Tag Archives: children not in school register

The Thing About Amendments

Government proposals for a compulsory register of children not in school will be debated in the House of Lords some time around June 20th 2022. The Department for Education has introduced measures in the new Schools Bill which has started its parliamentary journey in the House of Lords rather than the House of Commons.

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Children Not In School – House of Lords May-June 2022

On May 23rd 2022 peers debated the Schools Bill in the House of Lords. For home educators the focus is on Part 3, the Children Not in School [CNIS] Register. This post unpacks what was said about other elements of Part 3 and also Part 4 of the Bill as sometimes these become confused. The Bill has only just begun going through Parliament. It started in the House of Lords where it will go through a number of stages before starting the same process in the House of Commons. I explain more about this here.

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Home Education in the House of Lords Today

We can expect home education to be mentioned in the House of Lords today [23.5.22] because it is the second reading of the Schools Bill which is proposing a register of children not in school, to include home educated children. The Schools Bill has started in the Lords rather than the House of Commons so this is the very beginning of the process of turning these proposals into law. The go-to page for seeing how a bill becomes law is here My introductory page on registration proposals in the Schools Bill is here

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School Attendance Orders and Compulsory Registration FAQ

The government is proposing to introduce – via the Schools Bill – a requirement on parents to notify the local authority if their school-age children are not on the roll of a registered school. Some of these children will be home educated or may be going to something which the parents consider to be a school but is not a registered school. (Not all schools are required to register, which is another story) Other children may just not have a school place and should be on a local authority list already but I believe the requirement to register will still apply.

I am getting a lot of questions about what the government is proposing by way of sanctions or penalties if at some point in the future parents don’t comply with the requirement to register. The short answer is School Attendance Orders but as is so often the case, the short answer is not the simple answer, so I have put together this FAQ.

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Children Not in School Register (England)

On May 11th 2022 the government set out proposals for the compulsory registration of children not in school (sometimes wrongly referred to as a “home education register”.) For those wondering exactly what – and how much – information might be included on the register the Fact Sheet (also referred to as a Policy Statement or Policy Briefing) which the government published alongside the Schools Bill has some illuminating – and alarming – details.

Here are some key extracts from the Fact Sheet plus my comments.

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