New guidelines on home education, 10 January 2008, BBC News.London, England, UK
The Scottish Government recommends a six-week deadline for local authorities to decide whether a child can be taken out of mainstream education.
The Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC) has expressed concerns about adequate monitoring of home education.
Home educators said they had faced prejudice and an entrenched lack of understanding from some of the local authorities.
Some education directors, meanwhile, have been concerned a fast decision would amount to a rubber stamp – and lay them open to legal action from children who in later life feel their education has been lacking.
This sounds like borrowing trouble. An article about the right to education in a 2001 edition of the magazine for the Law Society of Scotland includes the following:
The right to education in Scotland, July 2001, The Journal, Edinburgh, Scotland
… In contrast, the first section of the 2000 Act, drafted with an eye on the Human Rights Act 1998, refers to the “Right of every child of school age to be provided with school education by, or by virtue of arrangements made, or entered into, by an education authority”. Although this provision establishes, for the first time in Scotland, a statutory right to education, it is unhelpful as it does not refer to quality or quantity of education to be provided.
It should be noted that section 35(1) of the 1980 Act creates a criminal offence where parents do not fulfil their statutory duty to ensure their child receives appropriate education. The effect of the statutory definition is to increase the mass of private individuals who have responsibilities, or duties, in educating children and to decrease overall State responsibility to secure education.
The parental duty to educate can be fulfilled by sending a child to a State school, another type of school or by any competent means. Where a child attends a State school, section 28(1) of the 1980 Act imposes the following duty upon the State – “education authorities shall have regard to the general principle that, so far as compatible with the provision of suitable instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure, pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents.”
[underlining added for ease of reading]
Officials don’t want to be taken to court for failing to make sure all children receive an education acceptable to them, but that is an impossible standard. It also doesn’t appear to be supported in this snapshot of Scottish educational law.
I wonder if the same people worry about later-life adults taking legal action because the schools were not satisfactory?
Scotland’s schools must do better says key HMIE report, 22 February 2006, The Scotsman, Edinburgh, Scotland
• Many pupils suffering from poor education in Scotland
• One-fifth of leavers lack basic skills
• But critic says report does not take teaching pressures into account
posted by Valerie