Emma Thompson and husband decide to educate daughter Gaia at home

The Telegraph is reporting that Emma Thompson and her husband Greg Wise have withdrawn their 15-year-old daughter from school and begun educating her at home…

Mr Wise, who starred in Sense and Sensibility, said their daughter Gaia had decided shortly before her GCSEs that school “wasn’t for her”.

He said: “She loves learning and she’s terribly focused and hardworking, but she didn’t like the sausage factory of formal education. I’ve no argument with that.”

Mr Wise and Ms Thompson have built a school room at the end of their garden in West Hampstead, north London, where tutors will teach Gaia.

He said: “Although I won’t be teaching her. We’ve got tutors and I’ve built her a school room in the garden.”

…He said home schooling made sense in a world where the nature of jobs and careers is changing at a rapid pace – requiring a more flexible approach to educating children…

Although by law children have to receive full time education until the age of 17, this does not have to be at school and can be done legally at home.

‘Home educating’ families do not have to follow the National Curriculum, making the idea attractive to parents with children who find it hard to ‘fit in’; children with special needs or who have been severely bullied; and children for whom the school classroom does not suit their particular way of learning…

More at: Emma Thompson and husband decide to educate daughter Gaia at home


I have no comment on this individual case, but I myself increasingly perplexed by the apparently growing gap between the stringent regulations around ‘normal’ schooling – with, for example, term time holidays banned – and the fact that just about any parent can decide not to send their child to school at all and teach them any way they want at home.

I understand it will work well for some but are we really happy this is always in the children’s best interest or might they end up suffering for what could in reality be the idealism or naivety of their parents? In other words, is homeschooling typically more for the parents or the children?

Your thoughts on this? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link!

Radical English reform set for Scottish schools
Academics launch computer games pupils can play in lessons
Categories: Parenting.


  1. EduTurn

    SchoolsImprove Didn’t have any adverse effects on my daughter. Just completed her intermediate app/ship and now enrolled on her advanced

  2. EduTurn

    SchoolsImprove Plus she has an amazing general all round knowledge of lots of things – politics, economy, sport, work, life in general

  3. EduTurn

    SchoolsImprove We didn’t push out beliefs onto her just gave her the freedom to explore her own. She’s now ready for her first election…

  4. HMStack

    SchoolsImprove Well, what child wouldn’t want to be home educated in the Thompson household with that level of intelligence & success…

  5. HMStack

    SchoolsImprove I am quite sure Emma Thompson would be highly effective running a Free School. I have the greatest admiration for her work.

  6. HMStack

    SchoolsImprove But you are right to be concerned that all guidance & regulations fall by the wayside when a child is home educated.

  7. HMStack

    SchoolsImprove In my experience, it is frequently when a child’s needs are not met, that home education becomes the preferred option.

  8. terryheick

    SchoolsImprove “the fact that any parent can decide not to send their child to school at all and teach them any way they want at home.”

  9. SchoolsImprove

    terryheick Quite possibly – but I know situations where I find it very hard to believe it is in the best interest of the children

  10. ntfem

    HMStack SchoolsImprove Emma Thompson is implicitly admitting that her daughter is a spoilt social retard who can’t cope with school life.

  11. HMStack

    ntfem SchoolsImprove Have you ever heard of the term politically incorrect, Claire? Social media is no hiding place for libel or slander.

  12. ntfem

    HMStack SchoolsImprove Truth is also a defence to an action for defamation. We can have a nice debate about liberal parenting too.

  13. wildhare

    @HMStack SchoolsImprove No they do not. Home edders are covered by the same law as schooled kids in regards to protection issues

  14. Tatianasimuni

    SchoolsImprove Agree with homeschooling but kids must also be exposed to real-world-fight. And clear rules about homeschooling.

Let us know what you think...