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Home Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL10670, tabled on 24 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they estimate that they will publish their response to the consultation held by the Department for Education about establishing a local authority registration system for children who do not attend state-funded or registered independent schools Children not in school, which closed on 24 June 2019.

Answered on

8 December 2020

In the spring of 2019, a consultation was held on proposals for a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school. The consultation closed in June 2019. Responses to the consultation have been considered, and a formal Government response document setting out next steps is expected later this year.

The current legal system around Elective Home Education is a system for identifying and dealing with children who, for any reason and in any circumstances, are not receiving an efficient suitable full-time education. A situation in which a child is not receiving a suitable full-time education requires action by a local authority under education law.

Local authorities’ duties in respect of safeguarding children (set out in the Children Act 1989) apply to all the children in their area, no matter how they are educated. The provision of home education itself does not constitute a safeguarding risk. However, it is important to remember that a failure to provide suitable home education can constitute a safeguarding risk, because unsuitable or inadequate education can also impair a child’s intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural development. The Government’s guidance to local authorities, issued in April 2019, explains how a local authority’s safeguarding duties may be engaged in these circumstances, and what steps they can take. This guidance is available here: