Sunday, 6 September 2009

Is It Legal?

"Is it legal?"

Absolutely. Did you know that parents are legally responsible for ensuring their child receives a suitable education? Did you perhaps think that was the responsibility of schools? Nope, it's down to you, which is why you can be jailed if your child truants.

Now in theory, if you send you child to a failing school, or your child is not receiving a suitable education in school, you should be found guilty of failing in your section 7 duty. That doesn't seem to happen though, I wonder why?

Here's the relevant section of the law for you, taken from the Underhill's website which is well worth further investigation.

The fundamental piece of legislation regarding education in England and Wales is the Education Act 1996 (a consolidating act which incorporates the 1944 Education Act and later legislation).

The only relevant sections are: (emphasis added)

Parental Duties: Section 7
"The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable ;
a) to his age, ability, and aptitude, and
b) to any special educational needs he may have,
either by regular attendance at school
or otherwise."

LEA (LA) Duties:

The LEA's duties and powers in relation to home-educated children are contained in the Education Acts, 1944 to 1996. These are fully set out in sections 437 to 443 of the 1996 Act and (except in relation to special educational needs) are limited to the provisions of those sections.

"437. - (1) If it appears to a local education authority that a child of compulsory school age in their area is not receiving suitable education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise, they shall serve a notice in writing on the parent requiring him to satisfy them within the period specified in the notice that the child is receiving such education."
Clear and straight forward isn't it?