Consultation Responses

Response to the Consultation - Educational Freedom

Educational Freedom

Comments from the Educational Freedom response.

"The ELB draft policy on EHE does not fit with existing law, it is ultra vires.

The interpretation of the almost identical law that exists in England and Wales has been altered to suit what the draft policy seeks to achieve. It appears that the policy is attempting to set down rules and regulations without going through (due) parliamentary process. It selects parts of law that supports its aim and ignores other parts that disagree:

HEdNI Response

"An effective home education policy should foster co-operation between the education authorities and home educating families, supporting them to provide an excellent education for their children. HEdNI believes that such a relationship is possible but only if built on the firm foundations of an accurate view of the legal powers and duties of the Boards, a flexible and responsive system to support such a policy, and an acknowledgement of the parent as prime advocate for their children.

This draft policy cannot legally be enforced, and to attempt to implement it would encourage the intimidation and bullying of new or otherwise vulnerable home educating families. " 

The full document is linked at the bottom, and may be edited before final submission, other responses can be found here.

Consultation Response from Alison Sauer - The Centre for Personalised Education

the centre for personalised education

"The document is hastily put together, intimates without foundation that children become more at risk of harm when home educated, does not recognise current home educating practice or the success of those practices, invents procedures not supported in law, misinterprets legislation and has no recognition whatsoever that a large portion of home educated children do not deregister as they have never attended school.

The policy is badly conceived, badly written, badly formatted, convoluted and not fit for purpose. "

The full document is linked at the bottom, other responses can be found here.

Personal Responses


This is a collection of personal responses offered for inspiration and information.  Some remain in draft and may be modified before final submission.

Take a look at some of the new submissions...

Mike Eddies has done excellent work writing a very full response and his submission would be an excellent read before you get started - for ideas and inspiration.

Conchur Dickinson provides a good example of a short personal response:

"This policy is fundamentally flawed. As a bare minimum it should have stated why it is needed, the ultimate aims of the policy and some way of measuring its success or failure. Crucially it should have some basis in law, not simply twist unrelated legislation to fit an unstated agenda and enforce wildly inappropriate restrictions on parents attempting to do their best for their children. The law states that it is a parent's duty to educate their child, and the state has no need to be involved at all unless concerns are raised that this education is not being provided. The boards have no right to appoint themselves as regulators of home education, they should instead be concentrating on ensuring that they provide a suitable and effective education for the children whose education has been delegated to their care by their parents choosing to send them to school.

Schoolhouse respond to the consultation

Schoolhouse respond to the consultation

"As Scotland’s national home education charity, we had considerable input to research which subsequently informed the current Scottish statutory guidance on home education, which protects the rights of home educating families while acknowledging the responsibilities of local authorities. The law in Scotland is comparable to that of other parts of the UK in that it is parents who are responsible for educating their children, not the state, and education “otherwise” or “by other means” is an equally valid and lawful alternative to schooling. Human rights legislation provides that there should be respect for, and no undue interference in, family life unless there is risk of significant harm to a particular child or children. In Scotland, as in the rest of the UK, there is no duty upon local authorities to ‘monitor’ home education on a routine basis, and informal enquiries and annual updates represent an acceptable form of contact for most families.

Consultation Response from Dr Paula Rothermel

Consultation Response from Dr Paula Rothermel

"I find that the policy recommendations regarding mandatory monitoring and supervision of home educators in Northern Ireland are arbitrary, legally unjustified, unwarranted and open to misunderstanding."

Dr Rothermel

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