Mother wins fight to home-school her son

A mother has retained her right to home-school her son after a London Council claimed she was not educating him properly.

Kensington and Chelsea Council originally won a case against Sophie Sotello, 46, after she refused to comply with an order to send her eleven-year-old son to school.

However, Sotello appealed against the decision and the Council withdrew the order saying it is now satisfied that her son is receiving a suitable education.

Labelled a criminal

The mother gave up her job 15 years ago in order to home-school her other two children, now 20 and 17.

After hearing the Council’s decision she told reporters: “Not every child can fit into the system”.

“That needs to be appreciated. I would like the borough to change their policies on education, which are very alienating.

“Imagine you are doing all you can do for your children and you are labelled a criminal.”

Parental rights

Earlier this year, homeschooling parents in another London borough campaigned against Council plans to impose an annual home visit to monitor their children, saying it contravenes their parental rights.

The group of Westminster parents accused the local authority of mistrusting them, and said non-compliant families may be taken to court over the issue.

The Council planned to visit families who home-educate their children once a year, in order to “look after the welfare of children”.

The law

Local authorities are not legally obliged to monitor the quality of home education on a regular basis, but under the Education Act 1996 they can become involved if it transpires that parents are failing to provide suitable education.

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