We found ourselves making the decision to home-educate, when as a family, we were struggling to access support for one of our sons at school. Initially, we only intended this to be a stopgap, but when we quickly realised the benefits, there was no looking back and we subsequently educated both children at home for eight years. I helped to develop the Home Education Centre in Somerset, which focused on child-centred learning. In addition, I was keen to broaden support and understanding of the home educating community and frequently acted as a liaison between families and local authorities. Developing links with colleges in the region and setting up an exam centre for external candidates also broke down barriers and increased access.
On a national/regional level:
• I have provided evidence to Government Committees on the subject of Elective Home Education
My background is in child-development and learning. I have been a SENCO in a SEN nursery and Manager/SENCO of a Surestart Children’s Centre nursery. I am currently a Developmental Therapist working for a small UK charity supporting and advising children and young people with learning disabilities and difficulties, and their families.
As well as home educating our 3 children throughout their “school years”, I have also had the pleasure of helping hundreds of other families with their home educating journey. For over 10 years I have run a support website for families in the Southwest; www.homeeducationsw.org.uk and have taken an active role in the home education community, running activities at groups & camps and acting as liaison between EHE families and Local Authority.
I have also been proactive nationally:
• Given evidence to Government Committees on the subject of Elective Home Education
• Spoken at a variety of other conferences and learning exchanges focused on Elective Home Education.
I am a qualified Senior Youth Work Practitioner and have designed and delivered a range of projects and workshops for young people both in and outside of mainstream education. As part of my ongoing professional development I have had training in Youth Mental Health First Aid and Caring for Vulnerable Children.
I believe in life-long learning and continued self-improvement. I have had training in NLP and continue to study this and new coaching techniques for the personal benefits this gives me in my life, but also to share these insights with the people I work with.