Parents gather in city to protest against plans to tighten regulations on home education

PARENTS who educate their children at home gathered in Sheffield city centre as part of a national protest against proposed 'big brother' reforms which could become law next year.

Petitions were handed over to MPs Richard Caborn and Clive Betts in the Peace Gardens, calling for the changes to be dropped.

Across the country more than 120 petitions were presented to constituency MPs, a record for one subject in a single day.

They call on England's ministers not to go ahead with plans for a register of children who are being taught by their parents, or with proposals for council officials to be given new powers to enter homes.

Ministers say the reforms will check children are 'safe and learning' and will make sure home education is not a cover for abuse.

But home educating families say the review was rushed, ignored the evidence, relied on faulty data and failed to take into account safeguards which are already in place.

Plans to tighten regulations surrounding home education are due to be included in a new education bill set to go before Parliament in the new year.

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