Education is compulsory - school is optional

Allan Norman home education report

FIRST ANNUAL REPORT OF THE ISLE OF MAN’S CHILDREN’S CHAMPION DAPHNE CAINE MHK REPORTING ON THE PERIOD FROM OCTOBER 2016 TO AUGUST 2017.

Concerned home educators on the Isle of Man commissioned Allan Norman, a UK social worker and non-practising solicitor, to report on proposals of additional regulation by the Department of Education and Children. You can read his report from page 29 of the document linked above. 

From Daphne Cain's introduction to her report ('Home education/human rights' pages 4-6):

The prospect of more regulation on home educators is causing anxiety to parents and children who home educate on the Isle of Man.

Chief Executive of the Department of Education and Children, Ronald Barr, made a comment to the Social Affairs Policy Review Committee on the 10th April 2017 that home education was a contentious issue. He also made comments in June 2014 that the Department wanted more information about home educating families.

The home educating community have reacted with concern pointing out that similar proposals in 2008 were rejected by Tynwald after a legal challenge from an island based Human Rights advocate. British law cannot require monitoring of these families due to case law and judicial review. Local families are concerned that they will, for a second time, become the focus of public debate and otherwise be put under pressure by the Department.

It is important to note that the Department does not have responsibility for home educated children although it can, as in the UK, ask for a school attendance order if it ‘appears’ that a child is not receiving a suitable education. Government does not fund home education and, given that this has been subject to significant debate previously, there is much to support the view that home education should not form part of any new measures contained in the Education Bill currently being drafted.

A dozen brightly-dressed children in line, reaching upward and smiling