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Elective Home Education Guidance for Local Authorities (England)
New Home Education Guidance
On April 2nd 2019 the Department for Education published new non-statutory guidance for local authorities which can be read here This replaces the 2007/2013 Elective Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities.
NB, close study reveals that the final guidance differs in many significant respects from the draft put out to consultation last year. Please ensure that you are referring to/being quoted from the final 2019 version and not the 2018 consultation draft.
Government Response to Call for Evidence April 2019
The new guidance was published at the same time as the Government's response to the 2018 call for evidence, including "next steps."
The call for evidence covered the following: a. registration of children educated at home including current voluntary registration schemes operated by some local authorities; b. monitoring by local authorities; and c. support for home educating families."The government intends to move towards a position whereby local authorities will be in a better position to take effective action to ensure that a child is receiving suitable education - when such action is necessary. The first step in this is to help ensure that local authorities are aware of the existence of children who are not in mainstream schooling.
4.7 To this end, it intends to consult on possible legislation based on the following:
a. the introduction of a duty on local authorities to maintain a register of children of compulsory school age who do not attend schools of a specified type
b. the introduction of a duty on parents to inform their local authority when their child is not attending a mainstream school;
c. the introduction of a duty on settings attended by the children on the register to respond to enquiries from local authorities as to whether a specific child attends that setting;
d. the introduction of a duty on local authorities to provide support to home educating families - if it is requested by such families."
Consultation Registration Proposals April 2019
The Government has also launched a public consultation running till June 24th 2019, asking for comments about proposals to establish a local authority registration system for children who do not attend state-funded or registered independent schools. This would require a change to the law within the next few years.