For varying reasons many families with a disabled child have found it difficult to find the right school for their child and have chosen to home educate. For some families this is their first choice, whilst for others it is their only choice.

In response to this, local charity Thomley Activity Centre, in Worminghall, has recently introduced fortnightly home education days.

Thomley Activity Centre is a local charity which provides recreational and informal education facilities for disabled children, their families, friends and schools. Each session begins with a welcoming introduction to new families and includes a discussion opportunity where the families can decide what they would like to do in the next session. This has helped the charity to define the nature of these days, So far, feedback from the group has been that Thomley should provide non-curriculum-based opportunities for social interaction, exercise and sports, sensory activities, life skills and activities to develop fine and gross motor skills for their disabled child. Families have been keen that these days offer free choice for children with some timetabled activities for those who want to join in a group activity. The group was also eager to welcome parents of disabled children who are just at the stage of thinking about the pros and cons of home education.

To date, 16 different children from 10 families have already joined the group, Emma Rissen who is home educating her son said: “My son Paul has now not accessed full-time school since September and I have no outside help, despite it all being promised to me. It would be useful to have someone other than me help for a day, and help Paul with some school work I haven’t had to invent for him to do! It will also be helpful to meet other parents who may be having similar problems.”

The centre has now just opened a new teenage facility with a registered ‘Changing Places’ toilet, which will allow Thomley to offer an even wider range of activities for the older age group. The charity welcomes disabled teenagers and their friends to celebrate the opening of this new facility on July 27. To enquire about home education days, the celebration launch day, or if you would like to support the charity, contact: Thomley Activity Centre, Tel: 01844 338380 or email Website

If you are interested in contributing to this column contact OCVA (Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action) by email at or call Jackie Balchin on 01865 258915