The truth about Schedule 1 of the Children, Schools and Families Bill

Prepared by Dani Ahrens, following discussion with other members of the Badman Review Action Group Edition 1: 24th January 2010

The truth about local authority concerns about home educated children’s education
DCSF said: The truth:
The real figure reported by local “... in the opinion of officers authorities3 is monitoring home education, This includes children where the local authority considered their education to be were receiving an inadequate suitable but not full time education and within that figure, 8% The rest of the 20% are children where the local authority has not made an assessment of the education being provided. The government assume that all of 1 these children are receiving an unsuitable education are receiving no education at all”



This statement was later amended (“around 20% of home educated children known to local authorities may be receiving an inadequate education”2) but the revised impact assessment still projects supposed benefits from improving the education of all 20%.

Home educators have widespread experience of ill-informed local authorities assessing home education as unsuitable when it is in fact simply unfamiliar to them. We would expect the true figure for educational concerns to be lower than the 5.3% reported by Graham Badman’s self-selecting sample of 74 local authorities.

1, page 88
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The truth about child protection plans in the home educating population
Graham Badman says: The truth:
“the number of child protection plans [for home educated children] in the authorities that we covered in the last survey, [is] , which is double that within the normal population”4 Nobody knows how many children in England are home educated. Estimates vary from 40,000 to 70,000. Using Badman’s own data5, the proportion of home educated children with a child protection plan is if there are 40,000 home educated children, or if there are 70,000.


0.22% 0.12%

Any home educated child with a child protection plan must be known to the local authority. There are therefore no children with child protection plans among the 20,000-50,000 unknown home educated children. The evidence Badman gathered was from 74 local authorities. 54 of these authorities reported that no home educated children had child protection plans.

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The truth about home educators’ views on Schedule 1
Ed Balls says: The truth:
Over 5,000 people responded to the public consultation on the measures contained in the bill.

“[a] of home A clear of respondents educators ... do not like the current disagreed with every question7. For 8 provisions in the Bill”6 of the 10 proposals in the consultation document, the proportion who disagreed was .



over 75%

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The truth about Schedule 1’s effect on vulnerable children
Graham Badman says: The truth:
Implementing Schedule 1 will cost annually. At the same time, local authorities are facing cuts in their funding for essential children’s services. Monitoring home education will divert resources from children who really need support.

“... if, by going forward with a registration scheme, we safeguard the life of just one child, it is worth it.”8


At least children commit suicide each year as a result of school bullying9. Home education saves lives. Monitoring would disrupt the process of rebuilding bullied children’s confidence.


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The truth about the purpose of monitoring home educating families
Ed Balls says:
“A local authority currently ... has a right in law to see a child if it fears that there is a child well-being, safety or child protection issue. That right already exists, including for home-educated children. The issue is whether they are being educated and whether they are learning.”10
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The truth:
Schedule 1 says: “In determining for the purposes of subsection (3A)(b) whether it is expedient that a child should attend school, an authority shall disregard any education being provided to the child as a home-educated child”11
Local authorities will issue School Attendance Orders to any unregistered home educated children they find. The Bill instructs local authorities specifically to disregard whether those children are being educated and whether they are learning. The proposals are not about making sure children receive an education, they are about taking control of educational choices away from families and placing it in the hands of the state.

The truth about local authority powers to interview home educated children alone
Ed Balls says: The truth:
Schedule 1 says: “The Bill makes it “A local authority in England may revoke the clear that there is registration of a child’s details on their home no right for a local education register if it appears to them that ... by authority to see the reason of a failure to co-operate with the authority in child of a homearrangements made by them [to monitor the home educating family on education], or an objection to a meeting [with the their own, without child alone] the authority have not had an adequate the parents opportunity to ascertain the matters referred to in 12 there.” section 19E(1)”13
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