All-Ireland Winter Reading Challenge Starting Now!


Why not join the Home Education Winter Reading Challenge?

Just for fun, and a way to explore new books and authors with home educators all over Ireland.  Every time you read a book (or for younger readers, have a book read to you) write down the name on your list. At the end of the reading period, count up the total number of books and/or pages you've read.  

If your child would like to write a story, poem or book review, try and keep the word count to a max of about 500/750 words and email it to the address on the reading sheet below.

Download the record sheet (.doc or .pdf) and get reading!

St John Ambulance teens earn awards!

St John's Ambulance Teens

These home educated siblings Christopher aged 17 and Hallie aged 15 have earned certificates on First Aid level 2 and Caring for others, to go towards The Grand Prior Award. The awards gained are for 1st place Challenge cup, Cadet effiency award, 1st place fundraising, 2nd place Challenge cup. Christopher will be now starting his Almafi Award and Hallie is continuing with her Grand Prior Award.

For more information on St John Ambulance check out the website here:

Home educator nominated for mum of the year

Heather with her hamper
Heather and family
Heather was kind enough to write a little for us about how and why she was nominated:

Mr Storey Presents the Petition to the Assembly

Mr Storey presented the petition to the Assembly today.

Mr Principal Deputy Speaker: Mr Storey has sought leave to present a public petition in accordance with Standing Order 22.  The Member will have up to three minutes to speak.

Home Education on Radio Ulster 

Home education and the petition is discussed briefly at 52:30.

Great Free Resources from the British Heart Foundation

Circulatory System Poster

Some really nice free posters and information from the British Heart Foundation.

In the classroom and at home, education is at the root of combating heart disease.

This is the place for teachers, parents and those who work with children to find out more about our free resources and training opportunities for encouraging young people to live a heart healthy lifestyle.

Our free resources cover everything from learning to read through to physical activity and education, science and PSHE.

We also have information for and about young people with heart conditions.

By their nature these freebies are only offered for a limited time, but at the time of posting they appear to be available and open to home educators - please check with suppliers before you rely on the offer.

Petition Handover

Petition Handover

On the 7th August HEdNI members Mairi Rivers and Edward Underwood met Mervyn Storey MLA with members of their families to hand over their petition. The petition asks the Minister for Education and the Northern Ireland Education and Library Boards to ensure that their policy on home education accurately reflects their legal duties and powers and respects the parent's duty to provide an education. The petition has over 3360 signatures. As well as signaturies in Northern Ireland the petition has also attracted signatures from home educators all around the globe, demonstrating that the world is watching Northern Ireland to see how it handles the recent consultation and the responses, and whether any new policy will stay within the law.

SENAC Response

"SENAC cannot support the implementation of this draft policy for a number of reasons and as a consequence we disagree with each point in the pro forma response. 

Our main concerns are:

Article in the Impartial Reporter


"A DRAFT policy that aims to ensure that home educators provide an "efficient full time education" for their children ahs been described by one Fermanagh parent as "criminal" and "intrusive""... "Sean is not clear what the rationale behind the draft policy is, but he believes that its starting point is one of automatic "mistrust" of parents who choose to home educate"

Read the full article and 'day in the life' in the pdf below.

Disappointment at consultation responses from CLC and NICCY

Home educating families are very concerned at the apparent disregard for the law, and for the legal rights of children in the responses by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Youth, and the Children's Law Centre.

Both state that the Board's have a duty to 'ensure' education under Schedule 13, in fact the word 'ensure' does not appear in any part of the relevant legislation and Schedule 13 creates no duty to act except if a concern arrises.  The duty to provide an education is created by Section 45 and belongs to the parent, the Boards are not mentioned at all.  

Further, the relevant legislation creates no powers or duties relating to welfare.  If the Boards wish to annex powers and duties properly belonging to social services then they will need primary legislation to do so, a treaty unincorporated into law cannot create these powers.

We strongly suggest that the Boards and the charities set up to protect children's rights read the relevant legislation, and carefully consider whether the safety of all children is promoted by confusing education with welfare, by allowing the Boards to step outside the law and by arbitrarily labeling a group of families as a welfare risk, simply because they excercise a legally sanctioned educational choice.

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