Alison Sauer

Alison grew up, and still lives, in the UK. Inspired by meeting John Taylor Gatto at a conference in London in 1999, along with meeting the wonderful home educated children who attended the conference, Alison embarked on home educating her own children the same year.

Home education was inspiring and challenging and fuelled Alison’s passion for protecting the rights of children to receive a more compassionate and child centred form of education suited to each individual and family. Long years of campaigning in Scotland and England led to her being appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Paralegals and becoming a Trustee of the Centre for Personalised Education.

Along the way she has trained Local Authorities in England and Scotland in Elective Home Education and the law and developed a legal framework and protocols for Flexischooling (see The Flexischooling Handbook, ISBN 1900219565).

Most recently she co-founded and has been an active participant in the Elective Home Education Alliance; a collaborative group consisting of home education support organisations, academics, electively home educated alumni and other actively interested parties. She has also, very recently, co-founded The Home Education Law Project, which along with its sister organisation, The Joy Baker Fund, aims to help publicise and protect UK home education related legislation and therefore the families that benefit from home education.

This year she was also delighted to become a trustee of Human Scale Education which fights to humanise the existing education system in England using evidence-based practices which empower young people and help to mould education to the individual.

Over the last decade she has participated in numerous consultations on alternative and home education, fought to ensure private candidates have access to GCSEs, defended the rights of Out of School Settings to be left in peace after Ofsted raids and been vocal in the media and on social media about the government’s current drive to create policy based on hearsay and rhetoric rather than evidence. In 2021 and 2022 respectively she was involved in assisting governments in Cyprus and Jamaica to understand home education with a view to reviewing legislation. In 2023 her work was instrumental in helping to overturn two pieces of proposed legislation in England and she was also involved in pre-consultation negotiations with government about proposed new home education guidance for England.

Her vision, as the chair of The Centre for Personalised Education and secretary of the Global Home Education Exchange Europe, is to continue to protect diversity in education and to promote and support networking and joint campaigning between the diverse education communities in the UK and around the world in the interests of all children. In particular she wishes to see a future where education policy and practice is based on real evidence, both psychological and pedagogical.

Alison lives in Lancashire and currently earns her living providing services to families with autism and other special educational needs.

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