Claudia Ward is a self-proclaimed “free-thinker.” She’s also raised her six children – Jack, 24, Amos, 21, Rudy 17, Annie 16, Nia, 9, and Riley, 6 – with the same mindset. So, she didn’t feel like it would be an issue to give two of her children what she calls a “free-thinking” day.
According to Mirror, the mother-of-six decided to let the two children skip school for a day to escape the rigors of academic life. She explained how she didn’t want them “bored in a hot and stuffy classroom.” So, they reportedly spent their “free-thinking” day at the beach.
“If it was a sunny day and I thought one of my children would have been bored and sat staring out the window of the classroom wishing they were at the beach – I could not see the merit of them not being on the beach looking at rock pools.”
Unfortunately, Claudia ended up behind bars for her decision – five months to be exact! According to Metro, the beach day was actually one of the combined 146 school days the two children had missed out of a total of 382 days. Apparently, Claudia didn’t exactly feel school was important for her children. During a recent interview, she recounted how they’d usually end up skipping school on a regular basis.
“If the two older kids had been up late, and in the morning just didn’t fancy school, I would let them stay off. Some days I just wanted company and my kids are great to be around. I don’t think this is something I need to justify to anyone – each family has their own methods of learning. But it is really difficult as I could not find a way of flexi-schooling. I didn’t want to take my children off the school roll completely as they love it – but I always thought there were other methods.”
She also expressed how shocked she was to learn she’d be going to jail. Although the harsh punishment definitely wasn’t expected, she revealed how it’s changed her way of thinking. She also shared her opinion of education and how she thought her views would be beneficial to her children. However, she’s admits she now sees both sides of the spectrum.
“I was shocked and did not for one second did I think they would give me a five month prison sentence. The children are the ultimate victims in that. Surely it doesn’t make sense punishing them twice by taking them away from their primary carer and everything they know. It was a huge shock to me and I could not understand how it would benefit anyone.”
“My ideas for education were always more outside the box and free-thinking. I was all about the children having an amount of choice themselves. This didn’t tally well with the national curriculum and there was one member of staff that I particularly clashed with. We just clashed over my philosophy, which was teachers teach and parents educate.”
“I just thought they would gain far more from that. I just thought they would be far better actually there experiencing it rather than sat in a stuffy classroom. It got to the point where there was no room for dialogue with the school and it was conflict all the way.”
Claudia Ward has vowed to make better decisions where education is concerned.
[Image via YouTube]