Emma Thompson Is Giving Her Daughter A Break From School

Now here’s an idea I can get behind (and I’m sure most kids would like it as well): Emma Thompson, who recently said she would be taking a hiatus from acting, is giving daughter Gaia a little respite, too – she’s letting the 10-year-old take a year off from school.

“Gaia finishes her little [primary] school next year, but I’m going to give her a break from education and show her the world a bit and take a break myself,” Emma said in a recent interview. “I just thought it was really good timing between those two schools to have a bit of a break.”

But this isn’t something the Nanny McPhee actress is doing haphazardly – she will first have to prove to school officials that Gaia will be adequately educated while traveling, either by having a tutor or presenting her own lesson plans.

Emma’s mother, actress Phyllida Law, admits her daughter ‘has the travelling bug’ and approves of the family’s adventure. “They haven’t said where they will go, but I’m sure like most other ten-year-olds Gaia would be thrilled by the idea of going traveling in another country,” she said.

Emma and her husband Greg Wise are also parents to son Tindyebwa, 23, who they adopted from Rwanda in 2003.

Filed under: Celebrity Moms,Emma Thompson

Photo credit: Bauer-Griffin


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  1. Anonymous

    Does anyone know if this is legally possible? Aren’t children obliged to go to school?

  2. Anonymous

    Of course parents can choose to homeschool, which simply means that standard curriculum is taught by a parent or tutor. It’s clear in the article she will be doing homeschooling, which is awesome given the average homeschooled child performs above and beyond their peers. Perhaps you are thinking of “unschooling”, which does not follow a curriculum and is indeed illegal in many places.

  3. lig

    it doesn’t sound like she’s giving her a break from education, just a break from the school building. it’s mandatory for children to be educated. i love her idea and hope to do it myself one day!

  4. Anna

    I think this is a great idea. Children have to go to school for so many years that a break is nice.

  5. Cathy

    Lucky kid! Traveling and experiencing the world with such a cultured mother will be great for her!

  6. Anonymous

    Emma Thompson doesn’t have to prove anything. The law in the UK is that parents have the duty to ensure that their children are receiving a suitable and efficient education and she just has to notify the council that she is removing her daughter from school to home educate her. Parents in the UK are not required to teach their children the standard curriculum either. Under section 436A of the Education Act 1996, inserted by the Education and Inspections Act 2006, local authorities have a duty to identify children who are not receiving a suitable education in their area, so far as it is practical to do so. As the 2007 Elective Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities make clear, however, ‘local authorities have no statutory duties in relation to monitoring the quality of home education on a routine basis’ and are only required to intervene if it appears that parents are not providing a suitable education. However, many English local authorities are often unaware of the law themselves or deliberately misinterpret it to the media and to parents who want to home educate.

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