A Query on the Responsibilty of Parents who send their children to school

On page 72 of Mr. Badman’s report he has written:

“Under Section 437(1) of the Education Act 1996, local authorities shall intervene if it appears that parents are not providing a suitable education.”

Then he quotes the law:

“If it appears to a local education authority that a child of compulsory school age in their area is not receiving suitable education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise, they shall serve notice in writing on the parent requiring him to satisfy them within the period specified in the notice that the child is receiving such education.”

My question regarding this is: If a parent takes their child knowingly and willingly, without making any complaints in writing, to a school that is a known failing school-are they not then failing in their LEGAL obligation to make sure their children receive a suitable education? A failing school cannot be said to be giving any child a suitable education, can it? What is the LEA doing about all these parents who are not fulfilling their legal responsibilities?

According to the Ofsted Spring Term 2009 data, as of April 3, 2009, there are:

1. 140 primary schools currently subjected to special measures
2. 56 secondary schools currently subjected to special measures
3. 136 primary schools requiring significant improvement
4. 59 secondary schools requiring significant improvement.

That is a total of 391 schools here in England that are currently not even reaching a satisfactory rating. This means that at the current time there are 391 schools not providing a ‘suitable’ education. If each school has a minimum of 150 pupils, that means there are roughly about 59,000 schooled children not receiving a suitable education.

So I ask you—has the LEA served written notice to all of those parents yet?

I don’t see anywhere where that law applies only to home educating parents. Do you?

If their system is so diabolical-why are they spending so much time and money chasing those of us who have never abdicated our responsibility for our children’s education?

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5 Responses to A Query on the Responsibilty of Parents who send their children to school

  1. Jax says:

    I have often wondered similarly.

  2. Michael says:

    The wording implies that regular attendance at school is deemed as education, and therefore just being in such an environment is sufficient, whatever the quality of provision. Conveniently, the term suitable is dropped in this instance.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Argh! You just stole most of my next post! I was going to query how the mere ‘attendance’ at school imparts an education, and when did ‘education’ become synonymous with ‘safe-guarding’. I’ll still do it anyway! 🙂

  3. Su says:

    Educational Social Workers (who pretty much are there to ensure ‘attendance’) will be expected to carry out parts of Badman’s recommendations. From my personal experience, this will not be a prospect worth waiting for. Social services, as they stand, are unable to cope with even the serious cases of safeguardinhg currently going on in schools, and are relying on the the newly invented ‘Parent Support Advisor’ role having to mop up the overspill. So, no, schools are in disgrace regarding safeguarding, let alone basic provision.

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