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National Register of home schooled children outlined in Schools Bill

Ofsted will be given greater powers to crack down on ‘unregistered schools’ operating illegally under measures outlined in the Schools Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech.

Happy child

The Schools Bill will support schools to raise standards, strengthen attendance and improve safeguarding for children wherever they are educated. It will introduce a register for children being home schooled to prevent children falling through the cracks and ensure parents receive the support they require.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I want every parent across the country to know that their child’s education is at the very heart of this government’s agenda.

“We are determined to raise standards in our schools so every child has access to the same opportunities wherever they live, and our brilliant teachers are supported to do what they do best, which is why we’re putting our education ambition into law this week.

“By giving every child a good education, we’re giving them the opportunity to thrive so they can reach their full potential andsecure the jobs needed - this is absolutely vital to our levelling up mission.”

The government will raise education standards across the country through a range of measures including supporting schools to join strong, multi-academy trusts, introducing registers for children not in school and giving Ofsted more powers to crack down on unregistered schools operating illegally.

The move comes after the education committee highlighted last year that there is an ‘astonishing’ lack of data on the number of children being home educated and called for a national register of children out of school.

The legislation will enable the government to deliver its Levelling Up mission for education where 90% of children leaving primary school will achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and maths by 2030.

The measures in the Bill will:

•             Support more schools to become part of a strong, multi-academy trust.

•             Strengthen the regulatory framework for academy trusts, underpinned by powers to intervene where they are failing.

•             Introduce a direct National Funding Formula, so that every school is allocated funding on a fair and consistent basis, wherever it is in the country.

•             Require schools to publish an attendance policy.

•             Establish compulsory registers for children not in school.

•             Place a duty on local authorities to provide support to home-schooling families.

•             Give Ofsted more powers to crack down on ‘unregistered schools’ operating illegally.

•             Give the Teaching Regulation Agency increased powers to investigate misconduct.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “Our new Schools Bill, alongside the Schools White Paper, will create a school system that works for every child, parent and family, bringing every school up to our current best standards.

“We want every school to be part of an academy trust, enabling teachers to focus on what they do best - meeting the needs of every child. Schools’ approach to attendance is being overhauled to make sure every child gets the benefit of every possible hour in the classroom.

“In combination, this work will make sure every child has access to an education that they deserve and helps them fulfil their potential,” he concluded.

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