Written evidence submitted by [member of the public]
[Note: This evidence has been redacted by the Committee. Text in square brackets has been inserted where text has been redacted.]
[name, address, email, phone number]
SUBMISSION TO PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO HOME EDUCATION
In February 2019 we reported on our research on children who miss school, the circumstances of their families, their parents and whether or not the parents had been prosecuted for the offence of truancy.
We found that many of the children and young people who do not attend school regularly are on the autism spectrum, or have SEND and/or moderate or severe mental health problems. There are parents, often of children on the autism spectrum or with anxiety disorders, who, try as they might, simply cannot get their children in to school. Many have received repeated fines and threats of prison. We call for a change in the law, so that parents are supported, not punished, if their children cannot attend school.
Your inquiry into home-schooling should include the topic of children with special needs being taken off the school roll, either by the parent fearing prosecution, or by the school to end their responsibility for children for whom they cannot provide appropriate care and education.
With best wishes