Home education: Adam Caller, founder of leading private tutoring company Tutors International, backs the Department for Education’s proposal for a compulsory register of home-educated children in England, and urges the homeschooling community to form a united body to inform public debate
The Department for Education has recently launched a call for evidence on home education, following concerns about schools illegally ‘off-rolling’ pupils, unregistered schools, and whether children taught at home are getting a good quality education.  Global private tutoring firm Tutors International has announced its support for a register of home-educated children in England, citing it as a step in the right direction towards all children receiving their entitlement to education as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 
Adam Caller commented, “At present, there is no registration system for families choosing to educate their children at home. I have been calling for home education registration in England for a long time, and I believe that it is an essential step if we are to ensure all children have a suitable and safe education, wherever that may be taught. Homeschooling parents should certainly have the freedom to shape their child’s education, and should not be required to seek ‘permission’ from any authorities to be able to do so. However, I do believe that parents should be required to inform the authorities of their decision to home-school, and be required to produce and maintain documentation pertaining to a child’s education so that governing bodies can effectively ensure that minimum standards and a basic curriculum framework are being met; this is in the best interests of the child.”
Mr Caller notes that the homeschooling community has historically tended to resist regulation, seeing it as a process of greater interference, but he believes that this latest call from the Department of Education provides homeschoolers with a beneficial opportunity to form a cohesive organisation which can best put forward constructive views on what this regulation might look like.
Mr Caller has actively campaigned for regulation of the private tutor industry in order to safeguard the interests of both tutors and families, and believes that regulation could also be effective for homeschooling parents. Mr Caller stated:
“I believe that, if a unified and coherent body was formed within the homeschooling community, home educators would have a platform from which they can engage meaningfully with the Department of Education. Whilst it may be tempting for the community to close ranks and protest against regulation, this could be the perfect opportunity for them to seize even further control and input into their children’s education, jointly identifying the minimum parameters of the education to which every child is entitled.”
Mr Caller has previously encountered dissent from the homeschooling community in light of his views on regulation, commenting in 2016 that: “Many choose to educate their own children at home because the traditional education system in this country has failed them or because they want their children to have the freedom to learn, according to their own needs, in the privacy of the family home. I am in favour of home education when it is the right decision for the family, and I sincerely believe that these families have nothing to fear from any proposed new regulatory system; those who approach home education with care and responsibility have no reason to feel threatened.”
Mr Caller added, “I am however concerned about what home educated children are being taught: are they being taught ideologies, or being prepared for a life that denies them freedom of choice, or denied a basic knowledge of our society and its laws? At present there is no way of knowing, and I believe that the children deserve the protection of the state at this level. Home education regulations are about having systems in place to alert authorities and allowing them to intervene where a child’s safety or human rights are genuinely at stake.”
Tutors International regularly receives requests to place tutors with families who want the benefits of home education, but are unable to fulfil the role full-time themselves. To find out more about the services offered by Tutors International, visit tutors-international.com.
 Department for Education, Elective home education: call for evidence – government consultation 10 April 2018
 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 28