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Pressure from Local Parents leads to new Parliamentary Group

November 11, 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.

Mr Farron was speaking after he was named as Secretary for the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Home Education - set up after pressure from families who educate their children at home, including many from South Lakeland. Thousands of home educators have expressed their dismay at the recent Badman review, which would require intrusive and heavy handed home visits.

Around 50 -60 children are home educated within South Lakeland, so this is an issue affecting a significant proportion of local families.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"I'm delighted to be able to take up this role, which I am certain will be an excellent vehicle for the important issue of home education.

"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.

"Within South Lakeland, we have the equivalent of a medium sized primary school of children who are educated at home. I'm, therefore, extremely concerned that the proposals put forward in the Badman review could have a detrimental impact on those families in South Lakeland who choose to educate at home.

"We must ensure that the rights of home educating families aren't trampled on. The Government shouldn't be allowed to use an important child protection act as an excuse to undermine the rights of parents."

Local Home Educator, Jayne Richardson from Grange added;

"I am delighted that Tim Farron has taken on this role. For the past 5 years home educators have been subjected to a significant number of vexatious consultations by the Govt, the latest of which has resulted in the Badman Report.

"Many home educators consider that their views have been largely ignored and are hoping that this All Party Parliamentary Group for Home Education will provide an open and honest platform for issues relating to home education to be discussed allowing public bodies to make informed decisions on home education policy.

"Tim has been very supportive of home educators since being approached by us several years ago. He has developed a sound understanding of how home education works and will be great advocate for us."