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Page history last edited by starkfamily1@... 14 years, 5 months ago






The Queen's speech angered and annoyed home educators with it's declaration of war against home education, by forging ahead with the legislative programme and categorising our children under "vulnerable" and in need of protection,  despite the consultation, which received 5,000 responses, and the inquiry into the conduct of the Graham Badman review not having had time to report.


However, Michael Gove, Conservative Shadow Education Minister, has stated that the Conservatives will oppose mandatory registration of home-educating families and, in the debate on the Children, Schools and Families Bill yesterday, Graham Stuart, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Home Education and member of the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee which ran an inquiry into the Review of Home Education said:


"The Government should not be rushing forward with legislation to introduce compulsory registration and possibly to erode the civil liberties of the families concerned;"


"As for parents who reject the Secretary of State’s school system entirely and sacrifice their time and career to bring up and educate their children themselves, they are stigmatised as more likely to be child abusers than normal people. It is an absolute affront to those in the home education community, and it is baseless. The scheme is all about getting home educators in a headlock and forcing their children back into the Balls fold."


"…the Secretary of State seemed to suggest that, contrary to the Badman recommendations, he would not bring forward into the Bill—there is no draft Bill as yet—the recommendation to allow local authorities to enter people’s homes as of right. If that concession has been made and that is not going to happen, it is a tremendous breakthrough. I am certainly pleased about it, but I would like to hear it repeated from the Front Bench again."




"On the cost of the proposals, the Department for Children, Schools and Families has estimated that the registration and monitoring scheme would cost £21 million to set up and £7 million a year to run. That would pay, just about, for 1.5 additional staff members for each local authority in England. Is that enough to cover the additional demands of registration, database maintenance and additional inspections? A former head of research at Citigroup estimated the cost of launching and running the scheme at £500 million. Whatever figure one wants to choose—I imagine that it is somewhere between the two—a huge resource will be spent setting up a registration system."


You can read the whole speech published on the UK parliament website.


The government summary and response  (opens pdf) to the consultation on the draft legislative programme is on the website of the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons and includes:


37. While some local authorities thought improving monitoring arrangements for children educated at home was important, over 200 people had concerns. They felt that it was expensive and inappropriate for the Government 

to intervene and especially to interview children without their parents being present. They also pointed out that the Department for Children, Schools and Families was still consulting on the Review of Home Education in England and were concerned that there would not be sufficient time to take responses into account in the Bill.


Government response: A public consultation on a proposed system of registration and monitoring of home educated children closed on 19 October after an extended 18 week period. Over 5,000 replies were received and the Government hopes to publish a response by the end of November. The consultation responses and any report from the Children, Schools and Families Parliamentary Select Committee will be used to help set out the detail of regulations and statutory guidance.


The decision to legislate for a registration and monitoring scheme for home educated children was taken because the Badman Review confirmed that the current system is not working and that the Government cannot be sure that all home educated children are receiving a suitable education and are safe and well. In framing primary legislation, the

Government has taken into account the concerns raised by home educators about interviewing children without their parents being present. Where there is good cooperation between local authorities and parents, it will be rare for a local authority officer to need to see a child without its parents being present. However, the Government also believes it is right that local authorities should be able to seek confirmation direct from a child that he or she is receiving a suitable education, where there are doubts over the evidence provided by parents.


See also:

CSFBill CSFBill2 CSFBillLetter1


Progress of the Bill:




the Bill received its second reading on 11.01.10.


The amendment by the Lib dems failed by 211 votes to 288 (77 votes.)


Debate in the Commons produced some good speeches and laid out the opposition, including a speech by Graham Stuart saying that parents are responsible for children and this ages old settlement should not be disturbed making the children subject to parenting decisions of the state. Neither the Conservative nor the LibDems will be supporting the Bill. Some Labour MPs are not in favour of the Bill, including Kate Hooey, who spoke against local officials coming into people's homes to tell them how to do something that they actually know nothing about.    


Here is the LibDems call for the house to refuse to give the bill a second reading  partly because, "its proposals for the regulation of home education introduce powers which are excessive and risk undermining key freedoms for home educators.


Links to the speeches


The Bill will now go through its Committee Stage.




Comments (2)

Jayne Richardson said

at 9:21 pm on Nov 20, 2009

Graham Stuart is Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Home Education and member of CSF Select Committee. Haven't edited as you may wish to refer to both the APPG and SC?
Best wishes, Jayne

starkfamily1@... said

at 10:25 pm on Nov 20, 2009

Thanks Jayne, have corrected it now. :-)

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