Further supplementary memorandum from
the Department for Children, Schools and Families
1. Some local authority officers claim that
they do know of the majority of home educated children in their
area, who they identify through, for example, health records,
"rising age five" lists and secondary school applications/admissions.
Is it the Department's view that, if implemented across all local
authorities, such arrangements could suffice for the purpose of
identifying home educated children?
This may be the case in small LAs with a stable
population and few flows of pupils across LA boundaries. This
is definitely not the case for authorities with a mobile population,
where risks are greatest, nor for those where the population is
likely to register with schools and doctors outside the LA areaparticularly
in London and other large metropolitan areas. Almost all LA responses
to the public consultation exercise showed that LAs supported
a registration system because they did not have reliable information
about those children living in their area.
2. Does ContactPoint provide a record of all
children in a local authority area and their place of education,
either directly or by default? What steps would need to be taken
to enable ContactPoint to serve as a register for home educated
ContactPoint contains basic information on all
children in England, including name and contact details for their
educational setting. Schools have a duty to provide this information.
In the case of maintained schools, it is provided automatically
through the national data collection. LAs will accordingly be
able to run a "children missing education" report and
can investigate cases where there is no education setting recorded.
It would be more efficient and effective for home educators to
tell LAs they were home educating their children than for LAs
to approach families with no known education setting on the basis
that their children may be missing education. The latter approach
would probably be more costly than a system of registration. Registration
would also help to ensure that there were no delays in LAs becoming
aware of home educating families who moved from one local authority
to another or who decided to adopt home education at the point
that their child would otherwise have entered or changed school.
3. Are the proposals in the Children, Schools
and Families Bill relating to the monitoring of home educated
children dependent on a new system of registration, or could ContactPoint
or other existing databases serve that purpose?
Home Education registration involves more than
just providing a name and address. In particular, it will require
home educating families to provide information about their approach
to home education, and for records to be kept of monitoring arrangements.
ContactPoint does not hold any case information.