GIVING PARENTS AND FAMILIES A VOICE
Our campaign is calling for:
Children and education to be the government’s priority during the pandemic
All children to be safely back in school
Homeschooling to be significantly improved in the event of further lockdowns and if classes/year group bubbles need to isolate
How to show your support
Please join your voice to ours in one of the following ways
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We heard from thousands of parents and guardians from across the country when we sent a request out in July asking for feedback on the 'lockdown' home schooling experience. We are so grateful to everyone who took the time to tell us candidly about their home schooling experiences, for themselves as parents/guardians and also for their children.
We have read every single story and they are all included in our submissions to the Education Select Committee.
From your surveys we shared the findings with Big Education (who work with school leaders and parent forums) and looked at the practical ways homeschooling can be improved for all.
We started our campaign to give parents a voice in the debate on education in the pandemic. Sept for Schools was set up in early June 2020, after the UK had been in lockdown for more than two months and schools had been closed to most children. Research reported in national media at that time showed that homeschooling and access to learning had been inconsistent across the country, with disadvantaged children faring particularly poorly.
Research showed that the closure of schools was having a negative impact on children’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. We could see that parents had little or no voice in the national debate on these issues.
We wrote to MPs asking them to support our campaign for a clear, funded and practical plan to be in place by 13th July to enable all children to safely return to school in September. One of our local MPs, Munira Wilson, took up our cause in Parliament, sponsoring Early Day Motion 621 on 17th June (link to EDM). This motion urged the government to work together with head teachers, parent bodies, unions and local authorities to urgently devise and publish a plan to safely resume education in September. Within a week, the motion had been read in the House of Commons and had cross-party support from Tory, Labour, Lib Dem and Green MPs including Robert Halfon MP and Aspana Begum MP, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Education Select Committee.
On 19th June the Secretary of State for Education announced that provision would be made for all children, in all year groups, to be back at school in September.
On 2nd July guidance was published for the full reopening of all schools.
On 3rd July we asked parents, via our Social Media channels, what their experience had been of homeschooling.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
We were inundated with hundreds of responses within the first 48n hours. We collated all of them into one document with suggestions on how to improve homeschooling and is featured on the BBC. We received over 2000 stories in total. These were all submitted to the Education Select Committee.
We wrote to Gavin Williamson MP including a summary of all 3 submissions. We have yet to hear back.
We created a Survey for parents to give feedback on their experience of their children's return to school.
We called ourselves Sept for Schools but the campaign to prioritise children and education in the pandemic continues into 2021 and beyond.
For spring term all primary and secondary schools are closed (except to vulnerable or children of critical workers) under lockdown 3.
The government needs to ensure that teachers are a priority for vaccinations, that homeschooling has clear minimum standards, funding and monitoring and that schools are the number one priority when lockdown eases.
Our letter to
Gavin Williamson MP
We have written to Gavin Williamson and requested a meeting to share the views of parents from around the country on their experience of homeschooling. We have yet to hear from him.
Here is a copy of the letter we sent.
The BBC picked up on our campaign and our request for feedback on homeschooling and featured it on their news website on 8th July.
Our recommendations for improving homeschooling were featured on Sky News and in regional and local media on 6th August.
Our campaign and recommendations for improving homeschooling as featured in the Sunday Times Magazine on 30th August
As we face a spring term of school closures, you feedback is included in recent coverage on the impact of homeschooling on families in these articles.
The Sunday Telegraph: 'My child is a sweetheart in the classroom – but at home refuses to write a sentence'
Click to read the latest related news item and follow us on social to comment, like and share
The September for Schools campaign was set up in June 2020.
It is run and personally funded by the September for Schools Working Group of four parents.
Co-Founder and lead contact