Home Education in England: A Loose Thread in the Child Safeguarding Net?

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For a small number of parents home education is a preferred alternative to school and in England more parents are taking up this option. This has refuelled a long-running debate about the adequacy of a regulatory framework under which parents are not required to register their children as home educated and provision is not routinely monitored. This article highlights concerns regarding the ability of local authorities to fulfil their duty to safeguard these children, drawing on interviews with sixty-eight officials working in twenty local authorities, national surveys of local education and safeguarding agencies and interviews with thirty-eight staff working in twenty-five schools. We argue that, although the Government’s Department of Education is committed to introducing compulsory registration of home-educated children, more is needed to strengthen local authority powers and to address the reasons why some parents choose, or feel pressured, to take their children out of school.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Policy and Society
Issue number1
Early online date16 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2023


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