It was a case of one against three witnesses (and the entire committee) when Jane Lowe of HEAS gave evidence to the Inquiry on 24 November. Watch the session or read the transcripts:
Following the evidence session, Robert Halfon, Committee Chair, wrote to Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, on 3 December. His letter is published here.
Guest comment on the letter
‘I do not wish to pre-empt any of our final conclusions at this stage . . . The Committee’s view is that a statutory register serving to more consistently identify children outside of school is absolutely necessary.’
‘ . . . a register on its own would not achieve much . . . Without this data, gaps in our understanding of the attainment and outcomes for the full range of children educated at home remain . . . good outcomes for home-educated children . . . advice, support and guidance they needed to make a truly informed decision . . . It would need adequate resourcing and a clear purpose, along with sensitive and consistent . . . focus on the wellbeing of children . . . ‘
- Permission to home educate
- A register of all home educated children
- Performance management
- Statutory wellbeing outcomes
But the question was – and I argue the question still remains – whether it is possible to construct a universal scheme that monitors the wellbeing of all children, irrespective of any indicators of harm. In particular, how can such a scheme operate within the law on information-sharing? All information-sharing is data-processing, which is subject to national and EU law.