Home-based education petition to government

CPE – PEN along with many groups and individuals added their voice to the petition of Roxanne Featherstone (Action for Home Education AHEd http://www.ahed.org.uk/) asking the Prime Minister to “to remind his government that parents must remain responsible in law for ensuring the welfare and education of their children and that the state should not seek to appropriate these responsibilities.”

The Prime Minister’s Office has responded:

Details of Petition:

“We ask him to remind ministers that recent DCSF consultations have concluded that current law, when applied correctly, is sufficient to the task of protecting home educated children should parents fail in their duties, and that the law represents a satisfactory balance between protecting children and the need for privacy and autonomy in family life. We also ask him to call a halt to the review of home education, begun in Jan 2009. Home educators have already taken part in four consultations in just over three years. New guidelines for LAs regarding Home Education resulted from one of these consultations as recently as Nov 2007 and yet we are now faced with yet another review which appears to seek to erode parental responsibilities. We ask him to remind ministers that repeated consultations infringe the BRE’s Code of Practice on Consultations, Criterion 5. We also ask him to alert the DCSF that relations between home educators and LAs are likely to deteriorate should the state elect to intrude further upon family life.”
Government’s response

Thank you for your e-petition.

One of the key principles underpinning The Children’s Plan published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families is that the government does not bring up children – parents do.  The review of home education does not threaten a parent’s right to educate their child at home.

However, there is always a balance to be struck between respecting the rights of parents, and ensuring that local authorities (LAs) and other agencies have the right systems in place to intervene where it is necessary for them to do so.  LAs tell us that they have particular concerns about being able to fulfil their responsibilities in the case of home educated children. We must find out what is behind those concerns and make sure that the arrangements are fit for purpose.

The welfare and protection of all children, both those who attend school and those who are educated at home, are of paramount concern. The independent review of home education is part of our ongoing commitment to strengthen the safeguarding arrangements for all children, whatever their background or circumstances.

Prime Minister’s Office. Petition information – http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Homeedreview/

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