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Home Education

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 3 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of school attendance orders in supporting families with home-educated children. (318521)

It is the parents' duty to ensure that their child receives a suitable full-time education at school or otherwise (including home elective education).

If a local authority has concerns that a child is not receiving a suitable, full-time education it has the power to take steps under the school attendance order framework, including serving a school attendance order on the child's parents instructing them to register their child at a named school. Failure to comply with an order is an offence. Local authorities have the responsibility for prosecuting parents if they breach a school attendance order and also have the option of seeking an education supervision order. We believe that this achieves a balance between the rights of parents to educate their children outside the school system, many of whom do a good job, and the rights of the child to a full-time education suitable to their needs and abilities.