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Government must "strike better balance" over home education-Farron

June 29, 2009 12:00 AM

Parents in South Lakeland should be allowed to educate their children at home without unnecessary interference from the Government according to local MP Tim Farron, who has criticised the recent Badman review into home education which recommended that all parents should be forced to register children with local councils.

An estimated 45,000-150,000 children are reportedly educated at home. Supporters say interest has grown in recent years as mothers and fathers become increasingly disillusioned with the test-driven nature of modern schooling. Parents currently have to inform councils if they pull sons or daughters out of school, although they can avoid paperwork altogether if children have never been in school.

Mr Farron will tomorrow table an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling on the government to strike a better balance between allowing parents the freedom to educate their child at home and ensuring all children receive a well rounded education.

Commenting Mr Farron:

"The decision to take a child out of school and to teach them at home is one that no parent would take lightly. In areas like South Lakeland where people often live long distances from their nearest school, it's important that parents are allowed to educate their child at home and that they are given the necessary support to do so.

"Local authorities shouldn't be allowed to wash their hands of pupils who are being home schooled, but forcing parents to register their children with local councils is not the answer.

"There's now a real need for a system of support which ensures that home educated children receive good quality education without an excessive and heavy handed degree of bureaucracy.

"The government has a responsibility to strike the right balance between allowing parents the freedom to give their children the widest possible education opportunities and ensuring that all children receive a well rounded education."