Home Education

Children, Schools and Families written question – answered on 21st January 2008.

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Photo of Rudi Vis Rudi Vis Labour, Finchley and Golders Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether the term, "education otherwise than at school" is taken by his Department to include elective home education.

Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners)

Yes: this is explained in the guidelines for local authorities on monitoring elective home education that were published in November 2007. A copy of the guidelines has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

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Barbara Stark
Posted on 23 Jan 2008 12:15 pm (Report this annotation)

Dear Jim Knight,

You are minister of state for schools and learning at DCSF and yet you state that the guidelines to local authorities on elective home education are guidelines on "monitoring." The guidelines themselves state that there is no duty to monitor home education and point out instead the duty to act in the appearance of failure. It is a matter of serious concern that the mindset of increasingly intrusive monitoring, regulation and surveillance of the population so affects your eyes that you cannot read the real title of guidance produced by your department! I can only wonder at what you must read if you look inside in order to come up with the conclusion that the guidelines are about monitoring. Perhaps this is a singular incompetence?

Barbara Stark.

Mothering Matters
Posted on 23 Jan 2008 1:08 pm (Report this annotation)

I think might be explained by the excessively wide brief to which Mr Knight's position is subject. He can't be expected to know everything about school *and* everything about learning when the two issues are so completely unconnected.

Fiona Mann
Posted on 23 Jan 2008 8:15 pm (Report this annotation)

Maybe Mr Knight ought to read the guidelines before refering people to them!

In answer to Rudi Vis' question, I believe "elective home education" is a term used by local education authorities to mean that parents are educating their children other than at a school. I understand that they use this term to cover home education, home schooling, home based education etc., any education other than a school which is not funded by local authorities.