What’s New in the New HoC Note

The House of Commons Library produces briefing notes for MPs and other interested parties, and has come up with a new paper on home education just before parliament closes down for the election period. I am guessing they may have done this because home education is a topical issue with backbench MPs being asked by constituents.

Following from my last blog post, here is a quick comparison between the 2010 Note and the 2015 Note

The 2015 Note is much shorter, as it only has a brief summary of the Badman recommendations and very little detail on the progress of the Children and Families Bill. With regard to the Badman Report, the 2010 Note has a slightly different wording for the reason why the Government asked Graham Badman to carry out the Review.

One of the most striking things for me is that the 2010 Note had more copying and pasting from the Government’s Elective Home Education Guidelines, whereas the 2015 Note opts to summarise the relevant content.

The  2015 Note explicitly states that the Government Home Education Guidance “remains in force” [page 3]

Reference to Children Missing Education has been updated in the 2015 Note  which now has no reference to the superseded January 2009 Children Missing Education Guidance.

The  2015 Note  has new information about the 2012 Education Committee Report on Support for Home Education.

UPDATE MARCH 18TH, following an email to the House of Commons Library (see comments below this post)  the relevant passage about the Education Committee Report has been corrected and it now says that most local authority websites WERE found to be ‘ultra vires’ rather than that they were not. 

The  2015 Note  has a new section on flexischooling.

The 2010 Note talked about “a package of support for home educated children” which is absent from the 2015 Note.

The  2015 Note  has a new section on new special educational needs and disability  legislation

The  2015 Note has a new section on home education funding.

The  2015 Note includes some parliamentary questions from Barry Sheerman MP in late 2014, plus responses from Minister Nick Gibb.

The  2015 Note  has a very brief paragraph on the 2014 NSPCC briefing.

The  2015 Note closes with a paragraph about “Effect of homeschooling on children’s levels of tolerance” (Link)

Background Links 

16 thoughts on “What’s New in the New HoC Note

  1. Pingback: New House of Commons Standard Note on Home Education | edyourself

  2. jennlyle

    Hiya Fiona! I’m American and portions of the way British Gov’t is run wasn’t covered in the Life in the UK Test 😉 What are these notes about and how are they relevant to policy, both current and up-coming?


  3. Fiona Nicholson Post author

    Really interesting question! I’ll blog the answer later today, but in summary, any decisions about home education regulation will be heavily dependent on the attitude of backbench MPs (ie not those in the Cabinet with a Ministerial post) and this in turn depends on whether home educators round the country have managed to secure some sort of dialogue with their local constituency MPs. If home educators DO get a conversation going AND there is decent impartial up to date information available to these MPs then they are likely to have a more productive dialogue which is less susceptible to being swayed by any shock horror headlines or outside pressure groups calling for things to be “tightened up.” Does that make any sense???

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Clinton

    There may be a mistake in the new HoC Note. Page 10, item 3.1:

    “Found that some local authorities may be acting outside the law and most did not have
    ultra vires statements on their websites with regards to home education [paras 10-12] ”

    The “not” should not be there.

    I recall the specific report 2012 Education Committee report. The Committee’s claim was clear, albeit based on a 3rd party’s research, that LAs were routinely spewing “ultra vires” BS* on their websites.

    *The technical jargon is mine and not a quote from the report.


  5. Fiona Nicholson Post author

    Yes, you’re right. I’ve sent an email to papers@parliament.uk

    I am contacting you with regard to the new Standard Note on Home Education


    There is an error on page 10 where it says

    “In December 2012, the Education Committee published a report into home education. The
    report focused on the support available to home educators, and the relationship between
    home educators and local authorities. The report:
    Found that some local authorities may be acting outside the law and most did not have
    ultra vires statements on their websites with regards to home education [paras 10-12]”

    In fact, the Committee found the opposite, as apparently only 30 out of 152 escaped censure.

    “12. Local authorities have a responsibility to follow the law, and to be seen to do so.
    Considering evidence that only thirty do not currently have ultra vires statements on
    their websites, regarding home education, we urge all local authorities to undertake a
    swift review of their own material, and to ensure that their policies reflect the guidance

    Click to access 559.pdf

    Also, several times the links point to an internal hard drive
    (pages 4 and 5)


  6. Pingback: persistence pays off, getting DfE information changed | edyourself

  7. Sarah AH

    Fiona, I’m confused as to whether the EHEGLA (the “guidelines”) are statutory or not. The briefing note states they “are still in force” implying LAs have to abide by them. Also, does being referenced in the statutory CME guidance mean they are therefore also statutory? A group of HE’ers recently met with councillors and officials from Staffs, and were told they treat the guidelines as something they can choose to do or not. Do you know the definitive answer about this?


  8. Pingback: are the home education guidelines statutory? | edyourself

  9. Pingback: my first 20 blog posts | edyourself

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