Last December, John Redwood tabled a petition to the House of Commons on behalf of his constituents asking the Government to think again about the Badman Report into home education. The report recommended the regulation and inspection of parents who educate their children at home. Many parents in Wokingham were concerned at the onerous nature of the regulation and that it cast unfair suspicion on parents.
The Government has now responded to John Redwood’s petition. They have said that they still accept the conclusions of the Badman Report, which are incorporated into the Children, Schools and Families Bill currently before Parliament. However, they have offered reassurances that the proposals in the Bill amount to “light touch regulation” and that the Bill will also allocate funding for parents who choose to educate their children at home. The Badman proposals will oblige parents who home educate their children to provide their local authority with a statement of the educational approach and to submit to an annual meeting with their local authority.
Speaking about the reply to his petition, John Redwood said: “I welcome the Government’s statement that they recognise home education as an established part of Britain’s education system. They say that even after the Badmam Report, Britain will still remain a liberal place in terms of regulation for parents who educate their children at home. Allowing parents to decide their children’s education is a mark of a free society”.
“However, I am still concerned that the proposals in the Badman Report will allow local government officers to question children without their parents’ consent. This Government has a rather authoritarian record when it comes to civil liberties and interfering in family life, and I am not reassured that they intend to use any new powers to interfere in home education with restraint”.