The BBC is reporting that calls have been made for a mandatory home education register after an eight-year-old boy who had no contact with the authorities died from scurvy.
An inquest heard Dylan Seabridge, who died in Pembrokeshire in 2011, was “invisible” to the authorities because he was home schooled.
Wales’ Children’s Commissioner said parents should sign a register declaring they are home educating.
The Welsh government said it would publish guidance on the matter soon.
A leaked draft serious case review into Dylan’s death, written in 2013, concluded the laws on home education in Wales needed to be strengthened as a matter of urgency.
Children’s Commissioner Sally Holland said it was every parent’s right to home educate their child if they wished, but she was concerned some children were “falling under the radar”.
She said a mandatory home education register and regular meetings with an education specialist would allow parents the freedom to choose the education they wanted, while also letting local authorities provide support when needed.
“I don’t think home education itself is a child protection worry but we do need to as a society keep our eye on all the children in our community,” she added…
Bev Carr, a home educator in Brecon, Powys, said the only involvement the authorities played in her son’s education was “a token letter” each year.
She said she had no objection to a register if it was funded properly and proved to be “more of a help then a hindrance”.
Speaking to BBC Radio Wales’ Good Morning Wales programme, Ms Carr said health authorities should be as much of a part of the process as education services and called for funding for healthy living such as encouraging home schooled children to use sports facilities.
“If a child is born in the western world in our modern society, they shouldn’t be invisible,” she added.
Last time we covered this subject and had a poll on the idea of increasing regulation of home schooling, the vote received hundreds of visits from around the world after the link was posted on homeschooling forums.
But is there a real issue here. Not for the overwhelming majority of home schoolers – I hope that goes without saying – but because the safeguards are so weak for the tiny minority where children might be at risk?
Please give us your thoughts and feedback in the comments or via Twitter…
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