Janet McDermott

Janet McDermott, who has been homeschooling her children for over a year, has suffered constant interference from local officials and believes she has already been a victim of the Named Person scheme.

“We were put down a lot”, said Janet. She said the Local Education Authority representative, “basically assumed that I wouldn’t be able to handle educating my children on my own”.

The mother of five started homeschooling her oldest child because he was struggling with socialising, reading and writing in a special needs high school he was attending. Janet said he began to thrive when she started homeschooling him and as a result decided it would be the best thing for all her children.

But she said that since she removed her children from school, she has experienced constant harassment from the authorities.

“We were told it was a temporary measure, I was told I wouldn’t be able to educate so many children at once. We were put down a lot by authorities. There was no kind of support network in place for us educating at home”, explained Janet.

Janet, who lives in Ruchazie, Glasgow, said she believed the authorities were targeting them for being a family whose children could be at risk of abuse simply because they were not registered with a school or nursery.

“I see someone else having rights over my child as a violation of my human rights. It’s a violation of family rights. And I don’t believe that an outsider who doesn’t know my children should have a say over what kind of things they should be doing”, she said.

“I don’t think that any good can come about where someone else is a cooperative parent for your own child”.