Consultation on Home Education Policy

Consultation on Home Education Policy

A consultation is afoot! 

The local boards are contacting known Home Educators to consult about a N.Ireland-wide Home Education Policy. They do not have the power to make law, but the policy has the potential to make life difficult for anyone dealing with the authorities.

Contains all the usual suspects - conflating welfare and educational concerns, mandatory home visits, yearly inspections and so on. Badman rides again...

The draft diverges what has been generally understood as the role of Education Authorities relating to elective home education. The accepted view is that the authorities simply have the duty to investigate if concerns come to light - no duty to register or monitor, certainly no welfare related duties since they are not trained for it.

However this draft appears to give education officers the duty to -
- monitor the physical, social and emotional health of the children
- make mandatory home visits
- give (or withhold) approval of the proposed 'programme'
- require registration with them, even where the child has never been to school
- monitor educational provision annually
- seek the opinion of the child, meaning they must have access to the child
- maintain a database of home educated children

Local boards can be contacted to request the consultation pack and there will be focus groups in May.

A document detailing the issues is being worked on on the Learning Labyrinth facebook group, updates will appear here as appropriate.