General Election and Home Education: What the Parties Have in Store

Please look at the different parties’ manifestos for yourself. This is our view, and we strive to be as impartial as possible. The policies discussed here are those we see as relating to home education only. We do not endorse one particular party nor encourage you to vote for (or not vote for) any one particular party based solely on these policies.

As we approach the General Election on July 4th, it’s crucial for home educators to understand how the major political parties’ proposals could impact their educational choices. From increased government oversight to supportive policies, each party has different plans that could affect the home education landscape in the UK. In this post, we’ll compare and contrast the policies of the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Reform UK, Plaid Cymru, and the SNP, focusing on their implications for home educators.

The Big Topic: The Register of Children Not in School

One of the most significant issues for home educators is the proposed register of children not in school, which several parties support. Here’s why it’s contentious:

  1. Increased Government Interference: Home educators worry that a mandatory register could lead to greater governmental oversight and intervention in their educational practices, compromising the autonomy and flexibility that home education offers.
  2. Stigmatisation and Mistrust: A register could imply that home-educated children are more likely to be neglected, fostering mistrust between home educators and local authorities.
  3. Privacy Concerns: Home educators are concerned about the security and potential misuse of their personal information.
  4. One-Size-Fits-All Approach: A centralised register could impose standardised measures that don’t account for the diverse educational methods of home educators.
  5. Resource Allocation: Critics argue that resources might be better spent improving the school system rather than monitoring home education.
  6. Potential for Unwarranted Inspections: A register could lead to mandatory inspections, perceived as invasive and disruptive.
  7. Lack of Evidence for Effectiveness: There is insufficient evidence to support the idea that a register would improve educational outcomes or safeguarding for home-educated children.
  8. Impact on Special Needs Education: Families who choose home education due to inadequate support in the school system worry that a register could divert attention and resources away from necessary improvements in schools.

Party-by-Party Breakdown

Conservative Party

  • Register of Children Not in School: The Conservatives propose creating a register to ensure all children receive a “high-quality education”. Home educators fear this could lead to increased government interference, mandatory inspections, and reduced autonomy.
  • Improved School Attendance: The focus on improving school attendance might pressure home-educated children to return to traditional schools, particularly those who left due to bullying or lack of support.
  • Conservative Party Manifesto

Labour Party

  • Single Unique Identifier: Labour proposes a single identifier for children, raising privacy concerns similar to the controversial Scottish Named Person Scheme.
  • Impact on Private School Attendance: Introducing VAT on private school fees could lead to more parents choosing home education if private education becomes too expensive.
  • Emphasis on State-Provided Education: Labour’s focus on state-provided education and childcare might undermine parental choice and marginalise home education.
  • Labour Party Manifesto

Liberal Democrats

  • Register of Children Not in School: Similar to the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats support a register, which could lead to increased monitoring and scrutiny of home-educated children.
  • State Intervention in Childcare and Education: The emphasis on state-provided services might reduce the flexibility and autonomy parents have in choosing educational options.
  • Historical Policies on Home Education: Past proposals for mandatory home visits indicate a potentially intrusive approach.
  • Liberal Democrats Manifesto

Green Party

  • Support for Home Education: The Green Party supports home education and advocates for empowering families rather than invasive measures.
  • Community and Voluntary Approach: Their policies emphasise voluntary support and interactions with local authorities.
  • Potential Concerns: Despite their supportive stance, home educators should ensure their autonomy is not compromised by state-imposed standards.
  • Green Party Manifesto

Reform UK

  • Support for Stay-at-Home Parents: Policies like frontloading Child Benefit could indirectly support home educators by making it more feasible for parents to stay home.
  • Emphasis on Parental Responsibility: The party supports parents making responsible decisions for their children’s education, aligning with home education values.
  • Reform UK Manifesto

Plaid Cymru

  • Impact on Private Schools: Removing financial benefits for private schools could make them more expensive, potentially leading to more families choosing home education.
  • Vocational and Higher Education Reforms: These reforms offer more opportunities for home-educated students in further education and career training.
  • Lifelong Learning Initiatives: Support for continuous education could benefit home-educating parents.
  • Plaid Cymru Manifesto


  • Free University Tuition: Ensuring free higher education in Scotland benefits home-educated students.
  • Policy on Private Schools: Removing charitable rates relief from private schools could increase home education if private education costs rise.
  • Scottish National Party Manifesto


Each party’s proposals have distinct implications for home educators. While some policies aim to ensure all children receive a high-quality education, the increased regulation and potential government interference pose significant concerns for the home education community. Home educators should stay informed, engage with local candidates, and advocate for their rights and choices. For a detailed analysis, watch the Home Education Action Group’s video on the General Election on their YouTube channel.

You can read more on our social media channels as we break down each parties’ policies there.

Become a Member

Sign up to free membership and...
Encouraging, equipping and connecting home educators
© 2024 Streams. All rights reserved.