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.

September 2009