An inquiry by the UK Parliament’s Children, Schools and Families Committee has been announced into the review of elective home education in England which was commissioned by the DCSF and conducted by Graham Badman.
The recommendations outlined in Mr Badman’s report, which include forced home visits and the unsupervised interrogation of young children by local authority personnel, caused an unprecedented furore among home educators, some of whom have described the proposals as being tantamount to state-sponsored child abuse.
Statistical evidence gathered by Action for Home Education (AHEd) members and supporters, including the comparative incidence of child abuse and neglect in home educating families, is widely believed to have tipped the balance towards an independent parliamentary inquiry, since the action group’s findings give lie to government claims that home educated children are at greater risk of abuse than their schooled peers.
Alarmed by media statements which sought to smear the home educating community without any supporting evidence, AHEd members had painstakingly collected comparative child abuse statistics from every Local Authority in England via the Freedom of information Act. Analysis of the data not only demonstrated that there is no link between elective home education and child abuse, but also established that the incidence of child abuse is far lower among home educating families.
The parliamentary committee is inviting written submissions, by Tuesday 22 September, on both:
- the conduct of the review and related consultations (e.g. the constitution of the review team; the scope of the terms of reference for the review; and the nature of the consultation documents);
- the recommendations made by the review on elective home education.
A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website.