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This is a repository of information and links for those who intend to fight the proposed changes to home education law, as proposed by the Badman Report (11/06/09).
There is a basic roundup here if you're new to all this, with links to good blog posts which will give you an overview, and suggestions for what to do next.
Please help me keep this up to date by submitting links to anything you think should be included. I will only link to appropriate material, I do not wish to make public anything sent on a private forum, or to presume on anyone’s generosity in sharing their thoughts.
Thank you for your help, your support and your interest.
Links are grouped by source and type:
Links are also tagged by type or issue to allow related links to be seen in context. These categories are listed on the left-hand-side, or you can use the tags at the top of any link to find all related content.
There is also a search function at the top-right of the page, which you can use to search for links or resources by keyword.
If you've just been alerted to this report and all its implications then the sheer volume of debate and information is pretty daunting. Very basically: The Badman Report into Home Education was published on the 11th June 2009. It was commissioned amid wild allegations of a link between home-education and child abuse, so a balanced and fair report was never expected. The report itself makes alarming reading, and has been accepted in full by the Government. Amongst its recommendations are some which are deeply worrying for anyone who cares about our right to family life, civil liberties or our children's best interests.
II National and I International Conference on Family Educationa - Homeschooling
November 25-26, 2011
Regulations and Statutory Guidance
Schedule 1 to the Children, Schools and Families Bill provides regulation making powers relating to the registration and monitoring of home education, including the appeals mechanism. New sections 19A to 19H set out these powers which cover:
Section 19A – maintenance by local authority of home education register;
Section 19B – manner in which application is to be made and entry of a child’s details on the register;
Section 19C – supplementary provisions relating to an application including information to be included in the application; statement about the prospective education; provision for an undertaking to be provided by a parent; and the entry by the local authority of the child’s details on the register including steps to be taken by a local authority; power for local authority to provide for a period within which a repeat application may not be made; and what details should be entered on the register;
Section 19D – registration period - no regulation making power;
Section 19E – monitoring the provision of home education - no regulation making power;
Section 19F – revocation of registration including steps to be taken by an authority in relation to revocation or proposed revocation, what should and should not be taken into account;
Section 19G – appeals against refusal to register or revocation;
Section 19H – supply of information to a local education authority in England exercising its home education functions.
Section 19I provides a power to make statutory guidance in relation to the registration and monitoring arrangements.
What follows is a policy statement which draws out our initial proposals for regulations and guidance once the Bill becomes law. It is intended to support debate and consultation as the Bill passes through the Parliamentary process. Any regulations and guidance will be subject to full public consultation.
Mention is made of home education at 53 mins and at 1 hour 9 mins where lawyer John Friel appears to agree with Graham Stuart that Schedule 1 is very damaging for home educated children with special educational needs, but main body of evidence starts at 1 hour 11 mins.
Exactly a year ago the Department for Children Schools and Families launched the Badman Review of Home Education. Last October we wrote that home educators had been subject to nine months of policy based evidence making. The tide began to turn with the publication of the Select Committee Report, which reprimanded the Department for relying on unsound evidence and for rushing to legislate on home education without publishing feedback from the recent public consultation.
Two months after the Secretary of State reassured parliament that right of access to the home and private interviews with children would be both voluntary and optional, the Department finally published feedback from the consultation which set out the real position.
"We have decided that local authorities should visit the place where education is taking place, which will usually be the family home, as part of their monitoring work. If families choose not to cooperate, and as a result are not on the register, local authorities will be able to use a school attendance order to require the home educated child or children to attend school."
MPs and Lords are being asked at every stage to accept without evidence that there is no alternative and also to accept that most questions about the future will remain unanswered since the Department has either not yet had time to make any decisions or chooses not to share any information before the Bill becomes law. A simple indication of how much the legal skeleton will be fleshed out later may be seen in the extensive regulation-making powers in six new sections of the 1996 Education Act, namely 19A, 19B, 19C, 19F, I9G and 19H.
The government's proposals to licence, regulate and inspect families who educate their children at home have provoked furious opposition from home-educating parents and their children. The government has been keen to brush off concerns that its proposed legislation will violate the civil liberties of these families, in particular their right to private and family life. As details of the government's plans emerge, these attempts to portray the scheme as "light touch" look increasingly less credible.
If passed into law, the proposals in the children, schools and families bill will require local authority officials to make annual visits to the place where education is provided (normally the family home). Officials will be empowered to request to interview a child on their own if they consider it appropriate. Parents may refuse the authority's request, as Ed Balls has been at pains to point out, but such refusal will form one of seven grounds on which the local authority may decide to revoke its approval and impose a school attendance order....
NOTICES OF AMENDMENTS
Monday 11 January 2010
PUBLIC BILL COMMITTEE
CHILDREN, SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES BILL