Concerns over school provision leading to rise in home education

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Concerns over school provision leading to rise in home education

The government recently held a consultation on home education, due to a growing increase in the number (estimated 57,600) of children and young people being educated at home. However, in its conclusion of the consultation response, the government does not believe that the significant increase in children being educated at home has arisen from any significant growth in those who believe in the benefits of home education for its own sake. Rather, it believes that the factors leading to a significant proportion of the children now receiving education at home are more negative and include difficulty in obtaining adequate provision especially for children with special needs; disagreement with schools about academic or behavioural issues; and a perceived lack of suitable alternative provision for those children who would benefit from it. The government says it recognises that work to address these concerns about school provision needs to be taken forward and it now proposes to consult on the following, with a view to possible legislation in the future:

  1. the introduction of a duty on local authorities to maintain a register of children of compulsory school age who do not attend schools of a specified type; 
  2. the introduction of a duty on parents to inform their local authority when their child is not attending a mainstream school; 
  3. the introduction of a duty on settings attended by the children on the register to respond to enquiries from local authorities as to whether a specific child attends that setting; 
  4. the introduction of a duty on local authorities to provide support to home educating families - if it is requested by such families.

At Watkins Solicitors, we can provide advice on the legal aspects of home education and other options that may be available to you if you have taken the decision to home educate because of concerns about adequacy of provision if your child has special educational needs

Contact our experts for further advice