Home Schooling under threat in the UK through the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)

We encourage others to email or write to their MP. This is a matter of urgency. You,   can write to them electronically at http://www.writetothem.com/

As you will gather from the letter the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) are taking the rights to home educate away from parents. The fear is by many is that this could lead to the end of Home education in the UK as we know it.

This will effect Christian Parents who home school.

The problem is Parliament goes into recess on July 21st and does not resit until October 12th – the consultation closes October 19th. So it is important that we get lobbying our MPs before they go on their summer breaks.


I am writing to you with strong concern that as myself and my wife are home schooling though Christian Education Europe Ltd.

Please refer to http://www.christian-education.org/

their are Schools that use the ACE system, please note that Christian Education Europe welcomes inspection, but I fear that the new changes are going to step on the rights of home schooling families like myself.

I believe that Education is important to the welfare and well being of my children, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (King James Version)

If you can be as so kind as to read its ethos, http://www.christian-education.org/teach%20downloads/New%20TEACH%20Prospectus.pdf

Here is the issue.

On 19th January 2009 the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) launched a Review of Home Education and a short online consultation. This questionnaire includes unsubstantiated accusations that home educators are potential child abusers, and infers that Elective Home Education should be overseen by the very authorities that have caused harm to many families, causing them to reject the State school system.

It is reported by media, Home schooling groups online, home educators facebook groups, that many parents have withdrawn their children from school because of the school’s and Local Authority’s inability to provide a suitable education for their child, or to stop physical and psychological abuse occurring. Other parents decide to keep their children out of the school system for varied reasons because they see it failing to meet the needs of those in its care and know that they can do a better job themselves. The DCSF wishes to give the very bodies that have failed so many children the right to interrogate, influence and even veto the education of children in the home. These authorities meanwhile have consistently shown themselves ignorant of the law relating to Elective Home Education, and of its philosophies and practice.

It is the legal right of every parent to educate their child themselves. An estimated 55,000 children in England are so educated.

It is the legal right of every child to receive a suitable education. As 1 in 6 children leave school unable to read, write or add up, schools arguably do not always provide this.

I feel that the DCSF has taken its gloves off and is once more trying to bring about the end of Home Education as we know it.

The recent publication of the Badman Review into Home Education and the acceptance in full of the recommendations by Ed Balls MP and DCSF, as ‘proportionate and necessary’ has caused outrage amongst the Home Education community.

The Recommendations include right of access to the home by LA officials, without any evidence that a crime has or is about to be committed. They wish to interview home educated children alone without their parents present to ensure they are ‘safe & well’ – again with no evidence that the parents are failing in their legal responsibilities. These powers are greater than the police hold. They want them purely on the basis that the parents have exercised their legal right to home educate. The only assumption can be that they view home education in and of itself a safeguarding issue.

Couple this with another recommendation that an LA can refuse or revoke permission to home educate on safeguarding grounds. Whilst to many this may sound reasonable, when you consider that LAs consider Home Education a safeguarding issue full stop (demonstrated in their responses to the many consultations on home education obtained under the FOIA), many feel this puts the right to home educate in danger and could mean the end of this option for the families who choose it. There is nothing to stop LA officials saying they cannot ‘safeguard’ a home educated child when they are in their own home, even though there is no evidence the child is at risk, and then refuse/revoke permission and force the child into school.

A Pledge fund to pay for a legal challenge and lobbyists has started, we of course don’t know how much will be raised, but would like to ask you if your company could possibly support our campaign in practical terms or with advice, knowing that financial compensation could be limited?

This full frontal attack on civil liberties will impact not only home educating families, but all citizens of this country. If state officials can enter anyone’s home without reasonable suspicion of a crime then our long held right to familial privacy from undue state interference has gone. Freedoms lost are not easily regained. What of those families who choose not to send their infants to nursery – will the government next decide that they need access to their homes and children to ensure they are ‘safe & well’?

Any support or advice you could offer would be most appreciated, Please could you also you bring this up in your discussions in parliament.

Yours sincerely,

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