Alternative education

(18 Posts)
morethanpotatoprints Tue 08-Jan-13 20:20:20

I think it is definitely small or free school legislation you will need to look at. H.ed is usually a child/ children belonging to the parent who is supporting their learning. There are many reasons why people H.ed not least a philosophy that a school environment and National curriculum are not what they want.

alanyoung Tue 08-Jan-13 20:14:20

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Inclusionist Sat 05-Jan-13 17:07:04

I think there would be a market for this. It's not like you need to find many interested parents!

It could also be a confidence rebuilding stagepost, perhaps for a child who has been bullied or had a bad experience for some other reason, and needs a year or so of nurture.

It certainly is not going to attract parents who want 'school' so I don't think there is any need to try to be like a school. I would go the other way and be as different and creative as possible, but still with lots and lots of high quality learning. I think you'll find parents who want that for a short period.

My nephew is in the exact position you describe (or will very probably be after February) and I think this sort of thing would suit him. The question in my mind would be what would happen if a child did not become ready for a return to normal school in a short period of time. Would you keep them or just advise on their next placement?

sashh Sat 05-Jan-13 04:54:04

Have you looked at small schools?

www.smallschools.org.uk/

www.newforestsmallschool.com/about-the-school/school-philosophy/small-scale-education/

www.newforestsmallschool.com/about-the-school/school-philosophy/small-scale-education/

I know i is a little different from your idea but what about a Y3 only small school?

It looks like you have found a niche.

Saracen Fri 04-Jan-13 22:58:15

Sorry to ask naive questions when I have no experience of private ed but perhaps it will be helpful...

Are all private schools academically selective? Don't parents whose children are not ready to sit entrance tests just send them to nonselective ones instead? There must be lots of kids who wouldn't do well in entrance exams at an early age...?

It sounds like you are assuming that the problem of children who aren't ready for assessment tests is only temporary, and that your solution would be a good environment for such children until they become ready. But aren't there a great many children who aren't ready now and still won't be ready in a few years, for whom a longer-term alternative to highly academic schools is necessary? How can you (or parents) tell which is the case?

LynetteScavo Fri 04-Jan-13 22:45:58

I'm curious what happens to such children atm?

duckpond1 Fri 04-Jan-13 22:39:19

Thanks everyone. It is really great to be able to toss my ideas around with you.
I've done a bit more research and found out that 'An independent school is defined as somewhere where five or more pupils of compulsory school age (5-16) are taught full time without money from the public purse.' which means I could start with four children without needing to register. I would have to look into suitable insurance.
If I could provide a really exciting creative curriculum which focuses on the basics along with the development of thinking skills and independent learning, do you think there might be parents who would be interested?
My thoughts were aimed at children already in independent education who are not ready for an academic environment at 6 years old! However the pre-prep finishes at Year 2 and they are forced into sitting for the prep school. I have seen so many children rejected and who then feel they have failed at such an early age and parents who have set their sights on the private school and not made any contingency plans when they do not pass the assessment test. I want to give them an alternative until their children are mature enough to sit the assessment tests with confidence. Is there anyone out there that might have used the opportunity if it had been available for their children??

exoticfruits Fri 04-Jan-13 19:18:10

If you are being paid you really would need to look into it all-insurance, Ofsted etc. I would have thought it much simpler just to be a tutor and get paid an hourly rate. You could do that at home.

You definitely need to look at the legalities - you might count as a school, or even a childminder.

expansivegirth Fri 04-Jan-13 18:55:34

I'd thought of this two with five kids and one teacher over three days and then me and the other mum taking the kids for the other two days betweek us. i think it would work, though it would be expensive. Cheaper than private education, but not that much once you factor in swimming lessons, music lessons, languge lessons etc from outside providers (I imagine classes so kids get big network). My problem was as teacherwith2kids said: at what point does it stop being home ed and start being a school and therefore need to be monitored etc for health and safety and good fire exits.

teacherwith2kids Fri 04-Jan-13 17:20:31

You would need to look into the legalities because as far as I remember what you are proposing is not counted as 'home education' and would instead need to be treated as a 'school'. This might become quite complicated in terms of legislation, registration etc, and would certainly need to be looked into thoroughly.

mrz Fri 04-Jan-13 16:40:13

I agree with iseenodust, even with 8 children and two teachers I would not be convinced that it could provide adequately for social development.

Inclusionist Fri 04-Jan-13 15:21:48

I think it would be good to do this with another teacher and take 8 children. It would be less lonely for you and you could give each other non-contact time/ cover one another's illness etc. It would also be more of a 'class' for the children to be part of but still small enough to have that 'family/ home-ed' feel.

duckpond1 Fri 04-Jan-13 13:23:17

Thank you for all your feedback. I had thought about cover if I am unable to teach and I have a friend (teacher) who would cover me for that side of things. Fortunately I am not one to have time off!!
As regards the social side of the teaching at home I agree this could be a problem and when I did it for a year with my son I made sure he joined cubs and also a football/cricket team etc to ensure he socialised with other children. I would make sure I guided any one interested in doing this as I agree it is important and is one of the reasons I feel it should only be a short term one/two year alternative before the children move back into 'normal' school.
What the children gain is the one-to-one attention that they rarely get at school now. Private education seems to be all about filling seats rather than the needs of the actual children.

iseenodust Fri 04-Jan-13 12:01:21

As a parent I would not choose such a small provider. It is too reliant on your continued health. I have also come to believe the social side of schooling is equally important.

Inclusionist Fri 04-Jan-13 10:25:20

I reckon you could make a go of this. It would be the technicalities that would be complicated- what to be registered as etc.

I expect there is an organisation out there that could help you. Maybe the New Schools Network or Human Scale Education.

It is my ultimate goal to set up my own Alternative Provision for young children with behavioural difficulties, so I wish you well and hope it can be done! I'm not even going to think about it until my DS has grown up though as I think it will be all consuming!

ReallyTired Thu 03-Jan-13 22:51:56

I suppose you could set up a free school for children who are school refusers. I am sure there is a demand, but very few parents can afford private education. Prehaps you could look for funding as a social enterprise to help primary school aged school refusers. A local charity near me has done something similar, but for older children with behavioural issues.

duckpond1 Thu 03-Jan-13 15:46:18

I would love to start up my own home schooling alternative education for up to four children. I am presently teaching in Junior school within the private sector and have seen so many children feel failures when they fail the entrance test for Year 3. Parents find they have nowhere else to go as their prep school finishes at the end of Year 2. I have experience with this as my son is an August birthday and he was not ready to sit an entrance test at 6 years old. I taught him and his friend at home for year before they went off to the next stage of their schooling. They have now both just started university and I can see there are so many children who would benefit from having the same opportunity to have a break from the confines of a school environment re-ignite the joys of learning.
I want to provide a small learning environment using the outside with a really creative curriculum based on skills to build confidence up and to structure learning around the needs of children. I want to be able to focus on their weaknesses and strengths and use the outside to make learning fun and relevant to the children.
I have the room to set this up and a fantastic large garden which could be used, but before I take the plunge it would be really helpful to hear the views of other parents as to whether they think this would be a good idea!!

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