Educational consultant publishes support for better visibility of school-age children in the UK

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Following new revelations around illegal faith schools, Tutors International founder and educational consultant, Adam Caller, published an article this week in which he voices support of better visibility around unregistered education.

In March, Hackney Council expressed its concern [1] that as many as 1000 boys from orthodox Jewish families were attending illegal faith schools in the borough. The Department of Education is now working alongside OFSTED in investigating these unregistered institutions, which teach a narrow, religious curriculum to attending pupils, with as little as 2 hours per week of secular education. This echoes similar concerns, earlier this year, of home-educated children being exposed to religious extremism [2]. At the time, education minister Nicky Morgan proposed regulation reforms in order to protect children flying under the radar of authorities.

Adam Caller, independent education consultant and founder of Tutors International, issued a statement this week [3], voicing his continued support for better visibility of all forms of schooling – whether its homeschooling or faith schools set up to allow pupils to follow an independent curriculum.

“There is little difference between a (legally) unregistered home schooled pupil and one of the 1000-or-so boys at an “illegal” London faith school. Both can follow any curriculum their parents desire; both can be educated in unsuitable buildings; both are under the radar of their local council, and therefore, the general wellbeing of those children is less visible.”

Mr Caller pointed out that while many parents who choose to educate their children at home do so to cherry-pick subjects and themes from a range of curricula, clients of Tutors International unfailingly are broad-minded when it comes to their children’s education. He comments, “While the parents who come to us for private tuition could be particular about following a severely non-secular program, or vice-versa, and avoid any religious education at all, what we’ve found is that, actually, parents usually want the broadest, most inspiring education for their children.”

Mr Caller also warns that measuring the point at which non-traditional education models become illegal could be potentially problematic:

"Home education in the UK is legal and highly flexible, which is why there has been such a boom in families choosing to educate their own children at home, the majority with great success. However, if a family – or group of families – decide to educate multiple siblings together, would that then make it an unregistered school and, therefore, automatically illegal? The definitions are currently very blurry, and would need careful thought before any new regulations were put in place. I believe that all education should be registered, for the safety and wellbeing of students, but these details need to be addressed before moving forward."

For more information about the tutoring and education services offered by Tutors International, visit tutors-international.com. For more information about Adam Caller, visit www.adamcaller.com.

References

[1] Officials hunting 1,000 London boys in illegal schools https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35928801 Chris Cook. BBC News. March 2016

[2] Nicky Morgan orders review on home schooling amid fears of children having minds ‘poisoned’ by radicalised parents https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/nicky-morgan-orders-review-on-home-schooling-amid-fears-children-having-minds-poisoned-by-a6779886.html Tom McTague. The Independent. December 2015.

[3] Are children 'lost' in a lack of regulated schooling?, https://adamcaller.com/2016/04/are-children-lost-in-lack-of-regulated-schooling/, Adam Caller. April 2015.

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