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Freedom for Children to Grow

Overview of Revised Statutory Guidance

Home Educating Parent Email Response

Sample Consultation Response Form 1

Sample Consultation Response Form 2

Sample Consultation Response Form 3

Sample Consultation Response Form 4

Report of Meeting between DCSF, EO & HEAS

Data Definitions

List of who the DCSF say are "at risk of being at risk"

Alleged Link between HE and Forced Marriages


Guidance to Identify Children Not Receiving Suitable Education

1078 responses to the DCSF Consultation 1569 closing on October 24th 2008

If you only have 10 minutes to spare, look at these sample emails and adapt them for your family:
The 10 minute email for busy people
or The 10 minute email focusing on SEN

Quick Links:
Home Educating Parent Email Response
Overview of Revised Statutory Guidance
Sample Consultation Response Form 1
Sample Consultation Response Form 2
Sample Consultation Response Form 3
Sample Consultation Response Form 4
Report of Meeting between DCSF, EO & HEAS

New statutory guidance

The DCSF wants to publish new guidance on "children not receiving suitable education" as a matter of urgency. The current guidance can be found here and the draft revised guidance may be seen here. The Government has drawn an astonishing link between home education and forced marriage which you can find more about here.

Home education support organisations such as Education Otherwise will be submitting a detailed response but there is also a lot of evidence from earlier consultations to indicate that responses from individuals also have a strong influence on the decision-making process as well.

The consultation technically closes on October 24th but Education Otherwise is aware from the recent meeting with DCSF that the DCSF wants to publish revised guidance as soon as possible. You will have more chance of influencing the final outcome and protecting your children's rights if you respond to this consultation as soon as you can, ideally today.

What are the implications for home educators?

The most glaring difference between the current guidance and the new proposals is that home educated children can be categorised as "vulnerable". A further possibility is that local authorities will take the guidance to mean that it is they who decide whether or not home education is "suitable".

There are 12 consultation questions. The main 4 questions for home educators are 4, 5, 6 and 10. The online response form is here. Q 4 implies that home education is a cause for concern; Q5 is an opportunity for you to point out that this will damage any chance of positive working partnership between home educators and the local authority; Q6 asks whether local authorities have the power to check for suitable education and Q10 asks if the draft guidance and consultation questions were clear and easy to follow.

Who is "at risk"?

Click here for a list of who the DCSF currently believes are vulnerable, including children in the youth justice system, children who are victims of sex traffic, children at risk of forced marriage, children affected by drugs and alcohol and home educated children whose education is not judged "suitable". We know from the recent meeting with DCSF that the Government believes there is a link between home education and forced marriage.


For more background on how we got to this consultation and what the new guidance is proposing please read the report of the meeting between EO, barrister Ian Dowty, HEAS and the DCSF and the Consultation Overview. You can also read sample consultation responses here, here, and here, which have suggestions for what you might include in your own response.

What can you do today?

So what can you do today?

  • Today you can email the CME.CONSULTATION@dcsf.gsi.gov.uk and explain why these proposals will be bad for your children and for your family.
  • You can also complete the online consultation response form here. There are 12 questions and you can select which questions you want to answer. There are sample consultation responses here, here, and here, with ideas for what you might want to include in your answers.
  • Terri Dowty of ARCH also suggests you write to your LA today to ask searching questions about ContactPoint. A sample email can be found here.

How to make a start and finish your response later

If you want to make a start today but you think you might not be able to finish in one go, it is worth registering for a user account with the DCSF consultation site which enables you to save your response so you can go back later and add more. We are aware that quite a few home educators already did this for the Home Education Guidelines consultation. To set up this facility click [here. The DCSF privacy policy states:

"Personal information will not be disclosed to third parties or used for any purposes other than those specified. Any information that could identify you will either be deleted or stored separately once received."

Please note that if you want to use the save facility with your registered user account you need to log in to your account BEFORE you click on the consultation and start filling in the response form. There is a box to enter your user name and password on the banner heading across the top of the e-consultation website Home Page.

Please keep us posted

Where possible please email the Education Otherwise Government Policy Group with a copy of your consultation response or with any points you would particularly like EO to make on your behalf.

Food for Thought:
Home Education for Teenagers

In the News

The DCSF thinks school is the best place for children.
Here at Education Otherwise Campaign Website,
we beg to differ

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HE Diary

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