Parliamentary Motion by Irene McGugan MSP: Draft Guidance for Home Education

Home educators are grateful to Irene McGugan MSP for lodging the following motion in the Scottish Parliament and to the MSPs who supported it.

Motion S1M-02591: Irene McGugan, North East Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/01/2002

Draft Guidance for Home Education
That the Parliament is concerned at the Scottish Executive issuing for consultation draft guidance on the circumstances in which parents may choose to educate their children at home, without taking proper account of the views of children and parents affected by this; does not support this action and recognises the considerable alarm its issue has generated within the home education community and the damage which it is likely to cause to relationships between families and education authorities; further recognises the fundamental human rights of parents and children to choose education outwith school and without being obstructed by the state; notes that section 14 of the Standards in Scotland’s Schools etc. Act 2000, under which this draft guidance was issued, was introduced to protect home educating families from any harassment or intimidation by education authorities, as evidenced by an independent report from the Scottish Consumer Council; further notes that section 14 was supported by the Parliament on condition that the content of the guidance was fully informed by home educating families; refutes the consultation document’s unfounded and insulting inferences that home educated children are in need of extraordinary measures of care and protection due to the exercise of a lawful educational choice which is equally valid to schooling; considers that the guidance exhorts local authorities to act beyond their powers under section 37 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 and seeks to condone unlawful breaches of data protection and human rights legislation; believes that the Minister for Education and Young People should apologise to the home education community in Scotland and withdraw the consultation document immediately on the grounds that the Scottish Executive has no authority to approve such breaches, and, in the light of its failure to address the serious issues raised in the Scottish Consumer Council’s report and the many concerns of families who will be affected by such guidance, considers that the Scottish Executive should end the discrimination against home educating families in Scotland forthwith by amending the necessary laws to afford them the same legal rights as those families in England, whereby children may be removed from state schools upon a written notification.

Supported by: Lloyd Quinan, Gil Paterson, Adam Ingram, Tricia Marwick, Linda Fabiani, Fiona McLeod, Kenny MacAskill, Winnie Ewing, Shona Robison, Michael Russell, Keith Harding, David Davidson, Colin Campbell, Brian Adam, Alex Neil, Alex Johnstone, Mary Scanlon, Kay Ullrich, Fiona Hyslop, Murdo Fraser, Kenneth Gibson, Donald Gorrie, Sandra White, Margaret Ewing, John Scott, Margo MacDonald, Bill Aitken, David McLetchie, Nicola Sturgeon, Annabel Goldie, John McAllion, David Mundell, Phil Gallie, Robin Harper, Duncan Hamilton, Alasdair Morgan, James Douglas-Hamilton, Dennis Canavan, Michael Matheson, Lyndsay McIntosh, Bruce Crawford, Jamie McGrigor


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