41 posts

Alternative Provision Consultation Response

Shortly before the general election was announced, the Department for Education launched a consultation on the use of alternative provision under section 19 plus EOTAS with EHCPs. It closes on July 5th. Read my consultation response here LINK TO CONSULTATION HERE

New Pupil Registration Regulations Aug 2024

The School Attendance (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2024 laid yesterday in parliament will come into force on August 19th 2024 and will replace the 2006 Regulations. Deregistration from mainstream school for home education is currently covered by Regulation 8 (1)(d) 2006 but after August 19th it will be Regulation 9 (1)(f) of the 2024 Regulations.The exact wording for deleting pupil names from the school roll is also slightly different; my page on deregistration has more details (For updated links on deregistration from special school click here )

More Information on New Welsh Database Plans

I have just written two new pages to explain the proposed Welsh database of “children potentially missing education.” The first page explains how the Welsh government hopes to adapt the database provisions in the Children Act 2004 because this is easier than passing a new law The second page sets out exactly what is proposed

4,000+ Responses to Guidance Consultation

Minister Damian Hinds said yesterday in Parliament that the recent guidance consultation which closed on January 18th had received more than 4,000 responses. The shortened Hansard link is here By comparison, the 2019 children not in school consultation number was “nearly 5,000”; the 2018 guidance consultation was 3441; the 2009 Badman review consultation was 5211; and the 2007 Guidelines consultation was 919.

What Now?

Towards the end of 2023 the government put forward some possible changes to the guidance on home education. A public consultation ended on 18.1.24. The government will now consider the responses to the consultation and will publish an official statement about next steps in due course. More information about consultation principles can be found here

Meanwhile the current guidance remains in force until such time as a final new version is published. The current guidance can be found here My web page on the guidance is here

Answer Day Write Up

I have posted a write up of the Facebook discussion from a couple of days ago here I have added a few extras and also pulled out some General Points. There is no rule says the government has to go with the majority in a consultation but there might be a tipping point where the proposed changes no longer seem such a good idea particularly if operational difficulties become apparent or if it looks likely to be counter-productive. This is where words matter in those answer boxes! REMINDER CONSULTATION CLOSES THURSDAY JANUARY 18TH

Introduction to Guidance Changes

The law on home education is unchanged. In place of new law, the government is testing the waters as to how far existing law can be stretched. My new blog post summarises the proposed changes and considers the possible impact on relationships between home educating families and the local authority. It also has tips on how to give feedback via the consultation which is open till January 18th. See also

Consultation – Taking The First Step

For everyone who has told me “I know it’s important but I haven’t been able to face looking at it yet I have written this blog post It sets out a few simple steps for trying the “save and come back later” option on the consultation form (with screenshots!) so you can feel you have made a start.

Meanwhile all my other consultation pages are linked from here and the consultation CLOSES ON JANUARY 18TH

Pages to help with consultation response

I have recently published 2 new pages about the home education guidance consultation + (ensuring “sufficient secular education” by way of literacy and numeracy checks)

All my pages on the consultation are linked from here

Safeguarding in New Guidance

The safeguarding chapter in the new draft home education guidance is much the same as the current guidance but because of what now appears elsewhere in the guidance, the advice on safeguarding has become even more problematic. New web page on Safeguarding in the New Guidance

My Starting Page has links to all the consultation pages on this site

Guide to Online Consultation Form

The online consultation form for the new draft home education guidance puts respondents into different categories depending on their background. Most of the questions which follow are multiple choice which enables responses to be sorted eg x% of parents agreed; x% of local authorities agreed. 10 questions have a comment box for writing your answer. DfE is likely to use automated textual analysis which will search for key words and phrases in the written responses. Read more here My Starting Page has links to all the consultation pages on this site

Data Protection Advice in New Guidance

The new draft guidance encourages information gathering on a far bigger scale than any previous guidance yet has virtually nothing to say about GDPR or the statutory responsibilities of being a data controller plus there is no mention of the need for Privacy Notices or complying with Subject Access Requests. New web page My Starting Page has links to all the consultation pages on this site

Monitoring is Support

In the new draft guidance support is left entirely up to local authorities to decide as part of their local process. Nothing is a must-do. Annual monitoring is one of the potential support options. The consultation asks for your views. Read my new web page here

The Starting Page for the consultation with links to all documents and web pages is here CLOSES 18.1.24.

Informal vs Formal Process

In the new draft home education guidance all the investigation and weighing up of evidence has been brought forward to the informal enquiries stage as part of a detailed “assessment of suitability”. The consultation asks a number of questions about this. I have created 2 new web pages to assist with your response + The Starting Page for the consultation with links to all documents and all the consultation pages on my site is here CLOSES 18.1.24.

Proving Suitable Education

The sentence “this should not be taken as implying that it is the responsibility of parents under s.436A to ‘prove’ that education at home is suitable” no longer appears in the new draft home education guidance for local authorities. What does this mean for home educators? Read more here The Starting Page for the consultation with links to all documents and all the consultation pages on my site is here CLOSES 18.1.24.

Assessment of Suitability

Assessment of suitability is the big idea in the new draft home education guidance with LAs seeking to “establish the child’s levels of literacy and numeracy”. This has massive implications if LAs feel parents are not co-operating to the fullest extent. Read my new page here The Starting Page for the consultation with links to all documents and web pages is here CLOSES 18.1.24.

Suitable Education

In view of the current consultation mentioning “several edits to the guidance to aid in the understanding of suitable education” I have just published two new pages + The Starting Page for the consultation with links to all documents and web pages is here CLOSES 18.1.24.

Consent Not Required EHCP Deregistration Mainstream

In June 2022, the Department for Education included a consultation question about changing the regulations so that the local authority would have to agree before a child with an EHC Plan (or other statutory Plan) could be deregistered from the roll of a mainstream school for home education. At the end of August 2023 the government confirmed that this would NOT be taken forward. Hence the law is unchanged and consent is ONLY required for deregistration from special school. My page with more information and links about deregistering a child from mainstream school is here

10 Minute Rule Bill

May 2023. MP Flick Drummond has introduced a Private Members Bill to register children not in school under the 10 Minute Rule. I have blogged about it here. NB at the end of July this bill ceased to exist when the government announced the end of the current parliamentary session. My blog explains more.


February 2023 – When a child with an EHCP is home educated, parents cannot legally be required to make the provision in Section F or set targets for Section E. My new web page with full legal references is here.

EHE Guidance

January 2023 – Now that the Schools Bill is dead, it seemed a good time to update my page on the current Elective Home Education Guidance, covering School Attendance Orders; Children Missing Education; De-schooling; Suitable Education; Literacy and Numeracy; Progress; Annual Contact; Monitoring; Home Visits; and Safeguarding Powers. Read more here.

EOTAS/Alternative Provision

Education Otherwise Than At School – or EOTAS – also known as alternative provision – is where the local authority is responsible for the provision of education when a child age 5 – 16 does not attend school. I have made a new web page which you can read here.

News Archive

News up to 2023

Schools Bill December 2022

The Schools Bill has been dropped. Secretary of State Gillian Keegan confirmed this to the Education Committee on Wednesday December 7th 2022. Read more here

Schools Bill Stuck in House of Lords

The Schools Bill finished Report Stage in the House of Lords in July 2022. Third Reading (the final stage before it goes to the House of Commons) was set for September 14th but by September 8th this date had disappeared from the schedule. (The first 18 clauses of the Bill dealing with multi-academy trusts had already been removed to be looked at separately.)

Registration Proposals in new Schools Bill 2022

Proposals for a register of children not in school have been included in which is beginning in the House of Lords. The Schools Bill was discussed for the first time in parliament on May 23rd 2022. Read my web page on the register here

Register of Children Not in School 2022

On February 3rd 2022 the Department for Education published its response to the consultation from April 2019, affirming that it still intended to go ahead with a register of children not in school.

Portsmouth Judicial Review

On November 16th 2021 the outcome of Christina Goodred v Portsmouth City Council and the Secretary of State for Education was published. Read more here

Exam Arrangements 2022

Information was published in November 2021 about exams going ahead in Summer 2022 + contingency arrangements for Teacher Assessed Grades for private candidates if exams have to be cancelled due to covid. My exams page is here

Education Committee Report, Government Response

In November 2021 the government provided its response to the Education Committee report on home education, confirming that it intended to outline next steps for registration of children not in school some time soon.

New Case Law EOTAS Special Needs, October 2021

I won this case at the Upper Tribunal. It deals with LAs not naming a school in the EHCP where the provision will be EOTAS [Education Otherwise Than At School] My introductory page on home education and special needs is here and my SEND tribunals page is here

Exam Arrangements 2021

On February 25th 2021 the Department for Education confirmed arrangements for exam grades in Summer 2021 stating that a list of available centres would be published shortly.

Wales Abandons Proposed Changes 2020

On June 22nd 2020 the Welsh Government published a statement saying that “it will not now be possible to complete the planned work on the home education statutory guidance and database regulations within this Government term.” Read more here

Regulating Education Institutions Consultation

On February 14th 2020 the Department for Education launched a consultation on changes to the regulation of full time independent education institutions. My page on unregistered schools is here.

Second Successful Prosecution Illegal School 2019

In September 2019 the proprietors of Ambassadors High School in Streatham were convicted of running an illegal school. My page on unregistered schools is here

Timpson Review School Exclusions May 2019

In May 2019 the Department for Education published Edward Timpson’s Review into School Exclusions, together with the formal government response to the review, and a new call for evidence leading to possible changes in law and guidance. Read more here

Consultation Registration Proposals April 2019

On April 2nd 2019 the Department for Education launched a new consultation on proposals to establish a local authority registration system for children who do not attend state-funded or registered independent schools.

Government Response 2018 Consultation/Call for Evidence

On April 2nd 2019 the Department for Education published its response to the 2018 home education consultation/call for evidence, including “next steps”.

New Home Education Guidance April 2019

On April 2nd 2019 the Department for Education published new non-statutory guidance for local authorities. Read more here

Consultation Safeguarding Code Practice Out of School Settings 2018

December 2018 consultation on draft voluntary safeguarding code of practice for out of school settings.

First Successful Prosecution Illegal School 2018

In October 2018 the proprietors of the Al-Istiqamah Learning Centre in Ealing were convicted of running an illegal school. My page on unregistered schools is here

School Exclusions Review Call for Evidence 2018

The Department for Education has asked former Children’s Minister Ed Timpson to look at school exclusions.

Government Response Out of School Settings Call For Evidence

April 2018: The Department for Education has published its response to the 2015 call for evidence on out of school settings (possible light touch registration for settings providing 6+ hours education per week) No changes are to be introduced.

New Ofsted Inspection System Children’s Services

Ofsted new framework for the Inspection of Local Authority Children’s Services [ILACS] will begin in 2018. Each year, Ofsted will ask local authorities to share a self-evaluation of social work practice and meet with Ofsted regional representatives to discuss data, plus there will be standard and short inspections.

Publication New Home Education Guidance Wales 2017

New home education guidance for Wales was published in January 2017. My page on Wales is here.

Intervention in Inadequate LAs

New blog post on what is happening in LAs rated inadequate by Ofsted, how close they are to being taken over etc. Read more here.

Revised Statutory CME Guidance September 2016

Revised guidance has been published on Children Missing Education to take account of changes to the Pupil Registration Regulations. My page on CME is here.

Supreme Court Named Person (Scotland)

Following the Supreme Court ruling at the end of July 2016, the Scottish Government was unable to implement the Named Person measures.

Increased Tracking Children Coming Out Of School 2016

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 will be amended from September 1st 2016

Child Practice Review Dylan Seabridge 2016

On July 8th Pembrokeshire Council published a Concise Child Practice Review into the death of Dylan Seabridge. More. My page on home education in Wales is here

How Organising Events Can Affect State Benefits

How organising events, trips, groups etc can affect your state benefits (including Housing Benefit) Read my blog post here

Home Education APPG March 2016

March 2016 All Party Parliamentary Group for Home Education meeting about special educational needs with Stuart Miller, Deputy Director SEN at DfE.


Roundtable discussion home education and safeguarding with the NSPCC

Out of School Settings

January 2016 debate in parliament. More

Report of AEHEP Launch February 2015

The Association of Elective Home Education Professionals – a national body for local authority personnel – held a launch at the House of Commons in February 2015.

Updated CME Guidance England 2015

The fourth revised version of Children Missing Education Guidance (England) was published in January 2015.

Launch Association EHE Professionals

The new Association of Elective Home Education Professionals (England) is holding a launch on 26th February 2015.

New SEN Code Practice 2014

SEN Code of Practice approved by parliament July 2014. My page on home education provisions in the Code is here

Children and Families Act 2014

The Children and Families Act is now law, with a new system for SEN and disability. My introductory page on EHCPs is here.

Council Support for Exams

Exams Report: how do local councils help home educating families with exams.

Government Guidance 14-16s College

DfE guidance on college funding for home educated 14-16s – my web page is here

New Statutory Guidance Post-16 Participation

“For young people who are being home educated, no hourly requirement of education applies: the amount and content of that education is at the discretion of the home educator…No on-going monitoring of the education is required.” My web page is here

Education Committee Report Support For Home Education 2012

Education Committee publishes report into Support for Home Education, December 2012.

APPG Meeting SEN + Disability 2012

All Party Parliamentary Group Meeting November 2012 to discuss changes to funding and assessment for Special Educational Needs and Disability.

All Party Parliamentary Group 2011 Exams

May 2011: Government Drops Plan Delay Deregistration

Minister Nick Gibb announces in the House of Commons that the Government will not now be introducing a 20 day delay in removing child’s name from the school roll.