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Bad evidence: the curious case of the government-commissioned review of elective home education in England and how parents exposed its weaknesses

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Governments in the United Kingdom have been contracting out policy reviews to individuals. One such review, of elective home education in England, reveals serious shortcomings to this practice. This paper explores the shortcomings – methodological and presentational – with the review, and highlights the fact that there was no governmental mechanism or code against which a commissioned review can be held accountable. Although a select committee held an inquiry, it was home educators using the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and social media who identified weaknesses in the review. The review's recommendations were not implemented, but this was only because a general election was called.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: August, 2012

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