Near Sanity in Essex: Council pays families £10,450 to Home Educate

May 11th, 2009

Thanks to a collaborator….

Essex funds home tutoring

Essex CC is to award a group of parents cash towards home tutoring.

The parents were given £10,450 after they refused to send their children to their local school, which has been placed in special measures. They had applied to several schools in the area but failed to get their fourth choice.

One of the mothers, Holly O’Toole, said the councils will find it ‘very difficult’ to refuse other people in her position.

She said: ‘Living locally, you just hear so much bad press about [the local school]. I don’t see why we should have to send our children there.’

Essex CC granted the money for the youngsters’ education because the private tutoring was draining the family’s finances.

A spokesman from Essex CC said: ‘We have always considered and will continue to consider any requests from parents for financial support on their own merits.’

But he added that the council did not expect the pay outs to ‘become the norm.’


This is ASTONISHING news.

Hopefully it does not come with any strings attached.

The only problem with it is, of course, that the money the council is giving to these parents is stolen, but apart from that, it is very encouraging.

You would have expected the council to bus these students to schools that are further away instead of paying them to Home Educate. That they understand that Home Education is not only an option, but one worth paying parents to do is… breathtaking; especially in the current situation where Home Education is being viciously and maliciously attacked.

I can tell you something right now; £10,450 ($15,777.52 or 17¼oz/au) to help home Educate is a lot of money; many HE families get along with a fraction of that, and succeed. Some Home Educating parents putting their children through exams cannot afford the cost of several private sittings in one go, and so have to opt for spreading the exams out. Finding exam centers outside of London is difficult; many parents have to visit the capital so their children can sit exams; that means extra costs. Money like this would help tremendously; even better would be to open the schools so that HE children can sit exams at their local school. Minor digression.

This means that other councils might decline to allocate stolen money to Home Educators, but will simply leave them alone.

BBQ says:

Parents given home teaching money

A group of parents who refused to send their children to a failing Essex school has been awarded more than £10,450 towards home tutoring.

Essex County Council said it would help towards the education of six children aged between 11 and 12.

The pupils have been receiving private lessons since September after their parents stopped them attending Bishops Park College in Clacton-on-Sea.

The families said Essex County Council had set a precedent for other parents.

Holly O’Toole, whose 12-year-old son Harry is among the pupils being taught at home, said the education authority’s decision could prompt other parents to take similar action.

Ms O’Toole said: “I definitely think the council has set a precedent.

“It’s going to be very difficult for them to say ‘no’ to anybody who is in the same position as us.”

Ms O’Toole said the six children didn’t even get into their fourth choice of school.

“People complain when they don’t get their first choice school but we didn’t even get our fourth.

“Bishops Park is in special measures. You just hear so much bad press about it. I don’t see why we should have to send our children there.”

A spokeswoman for Essex County Council said: “The payment followed an initial discussion around parents establishing their own school, and we are pleased to be in a position to assist.

“We have always considered, and will continue to consider, any requests from parents for financial support on their merits.”
The families said the money would pay for the four boys and two girls’ lessons until the end of term after which they hope to get into one of the four local schools they had initially applied for.


“The £10,000 grant will help parents pay the £100 a week per pupil to educate the children at home”


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