In the second book in this ground breaking series from the Centre for Personalised Education Trust, research into the face of home education considers questions that have previously gone unanswered. The key question of the numbers of home educators has always been a vexed issue. Here, Mike Fortune-Wood takes an innovative look at numbers research using evidence from a series of enquiries to LEAs using the Freedom of Information Act in conjunction with evidence from the home education community to arrive at an estimate.
Bu this is not research concerned only with quantitative evidence. In this book Fortune-Wood moves into new territory in the field of home education research, examining the support networks, both voluntary and statutory, and how they serve or fail the needs of home educators, focusing particularly on the continuing problems that home educators routinely encounter in dealing with statutory authorities that persist in acting beyond the remit of their legal duties.
A chapter from Jan Fortune-Wood extends the theme of support for or obstruction of home education, that arises with a consideration of how university admissions officers respond to home educators across a sample range of arts and science disciplines.
Finally, a group continually overlooked in research are given detailed attention. Home educators with special needs children face distinctive challenges in providing a suitable education, challenges which can be significantly eased or added to by both the home education community and a range of statutory agencies. Why do parents choose home education for their special needs children? What are the effects on parents of taking on this particular type of education at home? How are home educating families of special needs children supported or failed by informal and voluntary networks and professionals?
Anyone concerned with educational provision in the 21st century should be reading this invaluable source of new research.
CPE (trading as Personalised Education Now) are grateful for the support of the Esmee Fairburn Trust, Educational Heretics Press and the many individuals who have made this research possible.
Mike Fortune-Wood is Research Officer for the Centre for Personalised Education Trust and a consultant on home-based education