There was an online petition to number 10 to get the government to get some clarity of the government position with regard to EHE. The petition said:
“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to uphold that parents have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of their child, to not undermine parents legitimately fulfilling their fundamental duties, and to assume that the best interests of their child is the basic concern of parents unless there is specific evidence to the contrary.
In particular, the government should ensure :- • No right of access to the family home without evidence of a crime • No right to interview a child alone without evidence of risk of serious harm • No CRB checks or registration for parents to look after their own children, or to informally look after those of their friends, family etc • No licensing / registration / assessment / monitoring of methods by which parents fulfil their duties without evidence that they are failing to do so, and with specific recognition that education “otherwise” than at school is a perfectly legal option to fulfil their duty regarding education • No undermining of parents as being in the best position to determine how to meet their child’s needs, according to their age, ability, aptitude, and any special needs they may have • Greater focus on applying existing resources and procedures to cases of children known to be at risk, rather than dilution of these resources by routinely monitoring whole sections of the community • Compliance with the fundamental presumption of innocence unless there is specific evidence to the contrary.”
I received the Government response by email today, which says:
The Government respects the right of parents to home educate their children and we appreciate the strong views held by both home educators and local authorities. As you will appreciate, we have not yet been able to consider in detail our approach to home education and whether or not any changes to the existing arrangements are required.
To me this is frightening. The Tories made a really big deal about the fact that they led the biggest national parliamentary petition to every have been put, and took great delight in doing so. THe shouted from the rooftops at the Labour Government to leave well alone.
Because of that position, this answer should be really easy, and they should not need more time. They have looked at it in depth. However now they are not standing by that any more and it looks like they are going to reconsider the government position.
This is the second output from government on HE that is unnerving for the EHE community, the first was an indication from Gove that they were about to back pedal and it was commented by Graham Stuart MP that I was being alarmist. I did hope he was right, but that alarm is still ringing, we need it to stop!