Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Ahed Press Release


The DfES has published a summary of responses to the consultation on defining full-time education in independent schools. [1] The consultation drew damning comments from AHEd [2] in February as "fundamentally flawed, highly misleading and risks adversely affecting home educators by inadvertently or intentionally redefining a school". [3]

AHEd's consultation response [4] declared that AHEd members and the wider home education community would powerfully challenge any efforts by government to threaten the traditional rights and freedoms of all parents to choose the where, when and how of their children's education. The summary of responses from the DfES shows stiff opposition with at least ninety four percent of respondents not able to agree to any part of the government's proposals.

AHEd members are glad to see that the proposals received overwhelming rejection and claim that this result highlights the strength of feeling against over-regulation of provision where parents have elected to take full responsibility for their children's education. However, the DfES overview states that they are now exploring the best way to proceed to achieve the Government’s objective of ensuring clarity as to what kind of provision should be regulated. Home educators, including those who use tutorial services or meet to share educational activities, hope this means the DfES will now stop trying to regulate their private arrangements.

AHEd Chair Mrs Barbara Stark, said, "Home education is very different from school education and it is simply not fitting to try to impose school regulation upon home educating families. Home educating parents are well informed about their responsibilities and are already well regulated by the requirements of the Education Act 1996 which provides for local authorities to challenge them where a child is at risk of not receiving a suitable education. The consultation has born out what our members knew all along, that the proposals are unworkable and unacceptable, and we hope the Department now also recognises this "


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