The government is considering plans to investigate families which home-school their children in the UK.
A review is currently being launched by Nicky Morgan after education officials claimed that many parents who homeschool their kids could potentially be “poisoning their minds” with extremist and terrorist ideologies.
The government is currently using terrorism as a reason to monitor on parents who educate their children at home.
A senior government source said: “There has always been the freedom in this country for people to educate their children at home. Many people do it very well. But we need to know where the children are and to be certain that they are safe. For every parent doing a brilliant job, there may be someone filling their child’s mind with poison. We just don’t know. We don’t have reliable figures.”
The move comes after claims by Ofsted’s chief schools inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, who has alleged that there is a “serious and growing threat” to the safety of children posed by unregistered schools and educational facilities.
A Department for Education spokesman said: “We have provided Ofsted with extra inspectors to eradicate extremism in education. We are working with them to address their concerns about home education being exploited, while safeguarding the rights of parents to determine how and where to educate their children.”
Currently, there is no obligation for a parent to register or inform anyone of their intent to homeschool their children if those children have not been offered a place at school. However, the government is looking into whether this should be changed.
The last Labour government had already tried to launch such a review, but it did not go ahead after failing to win enough Conservative support.
It appears, that all of that is set to change. This new announcement of a review into homeschooling comes after Nicky Morgan announced a crackdown on unregistered schools and “weekend madrassas” after some were claimed to be promoting extremist tendencies. However, not everyone agrees with the plans.
Conservative MP Graham Stuart, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on home education, told the Independent: “The home is used by parents to inculcate ideas into their children’s heads all the time. Just because there is a problem does not mean there can be a solution.
“If the next step is a formal register I would resist that strongly. The legal duty to educate a child rests with the parents, not the state. That is a long-standing settlement in this country.”
However, Labour’s shadow Education Secretary, Lucy Powell supported the plans.
She claimed: “We urgently need robust local oversight and accountability of all local schooling, regardless of type, so that communities can work together to improve standards and stop children from ending up in harm’s way.”
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