Response to full time education consultation

Personal Details

Name: Peter Darby




Response on Behalf of an organisation: No

Keep response confidential: No

Allowed to contact in the future: Yes

Request a response acknowledgement: Yes

Request to be informed when the consultation results are published: Yes

Respondent Information Questions


Please mark an x in the box below that best describes you as a respondent.

 Not Checked Public Organisations

 Not Checked Private Organisations

 Not Checked Voluntary Organisations

 Not Checked Local Authority

 Not Checked Independent Schools

 Not Checked Schools

Checked Individuals

 Not Checked Other

Consultation Questions

1 Do you agree that where a school provides more than 20 hours of education per week, it should be treated as providing full time education and should be required to register with the Department for Education and Skills?

 Not Checked Agree

 Not Checked Disagree

Checked Not sure

 Not Checked No Response


It depends entriely on your definition of education, which is still not defined in law.

Does it consist of the provision of learning materials and advice on their use? Probably not, as the student is providing themselves with the education, and the “school” is merely providing the means whereby they may educate themselves.

Also, the concept of even 20 hours of instruction a week as constituting a “full time ” education is to my mind ridiculous. What about the other 90+ hours that the child is awake in the week, are they assumed to be vegetating for that time?

2 Do you agree that where schools are providing fewer than 20 hours per week but the education provided constitutes the major part of that child’s education, they should be required to register with the Department for Education and Skills?

 Not Checked Agree

Checked Disagree

 Not Checked Not sure

 Not Checked No Response


I feel it’s entriely ridiculous to say that even where a child is attending more than 20 hours a week that the majority of the education of the child is taking place in that institution. As long as they are awake and aware more than 40 hours a week, the child will be learning for more than twice the time they are in lessons.

Anecdotally, I know of many parents who feel that they provide the majority of the actual education of their children, despite the children being in “full-time” education of overcrowded class rooms and token efforts of instruction. The proposal to make these institutions, where children are actually getting the instruction that their parents want, fit the patterns of those instituions, where education is incidental to child management and control, is farcical.

3 Do you agree that where there is uncertainty as to whether a school is providing the major part of a child’s education we should rely on Ofsted’s opinions?

 Not Checked Agree

Checked Disagree

 Not Checked Not sure

 Not Checked No Response


Since Ofsted is not qualified to quantify the education provided outside school, this is a ridiculous proposal. Whether it can be quantified anyway is questionable.

4 Have you any other comments?


As I understand it, this legislation has been introduced in order to force one institution to submit to Ofsted regulations and inspection, despite it providing less than a “full time” service to children. Not only is it a steam powered jackhammer to crack a particularly fragile hazelnut, it has serious and detrimental unintended consequences for any autonomous educators looking to co-operate with other autonomous educators.


7 thoughts on “Response to full time education consultation

    1. That’s better, he’s gone. Anyone ANYONE I SAY can get in with e-consulting: for education and I tried tracking more down, and it’s near damn impossible. But the DfES, whatever their other failings, have got e-consultations working at least as well as paper based…

      1. Thanks for the link. I and several other folk have reason to raise our voices, and now we have an electronic megaphone to really get the point across…

  1. Wonder if there is any way in which I can save myself the trouble and just second your responses whole-heartedly. Carlotta

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