A ‘Homeschool Registry’ Is Being Proposed In UK Town
The West Sussex County Council is proposing more stringent rules on local homeschool parents. The UK area has seen a twice-increase in homeschool children in the past four years. The proposal would create a registry for homeschool kids and give police officers the right to “check in” on homeschools.
Essentially, West Sussex wants greater control over an issue that they see eliminating their reach from the fray of increasingly bloated government authority.
Please read our How to homeschool guide for more information on basic homeschooling.
At a County Hall meeting which took place on July 20, the council was told of 1,007 children being homeschooled. However, many experts in the area feel the number is likely a lot more.
The council called the Department of Education to gather more accurate information, however, they became underwhelmed with the DOE was unable to state with full-confidence any exact numbers.
According to the Chichester Observer, homeschool numbers have risen to 564 in 2014/15 (286 boys/278 girls), 620 in 2015/16 (326 boys/294 girls), 800 in 2016/17 (402 boys/398 girls) and 964 by May 8 of this year (469 boys/495 girls).
The data creates a disturbing trend for the council, who now seeks greater control over the homeschool schematic.
One cabinet member, Richard Burrett, explained that officers had attempted to visit homes and inspect homeschool situations, but they aren’t fully authorized to do so, something Burrett says, “would change if we have a national scheme.”
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Burrett further claimed to be obtuse to the reasons why parents in the area were seeking out home education practices over government ones, saying, “There’s no individual reason for the growth in home education numbers that we’re aware of. People make decisions for wide, often complex, reasons.”
Burrett extended on his “government monitoring” philosophy.
“If parents were required to register if they home educate their children, and if we actually had a right to monitor that, to actually see the children in person when our officers go round to visit, and to have a discussion with them about their experiences with home education, we would be able to monitor it much more carefully than we are now.”
What would be asked during these meetings is assumed to be questions related to determining whether or not health and education are adhering to a higher, or adequate, standard. However, as with anything that involves government intrusion, a layer of nefarious overreach could potentially be expected.
Keeping or maintaining a registry for homeschool children isn’t the solution to the issue. The council should focus on learning why more parents than ever are opting to homeschool over utilizing public schools. Using such data to fix public schools would make the public school a more attractive option.
Having officers visit homeschool families creates interactions which could be used to violate the rights of citizens.
Photo by mia3mom
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.