In reality mass state education has always been designed to be in the best interests of state and industry. The state originally (1870s) decided that education should be compulsory not because of a widespread concern that children were ignorant, but rather to provide day care for children so as to free up parents to labour in factories while training children for an adult role in industry and military. The system adopted, and which currently prevails throughout the globe, is formally known as the 'Prussian model', first devised in Prussia following a crushing defeat at the hands of Napoleon.
Following the adoption of factory education, prussia became one of europe's super powers, highly militaristic, 'leasing out' its soldiers as mercinaries. Despite a lack of other natural resources, it became an industrial powerhouse. Did this benefit the prussian people, possibly, but it also sowed the seeds of the most highly authoritarian, militaristic state in europe since Sparta. Sadly it was inevitable that other aspiring nations would follow, if only to counter the threat.
The Prussian system; of fore-shortened lessons and bells, strict militaristic higherachy and discipline and pseudo military uniforms, was intended to create a malleable working class with sufficient education to obey and follow the orders of their "superiors", no matter how arbitrary.
So successful was this experiment that it was speedily adopted around the world by states adapting to the industrial revolution. So universal was it's influence that few today can conceive of any other form of education. Education = school, school = education.
As WWII came to an end it was recognised that our education system needed an overhaul. The resultant Education Act 1944 streamed children into three parts (grammar schools, technical schools and secondary schools), formalising a class and gender (and later racially) driven education system intended to provide labour resources trained in proportion to the demands of 1950's industry.
In today's scientifically advanced, 'white heat of technology' driven economy, industry needs ever more graduate technicians, so the drive is on to provide industry with 50% of its labour force with a degree.
Parallel to this is a quiet revolution as ever more parents find that, in an information rich society, it is possible to provide a suitable, flexible and enriching education tailored to their child's individual needs and aptitudes from a home base in a way that schools could not dream of providing, should that ever have been state's intention.
I believe that one day we will regard the second half of the nineteenth century, and the whole of the twentieth, as an educational dark age, lit only by the likes of Ivan Illich, John Holt, John Taylor Gatto and our very own Roland Meighan and the thousands of parents led by pioneers like Joy Baker who chose to home educate their own children outside the state system.
The home education community in the UK is estimated at over 100,000 children (2018) and growing. In short - school's out. Home education has now reached such numbers in the UK that the state is turning it's attention to the phenomena. So far, and with no evidence, it has in turn accused home education as a hiding place for domestic terrorism, female genital mutilation, abuse and neglect. Despite repeated freedom of information requests on each of these issues in turn, the various state authorities responsible for this deluge of mis-information have failed to produce any evidence to support these claims.
There is a war on, for the hearts minds and labour of your children.
Any support I offer is on a goodwill basis. I do not charge home educators for assistance but would be very grateful for any Contributions to help to maintain this web site and my other work.
I hold a degree in economics and social sciences and also have an HTEC in electronics and instrument technology. I have worked in the chemical industry, the aerospace industry and for Cambridge University Biochemistry labs as well as the Home Office, several outer estates churches and a large homeless charity in soho, london. Currently my 'other' work is publishing poetry and fiction.
I aim to provide support to people home educating or considering home educating in the UK. Additionally, where practical, I will also provide support for home educators in other countries. I do this by providing online information and resources to home educators.
I intend this site to be no less than the finest online resource for home educators in the UK and be a focus for the UK online home education community.
I intend to maintain a site of the highest quality and standards. I hope to provide accurate, on topic, accessible information. I hope to respond promptly and accurately to questions.
It should be noted however that I am an individual who very occasionally takes a break from the computer, I have even been known to go on holiday, and so while I try to ensure that questions are responded to in less than 48 hours, I can make no promises regarding this response.
I undertake to maintain the privacy of anyone contacting me through this site. Except where, in line with the Children's Act, I have good reason to believe that in my judgment there is significant risk of serious harm to a child.
Not being an organisation I cannot arrange a comprehensive complaints procedure. However in the event of a complaint I hope to treat it fairly and with an open mind. If I cannot resolve the issue I will take the advice of other respected members of the home education community into account, particularly those with responsibilities for online provision before coming to a final decision, which is final.
I am committed to responding to changing needs and circumstances by continuing to develop new resources.
I am pleased to collaborate with other organisations and individuals working to the same or related agendas. If you own a not for profit web site supporting home educators, or have an idea which you think could be developed within this site please contact me.
I can host sites for home educating communities in other countries, particularly where home education is persecuted and setting up such sites may be 'problematic' (there is no fee for such a service other than those I directly incur, which are usually none).
The British Library UK Web Archive
In 2004 H-E UK was selected to be a part of the British Library's UK Web Archive preserving web sites that "reflect the diversity of lives, interests and activities throughout the UK, and demonstrate web innovation." So for the following few years changes to HE UK were recorded by the British Library's UK Web Archive.
You can see here how HE UK has changed and developed since 2004. Sadly the first 4 years of the site were not preserved.
This site has in some respects been a community effort, so I would like to acknowledge: Neil Taylor, Ian Dowty, Christine Waterman, Martin Gibson, Keith Lawler, Jos Underhill, Roland Meighan and many others without who's assistance and encouragement, this site might not exist.
©2000-2018 Mike Wood (all rights reserved)