Frank Field – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Frank Field on 2016-02-01.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children in England are educated at home; whether those children undertake the national tests that children in schools undertake; and whether checks are made on their parents’ qualifications to be home tutors.

Edward Timpson

No data is collected nationally on the number of children educated at home. If a child is educated at home, they can only be entered for National Curriculum Assessments if also registered on the roll of a school in advance.

It is not necessary to hold any particular qualification to educate a child at home. Parents have a duty under Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 to ensure that a child educated at home receives a full-time education suitable for their age, ability and aptitudes. Although local authorities have no power to monitor the suitability of education provided at home, they have a duty to identify children who are not receiving a suitable education. Authorities may make informal enquiries about the provision made in the home and the attainment of the child. If an authority is not satisfied that the education provided is suitable, it can initiate a school attendance process.

We are taking steps to ensure the system is as robust as it can be when it comes to protecting young people while at the same time safeguarding the right of parents to determine how and when to education their children.