DfE plans creation of register for children not in school

Plans to introduce a local authority register for children who are not attending school have been put out for consultation.

The Department for Education (DfE) proposal would require local authorities to keep the register and would place a duty on parents to inform the local authority if their child is not attending a state-funded or independent school.

The plans would also place a duty on schools to cooperate with local authority enquiries about whether specific children attend.

And local authorities themselves will have a duty to provide support to home-educating families if it is requested.

There is increased scrutiny of this issue after figures revealed that the number of children thought to be home-educated has doubled since 2013/14.

In February, a report from the children’s commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, found a huge increase in the number of children “disappearing from schools” to be educated at home. In 2018, it estimates that almost 60,000 children in England were being home-schooled at any one time – a 27 per cent rise on 2017. For 2018, the total figure of home-educated children could be as high as 80,000, the report suggests.

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