Ofsted has called for the government to introduce registers for children who are in home education.
In a letter to the Commons Public Accounts Committee, published today, Amanda Spielman described the lack of information about where children who are removed from school rolls end up as “perhaps my greatest concern as chief inspector”.
In April, the Department for Education asked for views on whether it should introduce a compulsory register of home-educated children, and it is currently considering the feedback it received.
In her letter, the chief inspector said that while home education is often done well, “the concept of home education is being warped”.
Fears for home-schooled children
She wrote: “We have a lot of anecdotal evidence that suggests that parents are home-educating their children under duress, to prevent exclusion.
“Often, these parents do not have the capacity to provide a good standard of education.
“In other cases, parents use home education as a guise to allow them to use illegal schools or to evade the scrutiny of public services.”
Ms Spielman said that while she does not want Ofsted to inspect home education, “we must now move to a registration process run by local authorities”.
She said: “This would ensure that we know where these children are and that they are safe.
"I very much hope that the DfE moves quickly from its recent call for evidence to a concrete legislative solution.”