Home Educators’ opportunity to reply
to proposed excessive state interference
What is the consultation about?
- The Department for Education (DfE) has proposed sweeping changes to the guidance it issues to Local Authorities with regard to home education.
- These changes were drawn up with heavy consultation with Local Authorities but without any consultation with home educating families – the people it impacts the most.
- Consequently the proposed new guidance is weighted heavily against the rights of home educating families and poses a serious threat to civil liberties and family life.
- Now is our opportunity to challenge this and make the views of home educators known.
What is the Libertarian Party’s stance on home education?
The Libertarian Party respects parental responsibility for the education of children, as laid down in Section 7 of the Education Act 1996, and thus supports parents choice to home educate where they deem that appropriate without interference from the state.
We are keenly aware of the potential for state influence on children to become malignant, and hold that home education provides an important alternative for parents to choose when the state school system becomes a tool for propaganda rather than enlightenment.
‘One size fits all’ does not work and inclusion isn’t working for many Special Educational Needs (SEN) children. A significant number of SEN children are home educated because the state cannot cater to their needs.
Finally, we accept that where parents break the law and do not take responsibility for their children’s education, the state may have cause to intervene, but this power should not be unfettered or held without corresponding accountability. We point out that there are already laws in place to protect children under these and other circumstances. Local Authorities already have the power to investigate fully where they suspect an inadequate or non-existent education is taking place.
In this light our researchers, who are themselves home educators, have prepared answers to key consultation questions.