Memorandum submitted by Ben
and Vicky Archer
As parents of a sparky 4 year old
we are primarily concerned that she will come under undue scrutiny and
potential pressure from external authorities. These authority figures are
also individuals who may have little hands-on understanding or
appreciation of the tailored practice, management and benefits of home
education. We suggest that a positive and highly proactive programme of
information exchange and sharing take place (preferably in conjunction with Education
Otherwise) alongside any reform to home education laws.
We also wish to comment on a clause in the Improving schools and safeguarding
children Bill, namely "improving monitoring arrangements for children
educated at home".
We are extremely concerned that this clause has been hastily introduced without
due deliberation and consideration following the rushed Review of Home
Education by Graham Badman earlier in the year.
It has recently been noted by the Department that the evidence for change put
forward by Graham Badman was obtained from only a small sample of local
authorities and is not statistically rigorous.
As you will know the Select Committee is currently investigating the conduct of
the Review and there is also a public consultation on the specific elements of
the Badman Report which will require changes to primary legislation.
The call for evidence to the Select Committee Inquiry was announced on July
22nd. Work in this area has been restricted during the Summer while parliament
is in recess and many local authority staff have been on annual leave.
We do not know when the Select Committee will announce its findings but we
would not expect anything to be available before the Queen's Speech.
Furthermore, the public consultation does not close until October 19th hence
there is insufficient time to consider the input from stakeholders before
rushing to primary legislation.
Following the Westminster Debate by Mark Field in June, Education Otherwise has
received emails and letters from several hundred home educators who have been
to see their MP.
Throughout his Report, the author Graham Badman indicated many areas which were
outside the scope of the inquiry or which would merit further research.
The Schools and Safeguarding Bill is already extremely wide in scope with an
ambitious range of proposals which would if enacted profoundly change the
relationship between schools and parents. Therefore it does not make sense to
include an additional contentious clause related to home education while the
Badman Review is still being investigated by the Department.