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Council backs parent teachers

CONTENTIOUS Scottish Executive guidance on home education has been slated by Angus which wants a major redraft to avoid a further bust-up with parents. Only five pupils in the authority are educated at home with another two awaiting council approval.

While the Scottish Parent Teacher Council strongly supported the proposals last week, campaigners from home education organisations have condemned the draft guidance and mounted a series of demonstrations.

Now Angus has joined in the protest by describing the document as "ultimately disappointing". The plans accurately describe the current unsatisfactory position without offering any meaningful suggestions for improvement, the authority says.

"Although well intentioned, its contents have alienated some home educators and this in itself points strongly to the need for either a major redraft or, more radically, but more helpfully in the long-term, a consultation exercise leading to amendments to primary legislation," Angus says.

It believes the whole tone of the document needs to be changed to promote more productive partnerships between parents and local authorities while it picks major shortcomings in several sections. The authority says there are clearly conflicts between different pieces of primary legislation that the Executive has failed to resolve.

"To issue the current draft with minor textual amendments would be likely to generate more conflict in an area which is crying out for greater consensus," the council warns ministers.

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