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Home education threatened in Northern Ireland

The education board in Northern Ireland has recently released a draft policy which will require mandatory registration, approval to home educate, approval of curriculum, home inspections and interviews with children. This is obviously very alarming for the hundreds of families here who home educate their children. These parents are represented by the home education association in Northern Ireland which is called HEDNI (Home Educators in Northern Ireland.) You can find more information about them at This association has created a petition to protect the freedom of parents in Northern Ireland.

South African parents are encouraged to help the homeschooling families in Northern Ireland and sign a petition where the Education and Library Board in Northern Ireland is requested to review the policy on home education so that it accurately reflects their legal duties and powers; and respects the parent's duty to provide an education. Click here to sign the petition.

Parents can also send a letter to the British ambassador, Judith Macgregor, at the British High Commision in Pretoria and express your disappointment that Education and Library Board in Northern Ireland has released a policy that represents a serious assault on parental choice and effects a fundamental change to the relationship between parent, child and state. Explain what the freedom to educate your children at home means to your family, and that you are concerned that the British government attempts to limit the rights of parents to choose the education that is most suitable for their children. The address of the British High Commission is 255 Hill Street, Arcadia, 0083 and their email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Parents can also phone her at 012 421 7500.

The Association for Homeschooling has also sent a letter to the British ambassador. Click here to read the letter.

It is important that homeschooling parents in South Africa support this, not only to help parents and children in Northern Ireland, but also because the international recognition of homeschooling will also safeguard homeschooling in South Africa. We also know from experience that letter writing campaigns do make a difference. Read on the website of the Homeschooling Legal Defence Association, how a letter writing campaign by homeschoolers in the USA has contributed towards the recognition of homeschooling in South Africa. Now that homeschooling is recognised here, South African parents should  do the same for homeschoolers in other countries.


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Comments 2

Bouwe van der Eems on Saturday, 28 June 2014 06:15

Read a follow up article at on this story.

Read a follow up article at on this story.
Bouwe van der Eems on Monday, 11 August 2014 05:32

Just over the border from Northern Ireland, a homeschooling mother in Ireland in an ongoing battle with her government over paperwork requirements has been sent to prison for 10 days.

Just over the border from Northern Ireland, a homeschooling mother in Ireland in an ongoing battle with her government over paperwork requirements has been sent to prison for 10 days.
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