Today, Tuesday 2 April, we are publishing a consultation on proposals for a register of children not in school. This consultation is a response to the call for evidence run last year and builds on proposals for a register for all children not in a registered school. This has received coverage from the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Times, the Independent, the Sun, the Mail and I News. In addition to this, the Education Secretary has written an op-ed for the Telegraph and appeared on broadcast media outlets this morning.
The new proposals include a legal responsibility on parents and councils to register children – placing a duty on local authorities to provide support for parents who home educate their children. Ofsted and the Children’s Commissioner for England have both backed the register, which will help to protect children from dangerous influences and make sure they get the best possible education.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:
The term ‘home education’ has now acquired a much broader meaning than it used to. It is now a catch-all phrase, used to refer to all children not in a registered school. So whilst this does include those actually getting a really good education at home, it also includes children who are not getting an education at all, or being educated in illegal schools where they are vulnerable to dangerous influences – the truth is, we just don’t know.”
As a Government, we have a duty to protect our young people and do our utmost to make sure they are prepared for life in modern Britain. That’s why this register of children not in school is so important – not to crack down on those dedicated parents doing an admirable job of educating their children in their own homes, but to prevent vulnerable young people from vanishing under the radar.
Read more about the consultation outcome here.