1 Name of organisation

The association’s name is “The Home Educators' Qualifications Association”, known as HEQA. It is an unregistered unincorporated association.

2 Aims

2.1 Key principle

We aim to increase home educators’ ability to access qualifications on a similar basis to schooled children. We are concerned with qualifications that are usually taken within the UK.

2.2 Issues for HEQA to address

  • Exam centre availability and costs
  • Ability to arrange, and cost of, access arrangements
  • Access to exam preparation material and teaching content
  • Assessment approaches that limit access outside of a school environment (e.g. Teacher Assessed Grades, Non-Exam Assessment)
  • Better access to university for home educated students

These aims may be changed or added to through general agreement via discussion on the group email list.

3 Actions

We address our aims primarily by providing a channel for home educators to speak to government bodies and exam boards, and providing support to our members through information sharing.

We may conduct other activities in the interests of furthering our aims and addressing the issues home educators face when accessing national qualifications. For example, but not limited to:

  • press releases and coordinating press activity
  • conducting and promoting surveys and research
  • producing publicly available information targeted at students and parents, exam centres, local authorities, or universities' admissions departments
  • approaching exam centres, local authorities, or universities' admissions departments.

4 Finances

The association does not hold money or substantial assets. Where one-off costs exist, we will ask for donations for those specific costs.

5 Membership

  • Joining the groups.io mailing list constitutes membership of HEQA and is subject to agreement to the current terms of the constitution.
  • Membership is open to any home educator, past or present, with an interest in qualification access, and to home educated individuals with experience of accessing qualifications. Membership is not open to non-home educators, including those involved with home education support but not home educating themselves (for example tutors who have never home educated themselves).
  • Members can be removed at the discretion of the trustees if they are shown to act against the group (for example by sharing confidential information or representing themselves falsely), or if they are abusive within the group or to members of the group.
  • Members may leave the association by leaving the groups.io mailing list.

6 Trustees

  • Members of the group can be designated trustees, with the authority to act on behalf of HEQA (for example by representing HEQA at meetings and corresponding with official bodies). Trustee designation, as with all major decisions such as aims and constitution, is made through general agreement via discussion on the group email list.
  • General agreement doesn’t mean that everybody agrees, but means a reasonable person would say there is broad agreement with a course of action.
  • Trustees may invite individual members to act on their behalf or alongside them in a specific capacity (for example to attend a particular meeting).
  • There is no requirement for a set number of trustees, though ideally we would have 3 or 5 trustees at any given time.
  • Trustee selection should be weighted towards those with current or recent involvement in the home educator qualifications process. Ideally at least one trustee will have experience of the reasonable adjustment process.
  • Current trustees are Jeremy Yallop and Katie Finlayson.

7 Decision-making principles

  • Trustees are trusted to make appropriate decisions on the right course of action to support HEQA’s aims and to act in good faith in the interests of home educators.
  • There is a general principle that issues and actions are discussed within the whole group on the mailing list as openly and thoroughly as time and confidentiality allows, and published on the website timeline where possible.
  • Trustees aim to give weight to the views of HEQA members and in particular those who are supporting students who are currently taking exams or will do so in the near future. However, trustees will take final decisions on the right course of action based on the interests of all home educators, including those who do not wish to take formal qualifications.

8 Strategy meetings

  • Strategy meetings will be held as necessary, aiming for at least every six months. Meetings will be held via web conferencing, open to all members, and advertised on the mailing list.

9 Validity

This constitution is version 1 and was adopted on July 11th 2021. It remains in force unless superseded by an updated version.