Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “NAHT has long called for a register of children not in school, so this is a move we welcome.
“Without an officially maintained register, there is a potential risk of children becoming lost in the system. Our members have also raised concerns about children being moved across local authority boundaries, and it is vital that information can be shared to ensure that young people do not “slip through the net.” Having a national register, should ensure that information sharing can occur quickly and accurately, helping to better safeguard children and young people.
“Previously there has been no legal obligation for a parent to provide any notification to a school about the withdrawal of a child to be home educated. Whilst it may only be a small sub-set of individuals who choose, for a variety of reasons, not to engage with the authority, from a safeguarding perspective, this may put a child at risk; with neither school nor local authority knowing for certain what has happened to that child.
First published 10 May 2022