From Tristram Hunt MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, to Councillor Barry Kirby: "Thank you for taking the time to contact me surrounding the issue of home education. I am happy to clarify The Labour Party's policy on the matter. First and foremost, The Labour Party is respectful of parent choice on this issue. We do not consider the Badman Review to be a document which reflects the current party view and we harbour no intention to change the existing regulations on home education. Of course we are always keen to hear new ideas about how we can make government regulations and processes more effective. We do not want to make the registration process for home educating parents more bureaucratic. However, similarly we are also keen to provide better data for local and national agencies in terms to identify how many children are home educated in each local authority area. Ultimately, we believe that better processes could help to foster a more beneficial relationship of trust and collaboration between local authorities and home educators. It is with this in mind that The Labour Party is willing to explore new ideas in this area. I once again thank you for taking the time to contact me. I value your input and will take it on board when establishing my policies. Please do not hesitate to get in touch or write to me again if you have any other comments or ideas for education policy. I passionately believe it is the most important issue for the future of our country and I am always happy to hear from people who feel the same."
(On the same theme, my Labour MP Paul Blomfield, Sheffield Central, recently said he'd talked to Kevin Brennan, Shadow Minister for Schools, shadowing Nick Gibb) who'd said there wasn't any backing for Barry Sheerman's view.)