Briefing Document


Proposals by the

Welsh Assembly Government


 Introduce Compulsory Registration and Monitoring for

Electively Home Educated Children

 Version 2

19th September 2012



This document looks at the main points to consider with respect to these proposals:

  • What does the law say?


  • On what are these proposals based?

    • research

    • public views of 'safeguarding' issues


  • How do electively home educated children perform?


  • How do the prospective monitors perform (Education Departments)?


It will be demonstrated that not only do the proposals breach basic legal principles but that they are based on research that did not study electively home educated children. Further, ideas that children who are electively home educated are 'at risk' are misguided in the extreme.

 Outcomes for children will be shown to be considerably better when electively home educated than educated at school and Local Authority performance in education is demonstrated to be lacking.

You are challenged to read the facts and still support this proposal.

Wendy Charles Warner

Executive Summary


The Legal Position


  • Primary responsibility for education resides with the parent – not the state

  • Assumption of compliance with law is a basic legal tenet – the change would do irrevocable harm to the parent’s relationship with the state

  • Conflicting legislation will leave the way open for judicial review

  • Giving the state primary responsibility leaves the state open to litigation for education negligence where currently they are not liable

  • Powers are currently sufficient to intervene in cases of educational negligence

  • Home education is a private issue, not a public one.


The Basis for the Welsh Assembly Government Proposals


·         The review was conducted on EOTAS (Education other than at school) services provided by the local authority – not home education – with particular emphasis on school attendance

·         No home educating parent or home educated child was studied or spoken to during this review

·         The report makes statements about home education without studying it in any way whatsoever

·         The report make recommendations about legislation surrounding home education and its assessment without studying it in any way whatsoever




  • Safeguarding is used disingenuously to excuse intrusions which are rumour and fear rather than evidence based

  • Case studies show that where serious harm or death occurs in home educated children, those children are without exception already known to be or suspected to be at risk and therefore already in the system

  • Evidence suggests that on average home educated children are more likely to be scrutinised by social services and less likely to be at risk (0.31%) than the general population (1.3%).


Outcomes for Electively Home Educated Children


·         Wales underperforms educationally compared to the rest of the UK

·         Studies from across the world consistently show outcomes from home education to be better than the average for the population

·         States where there is registration do not outperform those without and there is some evidence to suggest registration may have a negative effect.

·         Welsh home educators are shown in a recent survey to be outperforming their schooled peers


Local Authority Performance in Wales


·         The proposals give powers of entry to LA officers that even the police do not have

·         The proposals punish the child rather than the parent for non-compliance

·         Welsh Local Authorities (LAs) are not good at complying with current legislation regarding home education, thus not instilling confidence that they would be able to comply with additional duties

·         LAs are already facing considerable criticism by Estyn for multiple failures. Two are already in special measures

·         LAs are already under financial pressure – more duties would merely add to that pressure thus depriving more needy areas of duty to become neglected