Independent Review of Home Education
Today, Baroness Morgan, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Children, Young People and Families announced an independent review of home education in England. I am delighted that she has asked me to lead this review.
I know you and your staff are committed to ensuring that all children are able to achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes. However, we know that some colleagues feel that they are not able to ensure that all home educated children are able to do so. The Secretary of State has asked me to investigate if and how far children who are educated at home are able to achieve the five outcomes; assess the effectiveness of current arrangements for ensuring their safety, welfare and education; highlight good practice; and, if necessary, make recommendations for improvements. The review’s terms of reference are attached to this letter.
Over the next three months I will gather views and evidence primarily through interviews with key stakeholders such as local authority staff, home educating parents and home educated children and their representative groups, and other relevant organisations. There will also be a public call for evidence. I will also examine research evidence and review the law and guidance.
I very much need your assistance to ensure we know the full spectrum of practice across the country. With that in mind, I would ask that you complete a questionnaire about your arrangements for supporting and monitoring home educating families. The questionnaire can be found at: http://www.myopinion.org.uk/dcsf/homeeducation/index.cfm. We ask that you respond by Friday 6th February. Completion of the questionnaire is entirely voluntary and responses will be confidential. The questionnaire also asks whether you would be willing to participate in more in-depth work. I intend to look at a small number of local authorities in more detail, investigating key aspects of their practice and interviewing members of staff. Again, participation is entirely voluntary and, should you be selected, completely confidential. Interviews will take place in February and March. I shall report to the Secretary of State in May 2009 when I will publish my full report.
I very much appreciate your taking the time to support this important review and I look forward to hearing from you in February. Should you wish to discuss this work with me further, please contact Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chair, Independent Review of Home Education