‘Grant entry powers to protect home educated’

The Department for Education (DfE) has rejected councils’ pleas to have greater oversight of home-schooled children, following a consultation over proposals for a register. The LGA is urging the DfE to rethink its proposals and grant councils the powers to ensure children are protected and getting a high-quality education.

There are an estimated 57,873 home-educated children in England, according to the Association of Directors of Children’s Services.

While councils fully support the rights of parents to choose to home educate their child – and recognise that most home-schooling parents are doing an excellent job – there remain concerns for a minority of children who could be at risk of neglect or poor future prospects.

Ofsted estimates at least 6,000 children who are said to be home-schooled are, in fact, attending illegal schools, which can be in dangerous settings or offer unsuitable education.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “The LGA has long called for a register of children not in school, as this will help councils make sure children are getting a good education and prevent them from disappearing from the oversight of services designed to keep them safe.

“But this risks failing to protect children unless it goes further… councils [need] the powers and appropriate funding to enter homes or other premises to speak to children and check their schooling.”

Recommended
The LGA’s General Assembly has joined more than 100 councils in declaring a climate emergency,…