Ticked off by registration

19th October 2012 at 01:00

Home front (12 October)

I can understand the need for parents to feel they are in control of their children's education when they are being homeschooled, but what is the reason for their reluctance to register their children?

Just as any child or young person is registered with the local authority and is known to be receiving the education they require, children and young people who are homeschooled should not be any different. It allows local authorities to be more aware of the number of children and young people who are not receiving the education they deserve and to rectify the matter unless a valid reason is provided. The home can also be seen as an establishment for children and young people to learn.

The local authorities and government will not be fully aware of how many children and young people are at risk of child protection issues or negligence, unless they are made known to the authorities.

Michi_30885 via TESS website

Khyra Ishaq and Victoria Climbie are both red herrings when it comes to considering home education and whether or not parents need to register with a local authority.

Victoria Climbie was seen by many professionals after she entered this country, none of whom managed to do anything to save her. Khyra Ishaq was in school until about six months before she died and welfare concerns had been raised about her. The failure to act was caused by the workload of the professionals concerned and their lack of understanding that the powers they have with regard to child welfare trump any educational issues.

Theresa Riggi killed her children because of a dispute over access with their father and has been found to have been mentally ill at the time.

Danielle Reid was killed by her mother and others within a month of telling the school they were moving to Manchester. Her grandmother had reported the mother to social services several times but the child was not considered to be "at risk".

A register of home educators would have saved none of these children.

sdeuchar via the TESS website

Perhaps Julia Swann can provide some evidence to back up her claims of "0.1 per cent" (of home-educated children where issues arise). We had plenty of made-up statistics in England when the government tried to introduce regulation there. The Select Committee was a bit scathing about Badman's statistics at the time.

The argument about home-educated children having a say in being home-educated is specious. How many children at school have been given the choice? If anything, a home-educated child who expresses a desire to try school is likely to be given the chance, but very few school children will get to try home education.


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