At present, local authorities have a legal duty to make arrangements to identify children of compulsory school age who may not be receiving an education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, as well as any special educational needs. If a local authority identifies any such children, it has power to enforce school attendance. The Department for Education issued revised guidance for local authorities in April 2019, making it clear that existing powers, if properly used, are adequate to ensure that children not attending school receive a suitable education. There are no plans to amend this guidance or alter the powers of local authorities to monitor or check outcomes of home education.
However, in the spring of 2019, a consultation was held on proposals for a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools. This register would help local authorities carry out their responsibilities. Responses to the consultation are still being considered and a formal government response document setting out next steps will be issued in due course.