Dear Kitty Ussher
"I see no reason why a parent of a child over seven cannot successfully home educate their child and work part time. It is not common sense to presume that just because a child is at home, they are being educated all the time; nor should one presume that just because a child is home educated, they are unable to be cared for or appropriately looked after in child care when they are not in their lessons at home. That is why the provision applies to home educators."
I am writing to you now to express my shock and disbelief that you can be so misinformed about the lives of a group of people in relation to whom you seem to be in a key decision-making role and to correct your misunderstanding.
Pre-arranged, pre-set lessons are a necessary artificial construct of school learning and are not how most children learn at home. Home educating parents have found, often by a process of trial and error, that their children's learning outcomes can be vastly improved when they are allowed to learn naturally, following their interests in a self-directed way.
Home educated children are free to ask questions and be helped to find the answers on the spot, in a way that schooled children can never be unless they enjoyed much lower teacher:pupil ratios and the absence of an externally-imposed curriculum.
It is therefore vital for the continuance of their education provision that the parents of home educated children are allowed to remain in their position as full-time (in the literal sense of the term) educational facilitators. Regular interruptions to this process, in the form of a daily period of state-imposed childcare, will seriously damage the education of any child who learns in this way.
This may not change your thinking about whether Income Support should be payable to such families (Is this actually your thinking? Or do you simply follow your brief?) but you should know better about what you are talking in such crucial debates.