Memorandum submitted by Amanda Goldston
I wish to express my concern at the inclusion of a section described as
"improving monitoring arrangements for children educated at home" in
the proposed Improving schools and safeguarding children Bill.
You must be aware that the recommendations arising out of Graham Badman's
review into Elective Home Education (EHE) are still open for consultation until
October 19. Likewise, you must be aware that the CSF Select Committee is
conducting an inquiry into how Mr Badman went about that review; serious
questions have been raised over his methodology and the soundness of his
analysis. Indeed, Mr Badman himself has - via the DCSF website - recently
called for additional information from Local Authorities. It is difficult
to understand this last development as anything other than a tacit admission
that his original research was inadequate. Mr Badman states in his covering
letter that only some Home Educators take issue with only some of his
recommendations. This misrepresents the true situation considerably.
Ed Balls announced his complete acceptance of Mr Badman's recommendations on
the very same day that Mr Badman published them. After this inauspicious start,
how can we have any confidence that the consultation and the Select Committee
inquiry are to have any effect when we see that the areas covered are
nonetheless to be included in the Bill?
I urge, then, that all clauses connected with "improving monitoring of
home education" be removed until the consultation has ended and the Select
Committee has reported. Draft legislation can then be genuinely informed by the
outcome of these two exercises, as can the oversight provided by the
legislators who have the final decision: our MPs.