Sunday, September 20, 2009

Very Last Chance to Comment...

...on the Draft Legislative Programme here. Responses due in by tomorrow, September 21st.

Home educators will be principally concerned with the Improving Skills and Safeguarding Children Bill which contains the clause:

  • improving monitoring arrangements for children educated at home;
Of course, we are all meant to be adding the final touches to our responses to the Children, Schools and Families Committee's inquiry into the Badman Review, (responses due in on Tuesday!) but at least all the issues should all be at the front of our minds, so it shouldn't take long to throw something down in comments on the DLP.

Below is the email from EO, by way of inspiration and the offer that we may " nick, tweak, adapt, whatever if it's felt to be useful."


"Dear Sir/Madam

We wish to comment on a clause in the Improving schools and safeguarding children Bill, namely "improving monitoring arrangements for children educated at home".

We are extremely concerned that this clause has been hastily introduced without due deliberation and consideration following the rushed Review of Home Education by Graham Badman earlier in the year.

It has recently been noted by the Department that the evidence for change put forward by Graham Badman was obtained from only a small sample of local authorities and is not statistically rigorous.

As you will know the Select Committee is currently investigating the conduct of the Review and there is also a public consultation on the specific elements of the Badman Report which will require changes to primary legislation.

The call for evidence to the Select Committee Inquiry was announced on July 22nd. Work in this area has been restricted during the Summer while parliament is in recess and many local authority staff have been on annual leave.

We do not know when the Select Committee will announce its findings but we would not expect anything to be available before the Queen's Speech.

Furthermore, the public consultation does not close until October 19th hence there is insufficient time to consider the input from stakeholders before rushing to primary legislation.

Following the Westminster Debate by Mark Field in June, Education Otherwise has received emails and letters from several hundred home educators who have been to see their MP.

Throughout his Report, the author Graham Badman indicated many areas which were outside the scope of the inquiry or which would merit further research.

The Schools and Safeguarding Bill is already extremely wide in scope with an ambitious range of proposals which would if enacted profoundly change the relationship between schools and parents. Therefore it does not make sense to include an additional contentious clause related to home education while the Badman Review is still being investigated by the Department.

Yours faithfully


DCSF call for supplementary evidence to bolster the conclusions of the Badman Report in advance of Select Committee questions

Select Committee Inquiry into the Badman Review July 22nd

DCSF public consultation on registration and monitoring of home education

Mark Field debate on home education June 9th


My comment can be found here.

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