Saturday, March 31, 2007

That Letter (in full)

from Lord Adonis:

"There is no specific duty in statute on LAs to monitor parents' education provision. However, it is our view that case law (Philips vs Brown 1980) places such a duty on LAs.

Only s7 of the Ed Act 1996, not s351, applies to HEks, and legislation does not define "suitability" of education. However, a suitable education has been defined in case law s one which "primarily equips a child for life within the community of which he is a member, rather that the way of life in the country as a whole, as long as it does not foreclose the child's options in later years to adopt some other form of life if he wishes to do so."

The state does not currently prescribe what form of education parents should provide, whilst all maintained and independent school provision is prescribed in legislation and subject to inspection. This anomaly is at odds with Every Child Matters reforms, supported by the Children Act 2004, which set out the Government's aim to improve educational outcomes for all children, regardless of where they are educated, and to narrow the gap between those who are doing well and those who are not.")Whilst s437 of the Ed Act 1996 provides a remedy for LAs which have concerns that there may be no suitable provision, this is unwieldy, time consuming and expensive and in some cases will be nugatory where home educators are making good provision but are resistant to LA enquiries."

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