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Issue 289 – Parents petition the government over home schooling proposals

A group of Frome parents who are concerned about new government recommendations on home schooling have presented a petition to local MP David Heath.

The Badman Report suggests that there needs to be closer monitoring of home educators but critics argue that the report was a rushed review which failed to consider all the evidence and ensure that the data collected was sufficiently robust.
Last week, a petition was handed over to MP for Frome, David Heath, criticising the government report. Parents from Frome, Somerton, and Wansdyke signed the petition.
Tom King, one of the Frome petitioners said, “With 371 constituencies involved as of yesterday, this petition smashes all records for petitions to Parliament – the greatest number of constituencies involved previously was fewer than 50.”
The petition states the parents’ concerns about the report. It states, “The petitioners believe the recommendations are based on a review that was extremely rushed, failed to give due consideration to the evidence, failed to ensure that the data it collected were sufficiently robust, and failed to take proper account of the existing legislative framework.”
The petition also calls for the House of Commons to urge the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families either not bring forward, or to withdraw, the proposals.
MP David Heath told the Frome Times, “I am very happy to present the petition from parents who educate their children at home in Parliament. I think the legislation which the government is bringing forward is a classic case of taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut. We don’t need a massive bureaucratic system of inspections, we simply need to know that children who are not in school are not being abused, and it is transparently obvious that is not the case in 99.9% of the cases.”