Documents to download

The Children Not in School (Registers, Support and Orders) Bill, Bill 50 of session 2023-24, is a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Flick Drummond (Con). Explanatory Notes have been published alongside the Bill.

The Government has indicated that it has been working with Flick Drummond on this Bill.

Bill contents

The Bill would amend the Education Act 1996 to introduce a duty on local authorities in England to maintain registers of children of compulsory school age who are not educated full-time at schools. It would also introduce a duty on local authorities to provide support to home educating families, should they request it.

The Bill would also amend the 1996 Act to require local authorities to issue School Attendance Orders to parents of children who are not being appropriately educated, and create an offence where a person served with a School Attendance Order fails to comply.

This Bill extends to England and Wales, but as schools policy is devolved would only have effect in England.

Current rules and previous proposals

Currently, although some local authorities run voluntary registration schemes, there is no legal obligation for a parent to register or inform a local authority that their child is being home educated.

There have been previous proposals for a register of this kind, including in the Government’s Schools Bill in 2022. That Bill was abandoned, but the Government retained the intention to legislate for a register. The Bill, which began in the House of Lords, proved controversial, with objections raised to a register in principle, as well as to the related powers for local authorities that were proposed.

The Library briefing on Home Education in England provides wider information on related issues, including earlier proposals for a register.

Documents to download

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