Saturday, August 22, 2009

Letter from Liberty

"Thank you for your email raising your concerns over the recommendations in the Badman Report. Apologies in the delay in getting back to you but we have been extremely busy.

Liberty is aware of the Review and the recommendations contained within it. We are concerned about Recommendation 7, which suggests that designated local authority officers should have a right of access to the home. The Report contains little explanation of what these home visits
will actually entail and why such an intrusive power is necessary. A right of access to the home engages Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 - the right to respect for family and private life. Interference with the right to privacy will only be justified if it can be shown to be necessary and proportionate in all the circumstances.

We await the Government's full response to the Badman Report which will be published in September. Any power of access to the home must be tightly regulated and a full explanation as to the power's necessity should be given.

The Draft Legislative Programme for 2009/10 included the Improving Schools and Safeguarding Children Bill. This will contain provisions for the monitoring of home educated children. If, when this Bill is introduced in Parliament, it includes the recommendation put forward in the Badman Report for local authority officials to have access to the home, we will be lobbying Parliamentarians on this and our briefings will be available on our website."

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