Home schooled pupils must be declared, councils say

Portsmouth and Reading Councils are among a number of local authorities which have called for the introduction of an education register to declare home schooled pupils.

Commenting on the concern, Councillor Neill Young, Portsmouth City Council's education cabinet member, said: "I think it's important that we get a registration scheme so that we can monitor these young people being home educated.

"But also we have to think about the safeguarding of these young people. People who don't want the local authorities to know what they are doing would be a cause for concern on a number of different levels."

However, many parents have argued that it is not up to the state to dictate what is best for their children.

A spokesman for the Local Government Association (LGA) maintained the majority of home educators worked with councils to provide a good education.

However, they added: ”[But] in the small number of cases where there are concerns for children being home-educated, gaining access to properties is extremely difficult, and councils need more powers to ensure children's safety.”

A spokesman for the Department for Education (DfE) said: "We are taking steps to ensure the system is as robust as it can be when it comes to protecting young people, while at the same time safeguarding the rights of parents to determine how and where to educate their children."

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