Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lessons from Scotland

Have been trying to find a mo to look at Home Education legislation in Scotland with a view to seeing how prospective legislative changes to HE law in England could pan out. The news from The Herald looks hopeful in terms of numbers:

"The number of children in Scotland whose parents have taken them out of school to be taught at home has soared by 39% in the past year."

This comes despite the fact that parents of children who have attended a Scottish state school must seek the education authority's consent before withdrawing their child. It is even more amazing that the numbers are up when we hear from The Scotsman that at least six Scottish councils are being obstructive when parents seek to de-register their children from school, (this despite the fact that a section of the Scottish Ed Act provides that education authorities must not unreasonably withhold consent).

The fact that parents cannot be deemed responsible for the education of their children in the situation that they have to seek the consent of the state as to where the education takes place makes Scottish law very vulnerable, as Lord Adonis seems to be aware. It would be great if the frailties of Scottish HE legislation could be exposed sometime very soon, preferably before the government bother to impose a similar system here.


Lucy said...

The Scottish Guidance is under review here at the moment - Schoolhouse have been working to get the permission thing changed. It is permission to withdraw from state school not permission to home educate - authorities sometime confuse that and are deliberately obstructive.

love your festive pics :)

alison said...

Just got a heads-up on this blog from someone in the USA! As Lucy says, the guidance is under review and the consent issue is only relevant if a child has attended a state school in Scotland. No permission is required to home educate per se, but the councils mostly infer otherwise. Schoolhouse is working on a joint research project with the Scottish Consumer Council (to update their Homeworks report from 2000) and the findings should inform the guidance consultation. Let's just say we believe it will make interesting reading!
Alison (Schoolhouse)

Carlotta said...

Thanks Lucy and Alison. Will be keeping a very close eye on your situation, - the review and your research - not least because I am sure your situation will inform ours.

If there is anything we can do...