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Badman Report (Sutton/Cheam)

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

I am presenting this petition on behalf of Samia Tossio and a group of home educators in my constituency of Sutton and Cheam and in Worcester Park. It is one of a number of petitions to be presented to the House over the past few weeks that address the issue of the Government’s plans dramatically to extend the state’s power over family life, calling into question the freedom of parents responsibly to choose what is best for their children. The proposal would effectively nationalise home education, requiring all parents who choose to home educate to seek permission every year to do so. I believe that that is a disproportionate, ill-conceived and illiberal measure. I shall not read the text of the petition as other Members have already done so.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The Petition of persons resident in the Sutton/Cheam parliamentary constitution,

Declares that they are concerned about the recommendations of the Badman Report, which suggests closer monitoring of home educators, including a compulsory annual registration scheme and right of access to peoples homes for local authority officials; further declares that the Petitioners believe the recommendations are based on a review that was extremely rushed, failed to give due consideration to the evidence, failed to ensure that the data it collected were sufficiently robust, and failed to take proper account of the existing legislative framework.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families either not to bring forward, or to withdraw, proposed legislative measures providing for tighter registration and monitoring of children educated at home in the absence of a thorough independent inquiry into the condition and future of elective home education in England; but instead to take the steps necessary to ensure that the existing Elective Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities are properly implemented, learning from current best practice, in all local authorities in England.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.]