The Department for Education has announced that it would be beginning the process to legislate to introduce a registration requirement for children educated outside of school. This proposal followed the Children Not in School consultation, as part of which wider views were obtained as to whether or not a local authority administered CNIS register should be introduced. The intention is to improve the ability of local authorities to undertake their safeguarding and educational responsibilities related to children who do not attend mainstream education institutions.
The ‘Children Not in School’ consultation received almost 5,000 responses, mostly online, and mostly from parents. However a large proportion of local authorities (LAs) responded. There were 145 LA responses, although a few LAs sent in more than one response. The consultation also had significant interest from a number of children’s charities, who are strongly supportive of the proposals.
The report says: "Many home educated children will have an overwhelmingly positive learning experience and the Government warmly welcomes the work and effort of those parents who are diligently providing good quality education for their children. We would expect that most parents home educate with their child’s best education at the heart of their decision. However, this is not the case for all. We therefore remain committed to a registration system for children not in school. More work is required on the practical aspects of delivery and the Government will also be engaging further with LAs and the home educating sector. As mentioned above, the successful implementation of a registration system and the duties on parents, proprietors of certain settings, and the duty on LAs to provide support for those children on the register is subject to securing the necessary resources and, since this will create a new duty on LAs, completion of the new burdens process. Pursuing the propositions as outlined above is our intention."
You can read the full report here.