced, a vital step is securing the commitment of a sufficient number of home educating parents to the principle of “sending” their child to this internet school from September 2012. Responses from students currently aged 8-15 are especially important.
If you would like to be part of this unique school and to receive a state funded home education for your child please respond by completing and submitting the questionnaire, as soon as possible on the following link http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/511387/home-education
or follow the link on the periplus website www.periplus.org.uk/free-school
in order to help demonstrate the required level of interest. If you know anyone who home educates that might be interested, please direct them to the questionnaire. We will then complete the proposal in the tight timescale required. We will keep those who respond informed of the progress of the application, and will only use your information to consult you further or seek your views about the detailed planning for the school as necessary.
The proposal in its current form is to create a school for 11-16 year old students, If you are interested in a 5-11 version of such a school or wish to continue post 16 please also express an interest. We will then consider the viability of extending the current plan.
*Legislation prevents schools from being run for profit – this proposal is therefore wholly non commercial and is being undertaken as part of our commitment as a social enterprise organisation..
Although it is not the sort of thing which would have interested me, I suppose that there are parents who would like the idea and I am wondering what others think of the this.