Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More on Pupil Registration Regulations

The following is by Mike Fortune-Wood, of the long-established and newly-redesigned Home Education UK website, reproduced here with his permission:

The government are proposing to introduce changes to the Pupil Registration Regulations which govern the registration of pupils at state school in England.

One of the changes being introduced (probably in September) will create a 20 day delay between a parent informing a school that they are home educating and the school actually removing the child from the register. It will also introduce a new registration code (Z) which will allow the child not to attend while still formally registered.

This proposal is intended to create a cooling off period for the parents so should they change their minds, a place will be kept for the child at their former school so that a return can be guaranteed. This was a proposal originally suggested by Mr Badman.

However, As was pointed out at the time of Mr Badman's review in 2009-10, such a change to the regulations would open what is known by some as the 'Ibiza loophole'. This is where a parent books a holiday in term time, de-registers the child for the duration of the holiday and then re-registers the child upon return, thus circumventing the anti truancy rules.

This not only makes a mockery of the governments anti truancy policies but also raises the concern among home educators that such abuse of the system will bring authentic law abiding home educators, who do sometimes take holidays during school terms (choosing to study instead during school holidays), into disrepute.

This regulation change is ill thought out and badly formulated. The education department will come to regret the change as news of how it can be used by feckless parents spreads.


Blogger Peter and Carol said...

I just told our M.P about the 'Ibiza loophole' that could be our best weapon against all of this? when he visited us our m.P was alwaying going on about the few bad parents who are not home educating Im sure he be very worried to think that parents could use this 20 day cool off to escape not sending thier child to school!

4:48 pm, March 30, 2011  
Blogger Allie said...

Would parents really bother to do this? I doubt it. The 'truancy rules' don't amount to much, do they? I mean, people ask for permission, they don't get it and so they go anyway. What happens then? Is it anything serious?

School 'may' issue a penalty of £50 or £100 but *do* they? The main issue about taking holidays in term time is it annoys the school and that's a bit off-putting. I can't imagine that temporarily de-registering the child would annoy the school any less! I suppose the threat to do it might be a useful bargaining chip for a parent in that situation - i.e. either authorise the absence or I'll de-register. But I'm not convinced that many parents would do it because de-registering feels like such a big step - even if you have every intention of picking up the place again.

10:28 am, March 31, 2011  
Blogger Peter and Carol said...

Allie says-Would parents really bother to do this?

Many would if it means you can avoid the truancy laws dont forget you can be sent to jail over truancy and i can asure you that the courts would not like parents to be able to use this as a defence! The truancy laws have been set so that there is very little chance of mounting a defence should you be brought before a court over this this loophole would be seen as a real concern and one that should not be allowed!

3:02 pm, March 31, 2011  

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