Monday, February 26, 2007


More parents appear to be turning away from school in favour of teaching their children at home because they are unhappy with state education. A government-commissioned study into home tutoring indicated that about 16,000 children in England were now being educated at home, which researchers said implied a threefold increase since 1999.

Home tutoring has become increasingly popular since evidence emerged that home-educated children frequently perform better in national tests, GCSEs and A levels. In 2002 a study of home-educated children found that 64 per cent scored more than 75 per cent on the performance indicators of primary schools assessment, compared with 5.1 per cent of children nationally.

All parents have the right to teach their children at home. Unless a child has been removed from school, parents in England are not obliged to tell the local education authority. While the authority may monitor the children who have been deregistered from school, parents also have a right to refuse access to the child.

The study of nine local authorities found that home-educating parents had removed their children from the state system because they were worried about bullying, poor behaviour and quality of provision. Others thought that the special-needs education on offer for their children was not up to scratch or that they were required to start formal schooling too young, the study by York Consulting, for the Department for Education and Skills, said. “Some of the parents interviewed felt that standards of education had declined,” the report said. “This, coupled with a view that the current education system is overly bureaucratic, inflexible and assessment-driven, prompted some parents to home-educate.”

Most parents who took their children out of school were white British, but religious and cultural reasons had also prompted Muslim, Christian, Gypsy and traveller families to teach youngsters at home. Overall, 65 per cent of those being home-educated were of secondary age, compared with 35 per cent who were of primary age. The study found that some parents used formal and highly structured methods, including following the national curriculum, using online tutors and hiring professionals. Others were less conventional.


What Are Education Markets, and Why Do They Matter?

Broadly speaking, a free education market is a system in which parents decide what, where, by whom, and for how long their children will be taught. It is a system in which educators have complete control over the curricula they offer, the teaching methods t hey employ, the prices they charge, and the hours they work; in which anyone who wants to open a school has the right to do so; and in which the profit motive drives the innovation and expansion of some substantial share of the education sector. . It is also a system in which consumers are the primary payers and in which government schools do not enjoy a subsidy advantage over private schools–that is, if the government runs "free" schools, it must make a comparable level of financial assistance available to families who prefer independent schools.

Contrary to common assumptions, education markets are not a recent, untested idea. The first education system in the world in which schooling reached beyond a tiny ruling elite was the market that arose in classical Athens during the 5th century BC. Today, education markets thrive everywhere from impoverished slums and villages of the developing world to the multi-billion-dollar after-school tutoring sector in Asia. Conversely, though fee-charging, nongovernment schooling does exist to a limited extent in many Western nations, it would be a mistake to say that those schools currently constitute a free market in education, given that virtually all are nonprofit and must compete with a high-spending (and yet tuition-free) government monopoly.

Why does it matter whether or not education is organized along free-market lines? It matters because a substantial body of international and historical research finds that education markets are a superior way to meet the public's educational goals, in terms of both individual needs and broader social effects. According to that research, market schools are typically more efficient, academically effective, well maintained, and responsive to the demand of families. In addition, students in independent schools in the United States have been found to exhibit levels of civic engagement and tolerance that are comparable to or better than those of their peers in public-sector schools. Systems in which parents can easily pick schools of their choice, and in which most education funding comes directly from parents, also reduce the cultural conflicts that arise over government-run, government-funded schooling. The less people are pressured to patronize or pay for school they disapprove of, the less social tension is created. Finally, in the industries in which markets have been allowed to flourish, they have driven dramatic improvement in quality and efficiency, spurred relentless innovation, and pressured producers into being responsive to the preferences of consumers.



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your views. What about parents who may not have the skills to teach children all the subjects they need to learn? There are several companies offering unlimited tutoring for under $100 per month and I was wondering if you have any experience with them. I’ve come across a number of online tutoring websites (e.g.,,,, etc.). Has anyone prepared a comparison of the various companies (pricing, quality, etc.)?