Memorandum submitted by Dr Ben Anderson (CS 18)

 

Children, Schools and Families Bill Schedule 1 ( proposed legislation to register, monitor, and support Elective Home Education). 

Summary

I would like to draw the Committee's attention to a fundamental and persistent flaw in the financial benefit calculations reported in the DCSF's revised (final) Impact Assessment dated 18/1/2010. If corrected using data supplied to the DCSF by Mr Graham Badman, the costing assumptions project an overall substantial negative net financial out-turn over the ten year timeframe.

Detail

1. In the previous Impact Assessment the DCSF used a figure of 8% for the proportion of EHE children receiving no education and an additional 12% for the proportion of EHE children thought to be receiving an unsuitable education.

2. In their revised Impact Assessment a rate of 1.8% is correctly used for the proportion receiving no education (as indicated by Mr Badman's supplementary evidence reported in his letter to Barry Sheerman MP (Chair, Children, Schools and Families Select Committee).

3. However the proportion who 'may' not be receiving a suitable education (new wording) is now incorreclty assumed to be 20%. In fact Mr Badman's own data, reported in the aforementioned letter, suggests that 5.3% of known EHE children are thought to be receiving an unsuitable education by the 74 LAs who responded, a further 5.8% were considered to be "Not co-operating (no assessment)" and a further 9.3% were classed as "Not yet assessed".

4. You will be aware from other submissions that classifying the 'not co-operating' and 'not yet assessed' as 'unsuitable education' and then calculating potential financial impact scenarios on this basis is considered at best illogical and at worst grossly misleading. This becomes clear when we compare the financial outcomes reported in the revised Impact Assessment with calculations using the correct 5.3% 'unsuitable education' rate, but keeping all other costing assumptions the same (see Tables 1 and 2).

5. As you will see correcting this flawed 'unsuitable education' rate produces an overall net negative financial outcome under all EHE population scenarios.

6. I hope that the Committee will therefore agree with my conclusion that given current budgetary constraints, the proposals outlined in the Bill cannot be considered a prudent use of resources.


Annex

Table 1: DCSF Revised Impact Assessment figures (author's re-calculations using DCSF rates)

 

Scenario 1

Scenario 2

Scenario 3

Number of EHE children

20,000

40,000

80,000

 

 

 

 

Rate receiving no education

1.8%

1.8%

1.8%

Rate receiving unsuitable education

20%

20%

20%

 

 

 

 

Number receiving no education

360

720

1440

Number receiving unsuitable education

4000

8000

16000

 

 

 

 

Total benefits (Year 1)

197,093,520

394,187,040

788,374,080

Total benefits (all subsequent years)

161,258,335

322,516,669

645,033,338

Total benefits (all years)

358,351,855

716,703,709

1,433,407,418

 

 

 

 

Total costs (Year 1)

26,353,000

53,059,000

106,019,000

Total costs (all subsequent years)

14,653,000

29,986,000

60,652,000

Total costs (all years)

158,230,000

322,933,000

651,887,000

 

 

 

 

Net gain/loss (all years)

200,121,855

393,770,709

781,520,418


Table 2: Corrected figures (author's re-calculations using corrected 'unsuitable education' rate)

 

Scenario 1

Scenario 2

Scenario 3

Number of EHE children

20,000

40,000

80,000

 

 

 

 

Rate receiving no education

1.80%

1.80%

1.80%

Rate receiving unsuitable education

5.30%

5.30%

5.30%

 

 

 

 

Number receiving no education

360

720

1440

Number receiving unsuitable education

1060

2120

4240

 

 

 

 

Total benefits (Year 1)

75,324,600

150,649,200

301,298,400

Total benefits (all subsequent years)

61,629,218

123,258,436

246,516,873

Total benefits (all years)

136,953,818

273,907,636

547,815,273

 

 

 

 

Total costs (Year 1)

26,353,000

53,059,000

106,019,000

Total costs (all subsequent years)

14,653,000

29,986,000

60,652,000

Total costs (all years)

158,230,000

322,933,000

651,887,000

 

 

 

 

Net gain/loss (all years)

- 21,276,182

- 49,025,364

- 104,071,727



January 2010