This is a letter I wrote to the Sunday Times about education.
I was interested to read Mike Phillips’ account of keeping his younger son out of school; but it was disappointing to find him apparently so keen to emulate the classroom environment at home.
My wife and I have three children, aged 21,18 and 15, none of whom has ever been to school. We have not ‘educated’ them at home so much as let them grow up there. The eldest is now at university; the eighteen year old is at an FE college, taking A levels; the youngest is still at home.
Their friends and cousins who do go to school seem little different, no better off, hardly more knowledgeable; but tired before their time. It’s all so unnecessary. Given the world we live in, I defy any child, left alone with sufficient access to information and resources, not to learn exactly what he or she needs to get on in life.
Schools are a waste of time and money, their main purpose to corral the young. Education, as governments conceive it, is a farce. As someone once said: "If we taught children to speak, they’d never learn."