Even the NICE guys are at it

To whom it may concern,

I have just read the Clinical Guideline July 2009: When to Suspect Maltreatment*.  I want to point out a legal misprint in your document.

On page 64 under Section 5: Clinical presentations, subheading 5.8 Inappropriately explained poor school attendance; you have written:

“All children of compulsory school age (the term following a child’s fifth birthday to the end of the school year in which they turn 16) must receive a suitable full-time education. Parents are legally responsible for ensuring that this is the case, either at a school or by making other arrangements in conjunction with the local authority. All schools must keep attendance registers and so can provide data about individual children.’

The problem is in this statement:  

“Parents are legally responsible for ensuring that this is the case, either at a school or by making other arrangements in conjunction with the local authority”

That is not the current UK law* on home education.  The current UK law on compulsory education states:

 

7 Duty of parents to secure education of children of compulsory school age:

The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable—

(a) to his age, ability and aptitude, and 

(b) to any special educational needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise. 

 

No where does it state that home educating parents need to inform or be approved by the Local Education Authority.  Therefore, I feel you must change your document to reflect the law properly.  And please note—the government requires ‘compulsory education’, notcompulsory schooling’.

I hope to see a reprint as soon as possible.

*Clinical Guidelines: When to suspect maltreatment

*UK Education Act 1996

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