Choosing alternative forms of education to mainstream school can help to ensure that children receive an education specifically tailored to them as individuals. This increases the likelihood that resources are more individually targeted, leading to a better holistic education. Whatever the label, be it home education, homeschooling, unschooling, or simply alternative school, globally there is an increasing focus on meeting the specific educational and developmental needs and interests of the individual.
In 2021, it is estimated that more than 80,000 children were home educated in the UK. This is small in comparison with the USA where the estimated figure exceeds 2 million, or 3% of school-aged children.
A strong progressive society has at its core a spectrum of methods, mechanisms and regulatory guidelines designed to manage the delivery of education for the individual child. The extent and scope of these mechanisms vary widely: in the United States all education is regulated state-by-state; in the UK, local authorities are entrusted with the responsibility; in Germany, individual states (Länder) have primary responsibility.
In countries where alternative education is a legal alternative, it is not uncommon for public bodies to lack experience and insight into forms and practices of alternative education. This gap has the potential to create challenges between practitioners and those with responsibility for national education.
A general current consideration across the UK is that local authority education officers often have little or no access to training in respect of alternative forms of education. Similarly, practitioners of alternative forms of education often need support and guidance to under-score their necessary commitment. These collective and varied needs have spurred us on to offer timely, accurate, and reliable training, advice, and support to stakeholders.