All research is in draft format and remains as yet unpublished. Please do not quote this material without contacting Chelle Oldham ( or via the contact form.

To take part in the online survey (anon) click here

To volunteer for Photovoice (you’ll be given a family pseudonym) please email the researcher at or

Researching Home Education


The purpose of this study is to investigate the transference and reproduction of capital, within a family who have elected to Home Educate (HE). The study also considers any correlation between education capital and if/how a family value education overall.
There is a gap in the existing research; it appears that none of the existing research considers change in the education capital within a family’s home environment (excluding academic capital). This study questions whether education capital can be reproduced from children to their parents/carers rather than the more traditional observation that capital is reproduced from parents to their children (Bourdieu 1973, Bourdieu 1986, Nur 2020), as part of the overall cultural capital .


A number of researchers have looked into aspects of Home Education, such as, pedagogy and curriculum (Liberto 2016); reasons why parents choose home education (Beck 2010; Morton 2010; Rothermel 2002; Nuhula et al 2019; Spiegler 2010); home schooling and home education comparisons (Amber-Fensham Smith 2020); SEN & Home Education; Registration (Rothermel 2010); Off-rolling and behaviour (Burke n.d.); Parents Roles in Home Education (Harding 2011); relationships between Local Authorities and HE Parents (Eddis 2007; Petrie 1992); Religion, Culture and HE (English 2016); History of Home Education (Firmin & Wilhelm 2009); Self-esteem and achievement (Ray 1991; Rothermel 1999; Shyers 1992).

However, it would seem that no one has looked at, if and how education capital changes within a Home Educating family, or at the value of education within the home learning environment. This is important research at a time when the UK Government are reviewing Home Education. Investigating how families value Home Education, and including the voices of both children and parents, is timely and of value to the sector.


To investigate these questions, a mixed method design will be applied;
Stage 1: Online Survey The intention is to distribute amongst Home Education organisations across the UK. Families will have the opportunity to declare their interest to participate in the next stages of the process.

Stage 2: Photovoice (
Once families have been selected, they will be asked to photograph their activities and select 7 images (Photovoice) (Harrison 2002, Strack, Magill et al. 2004, Wilson, Dasho et al. 2007, Hergenrather, Rhodes et al. 2009, Latz, Phelps-Ward et al. 2016, Latz 2017).
Families will use the images to narrate their own story (Harrison 2002, Garvis 2015, Simmonds, Roux et al. 2015, Stauffer 2020); they will select images that represent how they value education in their home (Latz 2015). As part of the Photovoice stage, families will
engage in semi-structured interviews where they will be encouraged to discuss the image, context, and value. The researcher will carefully structure questions so to encourage the participants to critically evaluate and reflect upon their choice of images, with
specific reference to value, and how education is valued.


This is a mixed method study using an inductive, thematic analysis of participants’ contributions. Data will be collected using an online survey tool providing some quantitative data (e.g. demographics ) and more qualitative data that will be analysed
inductively and used to design interview questions that are unique and specific to each family, with an aim to use the photovoice process to document participants’ reality, thus empowering participants to share their narrative using a visual research methodology
(Liebenberg 2018).

  1. Read the attached participant information sheet
  2. Complete the consent form and return it using either of the two email addresses provided
  3. Complete the online survey
  4. Consider the second stage of the research: PhotoVoice
  5. Contact the researcher if you would like to continue with the research

Please read participant information sheet available here

Please complete the consent form and return it to or

Stage Two of the Research Project


What is PhotoVoice-Narrative?

Photovoice is a research method that enables individuals, groups, and families to document and analyse their own stories. Photovoice is gaining ground within the research community as a powerful participatory opportunity, for the investigation into the lives of people, who exist within marginalised communities. Communities like LGBTQ, black and ethnic communities of women and Home Educators who are on the fringes of traditional learning experiences. Photographs stimulate discussion and has the potential to contribute to social change.

Narrative Inquiry is also a popular method for researchers and in the creation of a narrative, individuals and communities are empowered to tell their stories in a way that is personal and emotive. This may be written or maybe expressed through social media. This may also be through the transcript from interviews. Reflection and critical dialogue may occur prior to interviews if participants wish to create their own written narrative.

For more information please down load the Photovoice Information Sheet, here

Participant Information Sheet_Aug21.docx

Research Study (PhD) looking at the value of education and the transference of education capital in a home education space.

Participant Information Sheet

Research Title:                   ‘The Value of Education: a narrative of family choices and educational spaces’

Primary Res Question:       Education Capital in Educational Spaces: does it really matter where we learn?

You are being invited to take part in a research study. Before you decide, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish. Please ask me if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part.

What is the purpose of this study?

The purpose of this study is to investigate any link between how home educating families value education and the level of educational experience and knowledge (Capital) found within a family unit. The investigation will also consider any change in how families value education or in the education capital within a home educating family unit. This will be examined through the investigation of a family narrative.

Why have I been chosen?

You have been chosen to take part in this study because you have experience with Home Education either in the past or currently. It is hoped that you can share some of your experience, ideas and opinions related to your Home Education journey.

Do I have to take part?

It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you do decide to take part you will be given this information sheet to keep and be asked to sign a consent form. If you decide to take part you are still free to withdraw at any time up to 1 month following completion of this study and without giving a reason.

What will happen to me if I take part?

A survey link will be supplied to you initially. This shouldn’t take you longer than 10-15 minutes. If you then choose to take part in the 2nd stage of the study, you will be provided with instructions on how to document your experiences of Home Education through photographs (PhotoVoice). A 1 hour online interview will also be arranged where you will be given the opportunity to discuss the 7 images that you choose to use. Each image should be discussed and agreed with your family and should represent how you and your family value education in Home Education space(s). We understand that you may be unusually restricted by Covid-19 and this can be discussed during your online interview.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

It is not expected that you will be at any risk or that there will be any disadvantages. All of your data will be confidential and you will be instructed as to how you can take photographs without any identifying information within, especially anything that would identify children. There are also a variety of editing tools that you can use prior to submitting any images to the study.

As you will be undertaking your normal Home Education activities you should be at any risk. You will not be required to undertake any activity that contravenes Covid-19 restrictions.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

This study is looking at how Home Educating families value education and educational experiences within non-school spaces. Your data may assist in larger research studies being undertaken that support and encourage the choice for parents to Home Educate their children. The results of this research may also encourage policy makers to see how educational choices, for parents and children, can offer some families a unique opportunity to increase children’s education and cultural capital.

Data Protection Privacy Notice

The data controller for this project will be University of the West of Scotland (UWS). The UWS Data Protection Office provides oversight of UWS activities involving the processing of personal data and can be contacted at UWS’s Data Protection Officer is Emma Cockrow and can be contacted at

Your personal data will be processed so long as it is required for the research project. We will anonymise and pseudonymise the personal data you provide we will undertake this and will endeavour to minimise the processing of personal data wherever possible.

If you are concerned about how your personal data is being processed, please contact UWS in the first instance at If you remain unsatisfied, you may wish to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Contact details, and details of data subject rights, are available on the ICO website at:

What will happen to the results of the research study?

It is expected that the data and results will be disseminated via the initial thesis, journal articles, conference papers and possibly books/book chapters.

Who has reviewed the study?

ESS Ethics Committee

Contact for further information

If you require any further information please contact:

Chelle Oldham

University of the West of Scotland,

High Street,





E-mail address:

Thank you for taking part in this study.

Consent Form Questions (Q1 of the survey)

Please ensure that you have read the participant information sheet and that you have considered the statements on the consent form before taking part in the survey

 Initial below:
I confirm that I have read and understand the participant information sheet.  I have had the opportunity to consider the information, ask questions and have had these answered satisfactorily. 
I confirm that I will answer the survey questions as far as I am able to. 
I understand that my participation in each stage of the research, is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw at any time up to one month after completing the study without giving any reason. 
I understand that the information I give is confidential and any publication resulting from this work will not identify me personally. 
I consent to the processing of my personal information (age, sex, and qualification) for the purposes explained to me.  I understand that such information will be handled in accordance with all applicable data protection legislation.           
I freely agree to participate in this study. 
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