Some ministers are calling for evidence of the quality of education being provided to home-schooled children.
At present, there is no mandatory registration system in place for home-educated children. Some local authorities do run voluntary schemes, but this still means the number of children in homeschooling, and the conditions in which they are homeschooled, remains uncertain.
The current rules in place for homeschooling have been derived from the 1940s and were described by the government as ‘for a different age’. With surveys suggesting homeschooling has increased by 20% over the past 18 months, many ministers believe it is time for a reappraisal of the system.
Ministers are requesting the views of the public not only on whether there should be a registration process but how that may work. They are also canvassing opinions on how homeschooling might be monitored by local authorities. There is also a £3m fund to be spread across more than a dozen local authorities in order to check the safeguarding available in informal settings outside of schools in places like local clubs and societies.
Vice chairman of the Local Government Association’s children and young people board, Roy Perry, has said that councils back the right of parents to home educated their children and, in most cases, they are doing a “fantastic job”.
Mr Perry added: “But for the minority of children where this is not the case, councils need the powers and appropriate funding to enter homes or other premises to check a child’s schooling, and make sure they aren’t being taught in an unsuitable or dangerous environment”
If you homeschool or bring someone in to help homeschool through a household staff agency these changes may affect you and your family.