Yesterday was GCSE results day – how could we tell! Last week the A level results. Everyone is anxiously focussed on their child’s success in school and the grades they’ve got. It’s all over the press and rather sickeningly public.
But there is another bunch of children successfully getting good grades that don’t get the coverage or the congratulations and I want to applaud them here. They are the home educated children. Congratulations to all the children of home educating families who have obtained their exam successes. The hidden successes that no one seems to understand how hard it was to achieve.
School children have back up. They have the school behind them, they have the teachers, they have the massive institutional exam-passing machine all supporting them towards these results. Home schoolers have none of that. They rarely have tutors, they have no institutional backing, they have to obtain all materials themselves and pay for them; books, courses, equipment. They have to haul themselves, often miles, to an independent exam centre where they are sometimes treated shabbily which you could well do without when you’re already screwed up with nerves. And they even have to pay hundreds of pounds just to be able to take the exam as an independent candidate. These are the penalties for families simply trying to meet the needs of their child in the best way they can as a result of schools failing to do so.
But despite all those challenges home schooled children are still sitting GCSE, AS and A level exams and getting good grades. What an achievement is that! And for their devoted parents too.
Some of these children are children who would have been labelled ‘special needs’ in schools. And others, who may not have had a specified difficulty but still would have struggled in a school type education, maybe because of language challenges, hyperactivity, dyslexia or mild forms of autism and may well have ended up being classed as ‘naughty’, overcome these ‘difficulties’ and go on to obtain good exam passes in a home education setting. Proving that it’s more often than not the classroom setting and the approach that was the problem – not the child!
I just wanted to say a huge ‘Well Done’ to all of them because it is so thoroughly deserved!