Children’s commissioner seeks register for home ed children

As someone who’s been involved with home education across a range of year groups I’m always concerned when a government body suggests that more regulation of this area is for ‘the public good’.

According to the report recently released & referred to here in The Guardian, a small cluster of state schools may have chosen to ‘game’ the system by deregistering challenging pupils in order to keep their stats looking good.

The unoffical name for this process is “off-rolling”.

It’s when a school convinces a parent to deregister a pupil, to home educate them, without being required to follow any formal proceedings.

It appears that those schools may have chosen to simply ‘pass the buck’ back to the parents, parents who may not have been that clued-up as to how to home educate their children.

Those schools, however, would have benefited by not having those children sitting, and most probably failing their GCSE’s and then dragging down the school’s league table results.

It appears, therefore, that rather than deal with the problems within those specific schools, the Children’s Commissioner for England is carrying out a ‘land grab’.

One in which they’re using this issue as an excuse to suggest that Government introduces a legal requirement to have parents register all home-schooled children.

They also cite the apparent increase from 2013 of around 29,000 to 58,000 children being home educated in 2018.

As parents who were ourselves home educating our children in the early 2000’s I’d like to offer an alternative reason for the apparent increase in numbers – home schooling parents have better support groups now.

When we first began our home educating journey most contact was via group magazines and small groups, quite unlike the social media supported groups available today.

Fear of The Truancy Officer

It used to be the case that many home schooling parents would never venture outside their home with their children during ‘normal’ school hours, in case the truancy officer or a policeman saw them and accused them of ‘playing truant’.

My, how things have changed!

It’s going to be interesting to see whether the Government can find any time in Parliament to debate this, bearing in mind they have a few rather more important issues to deal with than parents looking to give their children the best possible education.

In the meantime, if you’re considering home educating, or possibly migrating from state education or private schooling into home educating I’m sure we can help you with making a smooth transition.

You can drop us a line here or call us to discuss this further.

Photograph of The Palace of Westminster By Mайкл Гиммельфарб (Mike Gimelfarb) – Own work, Public Domain