In the last five years, the number of UK home school students has doubled. Once considered a less academic alternative to formal education, home schooling has evolved and professionalised – leading the way in education, by achieving a balance between rigorous academic standards and a commitment to broaden horizons.
So why are some parents looking beyond mainstream education? The TED talk Do schools kill creativity? offers some insight into the trend. For one, the “skills gap” – a mismatch between skills taught in schools and those demanded by employers – persists as long as the national curriculum teaches to test. Robinson argues that not only is this approach devoid of creativity, it stifles it. We talked to a number of parents who had opted for home schooling to better understand their rationale. Aligned with Robinson’s position, the development of desirable workplace skills – independent thought, creativity, and entrepreneurialism – ranked highly in their reasons for choosing home schooling.
Other reasons cited include:
Educational needs or behavioural difficulties
Combining education with intense extracurricular schedules, for example, that of semi-professional sports players or child actors
To accommodate travelling
While top schools in London promote independent thought through wide-ranging extracurricular activities, for some students, this type of school is not the right choice.