Parents who educate their children at home would have to register their activities with the Government, under new plans.
Critics of the plan say it is an unwarranted intrusion by the state.
But Education Secretary Damian Hinds said a register was needed, and that the state could also ‘provide access’ to curriculum materials to parents at home.
Edward Hardy, who home educates, spoke out against the proposals.
“The register will not protect children from parents who are intent on harming their children.
“Instead, it will amount to a further step down the path of unwarranted intrusion into family life by the state.”
Another homeschooler noted that some parents are taking their children out of schools “precisely because the children are not receiving a suitable education within the school”.
A spokesman for The Christian Institute said existing laws give the priority to parents to educate their children, and they can then choose to delegate the implementation to schools.
“The Government must listen very carefully to parents and not over-reach its rightful place.”
The Education Secretary acknowledged that many children “will be receiving an excellent education by committed parents” but some are “hidden from view”, “potentially at risk”.
He noted that local councils already have safeguarding powers, but the Education Secretary wants to go further.
“This will help support councils in their duty to make sure every child is receiving a safe and suitable education.”
And he added that as well as a register, the Government was seeking to “provide extra support and resources for those parents choosing to educate their child at home”, such as “providing access to curriculum materials”.
The Government consultation began this week and runs until 24 June.
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