British parents fail to register for homeschooling fear new sanctions

Home-educated parents are worried about new legislation that will impose fines and strengthen the authority of authorities to force their children into mainstream schools if they do not follow the development of the new mandatory registration.

The UK government’s school bill currently in the House of Lords New ambitious legislation It aims to raise the level of school education across the country by increasing attendance and improving protection.

However, parents of home-educated children told The Epoch Times that they are now “The terrifying prospect that they are judged by a “set of standards” created for schools that wanted to take their children away in the first place. ”

Their concerns are focused on the government’s plans to set up new compulsory national registrations for children. If the law is passed, penalties for breach of this register, or failure to provide all requested information, Fine of £ 2,500 or imprisonment for up to 3 months.

‘FCorrect the outlook. ”

In the UK, home education means that your child is out of school and parents are solely responsible for their child’s education. While homeschooling, the children continued to attend school and received a combination of support from the school.

Home-educated communities have so far remained outside the scope of the government because they do not know how many of them are. The Children’s Services Board (ADCS) gave a rough figure of 81,200 in 2021. It’s underrated, but Registration is optionalIt The number may have increased.

The government is increasing the number of children out of school (because they are home-educated, participate in alternative education other than full-time schools, or are completely lacking in education). Some of these children may not have been properly educated or may not be known to the local government at all, claiming growing concerns about this.

However, some home-educated communities are afraid that new power will be passed on to the government in addition to the power it already has.

Hannah Canavan, a home education expert who advises Tiktok’s 26,000 followers, told The Epoch Times that there were some concerns about the new bill.

“Ironically, many of these kids were separated from school because of school problems. It’s happy that we have our kids who will check them out. It’s the same administration that created a non-existent environment, “she said.

Kanaban said he disagrees with the standards set by British schools, such as the curriculum. [which sets out the national programmes of study] And a standardized test, “that’s why we have a home education,” she said.

Canavan added that he is concerned that the register is a “gateway for home educators to implement the same standards” and expects “home evaluation to be the next step.”

“We will be guilty until we are proved innocent,” she said.

“So many parents send their children to failed schools, with no consequences, but there seems to be a set of standards for home educators. Why schools disappoint children and spread bullying. Are you allowed to do it? “She added.

School order (SAO)

Last year, Portsmouth Home Education Group Brought the Portsmouth City Council (PCC) to court Beyond the claim, it treated some parents as “criminals” because they chose not to send their children to mainstream schools. My parents were sent a school attendance order (SAO)Ask the children to return to the mainstream classroom within two weeks.

Municipalities have no formal authority or obligation to monitor. Offer Home education..But they Is it obligatory to identify the children they consider otherwise? Get proper education so they can intervene.

“The most worrying factor in these proposals to Portsmouth home educators is the proposed changes to the SAO process,” a spokesman for the Portsmouth Home Education Group told the Epoch Times by email. She said the Portsmouth City Council has issued a number of SAOs.

The group they “I was worried about a shorter time frame to deal with SAO. Proposals for higher fines that make the idea of ​​fighting LA [local authoritities] Even more terrifying prospects in court. And he was charged twice for the same crime. This is almost unprecedented in other areas of the legal system. ”

The lack of means to fight or appeal to the system was also a source of concern for parents.

“”Combined with this, the bill does not lay out a monitoring or remedy system to deal with enthusiastic LA like Portsmouth. This is a far greater force in LA’s hands and only means more persecution of the Portsmouth family, who in their hearts only have the best interests of the children, “she said.

Children “get off the radar”

A government spokesperson did not answer the specific question of the Epoch Times, but pointed out a blog post by the Ministry of Education that reflected it. Position at homeschooling register.

“The majority of parents in home education do a great job, but it’s important to ensure that home education doesn’t keep children off the radar and at risk of poor education and safety and welfare.” I am writing.

“By creating a municipally managed register for children who are out of school, where the municipality is educated for all children, it is of the right quality and home education. You will be able to see that support is being provided to your family, “the government wrote.

among them Fact sheets for school invoices for children out of school The government, announced in May, said it did not intend to “criminalize parents who did not provide information for home-educated children to register with local governments.”

“The proper response to a registration failure is to take steps to determine if the child is properly educated, otherwise send the child to school,” he added. ..

Owen Evans


Owen Evans is a UK-based journalist who covers stories from a wide range of countries with a particular interest in civil liberties and free speech.

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