Historic Home Education Petition and EYFS

There are some simple yet important links between grass roots home education movements and movements which oppose the compulsory sixty-nine EYFS learning and development targets. These are practical and philosophical.

 Firstly, home educators may sometimes choose to place one or more of their children (part-time perhaps) in the care of a childminder. Since childminders are obliged to conform to the EYFS targets (unless that is they have secured an exemption, a process which is difficult and lengthy) the learning and development requirements would have an impact on them.  

Secondly, I’ve heard from some parents whose children have started mainstream school that they would like to stay in touch with home education networks in case school doesn’t work out for them. “To hit the ground running” as it were. Regardless of whether our children attend mainsteam school or not it seems the issue of  freedom in education affects all of us.

This week I became aware of a historically important home education petition. Here is some background information about it which is also available at this link. Graham Stuart M.P is due to hand over the petition next Tuesday on the floor of the House at 8.p.m. See this link to access Graham Stuart’s website.

Freedom for Family Education – Because Families Raise Children

More information about the Petition to Parliament

A Bill with a clause about changing the law on home education is expected to be introduced to Parliament via the Queen’s Speech on November 18th. Parliamentary debates on the Bill after the Second Reading could be in early December.

In response, Graham Stuart MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Home Education has offered to organise a Petition to Parliament opposing the Badman recommendations which Members of Parliament will take to Westminster in early December.

A number of MPs have told us that Petitions to Parliament are much more effective than Downing Street online petitions. The Petitions to Parliament are taken by MPs to Westminster and are recorded in Hansard.

The key thing is the number of constituencies where a Petition to Parliament is signed, rather than getting a huge number of signatories from any one constituency. The people who sign the Petition have to live in the local constituency (though they do not have to be UK or EU citizens) and put their names and addresses, but they do not necessarily have to be home educators. There are no age restrictions on who can sign.

The Petition of Persons resident in x constituency…declares that they are concerned about the recommendations of the Badman Report, which suggests closer monitoring of home educators, including a compulsory annual registration scheme and right of access to people’s homes for local authority officials; further declares that the petitioners believe the recommendations are based on a review that was extremely rushed, failed to give due consideration to the evidence, failed to ensure that the data it collected were sufficiently robust, and failed to take proper account of the existing legislative framework.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families either not to bring forward, or to withdraw, proposed legislative measures providing for tighter registration and monitoring of children educated at home in the absence of a thorough independent inquiry into the condition and future of elective home education in England; but instead to take the steps necessary to ensure that the existing Elective Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities are properly implemented, learning from current best practice, in all local authorities in England.
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