The Welsh Government is today launching a consultation on new guidance for home education in Wales.
The draft statutory guidance sets out what local authorities need to do to identify children not being taught at school and provides advice on how to assess the suitability of the education those children receive.
The guidance states that children should be seen as part of the assessment of suitability of education once a year, unless there are other issues that warrant more frequent meetings. The guidance also clarifies the support local authorities should make available to home educators in their area.
A handbook has also been developed with advice and support for people currently providing or considering home education for their children. The guidance also aims to ensure the support for home educators is consistent across Wales.
The Welsh Government plans to consult later this year on regulations to require local authorities to establish a database to help them identify children who are not registered at a school, or are not on an education otherwise than at school (EOTAS) register, and then to determine whether the children are receiving a suitable education.
The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, said:
“This statutory guidance will help local authorities to support families who decide to home educate their children, while reinforcing the levers available to local authorities where a suitable education is not being provided.
“Our overriding priority is to secure the best outcomes for home educated children and young people by developing constructive partnerships between home education households and local authorities. This consultation provides an opportunity for everyone to have their say to help us ensure this approach is reasonable and proportionate.
“The best interest of the child is paramount and whether educated in school or at home, we remain committed to ensuring all children are supported to be the best they can and reach their full potential.”