Ofsted trying to resurrect Badman's proposals

In our Victory for Home Educators article we concluded with "celebrate winning this battle, but continue to keep your eyes focused on the war". A new battle for home educators appears to have been initiated following the publication of a report on home education by Ofsted on the 17th June.

The report calls for the imposition of the following pieces of legislation:

The Department for Education should:

  1. Enable local authorities to carry out their responsibilities to safeguard children who are educated at home and evaluate the suitability and efficiency of their education by:
    • enacting legislation which requires parents to register their intention to home educate and inform the local authority if they move home.
    • enacting legislation which requires and enables local authority officers to undertake an annual home visit to monitor the child's progress. This visit should involve a discussion with the child in private as well as their parents and include a focus on any support needed.
  2. Define what constitutes a 'suitable' education in the context of the 1996 Education Act.

In other words, it is a rehash of Clause 26 of the Children's, Schools, and Families (CSF) bill, generated from the Badman report, that was thrown out in the House of Lords on the 7th of April 2010.

Other complaints about the report is that it continues to mix up education and welfare / safeguarding of children just like the review into home education by the DCSF back in January 2009 did, and that little is mentioned about improving local authority support for home educated children other than the Department of Education should "consider" finance being available for home-educated children to take GCSE examinations.

The publication of this report has attracted much criticism. Graham Stuart MP condemned the report as "an unpleasant hangover of the last government: a manifesto for more state power at the expense of dedicated home educators and their children". Another critique of the report on a home education website made a reference to the legislation introduced by Hitler as part of the 'Nazification' of children!

Did Ofsted have government clearance to publish this report?

According to an article in CYP Now, "The new Department for Education has called a moratorium on the work of all government quangos and arm's length bodies in the children and young people's sector."

In an email seen exclusively by CYP Now, David Bell, the top civil servant at the department, instructs agencies including Cafcass, the Youth Justice Board and Ofsted not to make any announcements, sign contracts or publish policy or corporate documents until the new government ministers have settled on their "priorities".

In the light of this information, it is clearly evident that Ofsted has acted in defiance of the government.

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