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Home-Schooled Children

Volume 710: debated on Monday 14 March 2022

The Government have committed to a form of local authority register for children not in school, as was detailed in the children not in school consultation response that we published on 3 February. We hope to legislate on that measure at the next available opportunity to create the duty to keep and update a register and for local authorities to provide support to home educators where they want it.

If a local authority found that illiterate home-schooling parents were unable to teach their children to read, write and add up, would it signpost them to proper adult literacy and numeracy as well as ensuring that the children could access their inalienable right to a good education?

My hon. Friend makes an important point. Government guidance sets out the powers that local authorities have and the actions that they can take. He is right that the adult education budget has funding to support literacy and, with the new numeracy programme, to support numeracy. There is a role for stepping up in that space. Local authorities already have powers to specify levels of literacy and numeracy on a case-by-case basis, and having the statutory register will encourage them to use those powers.