Added January 6th: this is in relation to the English Government proposing a registration scheme for “out of school settings” where an individual child receives 6 hours instruction or training a week. The Department for Education says “This proposal is not about regulating the education that parents provide their children in their homes.”
FAQ on Out of School Settings
My email exchange with Outofschoolsettings.REVIEW@education.gsi.gov.uk
My email sent 17 December 2015
I am puzzled by the letter from the Secretary of State which has appeared on GOV.UK
I am also sharing this email with MP Graham Stuart’s office.
Nicky Morgan says:
“As part of this we have launched a consultation on the introduction of a new system requiring all settings that are providing intensive education to be registered so that they can be inspected.”
This seems to go much further than the call for views.
What I take from the Secretary of State’s letter is that all settings WILL be routinely inspected.
Should I therefore discount the following in the call for views?
“Following the recent announcements by the Prime Minister and in the Counter Extremism Strategy that settings providing intensive education outside of school should be registered so that they can be inspected, and so that intervention is possible when children are at risk, the Department for Education welcomes responses to inform how the proposal set out below should be developed further. Whilst the announcements were made in the context of countering extremism, we are concerned more broadly about the wider welfare of children who attend these settings and ensuring a proportionate system of oversight [my emphasis] is put in place to keep children safe from harm.
“It is proposed that inspections are risk-based,[my emphasis] with Ofsted either acting in response to specific concerns [my emphasis] raised by children, parents and the community, or by sampling particular settings, whether by type or region. Ofsted would not routinely inspect all providers which met the threshold for registration” [my emphasis]
Response from the Department for Education 5 January 2016
Thank you for your email about the call for evidence on out-of-school settings. I can confirm that the statement you highlight below from the Secretary of State’s letter to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector and the call for evidence document are aligned. The key words in the Secretary of State’s letter is that settings teaching children intensively will be registered so that they can be [my emphasis] inspected i.e. settings that meet the threshold for registration would fall within scope of the proposed powers of inspection and/or intervention. The call for evidence, as you point out, then goes on to explain how it is proposed this would work in practice – inspections will be risk-based rather than routine. We are proposing a proportionate and light-touch system of regulation and oversight where good providers who are doing nothing wrong should have nothing to fear.
I hope this helps to clarify the position.
Just to say I’ve added more explanation of the context with “out of school settings” to make it clearer that it’s not about elective home education.