Something important has disappeared from the paragraph in the proposed new home education guidance dealing with section 436A, children missing education. The current guidance sets out a proportionate approach as follows: “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. A proportionate approach needs to be taken.” The part about parents not having to prove suitable education has disappeared from the new draft.
The new guidance is not ready to be used. It is still at the draft stage. The consultation closed 18.1.24. The current guidance remains in force until such time as a final new version is published. The current guidance can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/elective-home-education
In addition, for the first time, the Department for Education is considering including case studies in the home education guidance. Case study 1 describes a scenario where a parent is excused from the annual monitoring visit because of a bereavement. Case Study 2 reverses the burden of proof and even uses the word “evidence”.